I need some advice guys. How do you get people to mind their own buiseness without coming off as rude?
I was invited to a jw gathering last night. It was at my study conductor's place (for those of you who are wondering why a wordly person like myself would get invited anyway). There was this couple who kept asking me questions about my life. What , in the beggining, seemed like an innocent attempt to get to know me better quickly turned into an interrogator. They startered with basic questions such as, "which university you go to", "are you parents against your religious beliefs", "do you have any siblings" ect. And then, before I knew it they were all up in my business:
-what are your parents names?
-say my parents great grand-parents name
-What do they do for a leaving?
-I don't know if my parents would agree with me sharing this info with strangers in their absence...
-Do your parents come pick you when finish work?
-What do you do in your spare time?
-I like reading and watching tv shows
-Grey's anatomy and documentaries on serial killers and psychology.
-you are a very pretty lady. You must have a lot of friends. Do you?
-thanks for the complinent if you meant it. I have a lot of acquittances from work and school, but very few friends and I'm fine with it.
-what about boys? Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
-Do you sometimes have to work with a male partner on school work?
-Only if I want to.
-That's a cute ring that you are wearing. Who got you that?
-a little bird :-p. Do you know where the restroom is? I need to call my mother before she starts to worry.
I really try to be as vague as possible in my answers, but wow!!!! I'm wondering if at that point I should have let the couple know that I was uncomfortable with their questions. If they weren't my elders, I would have told them to mind their business.
For the introverted ex-jws/jws out there, how did you manage to protect your pravicy from the brothers and sisters without compromising your good manners.
If they weren't my elders, I would have told them to mind their business.
This is the reason they feel they have free reign in questioning anyone with anything.
I would have told them you weren't comfortable with the line of questioning and ended it there.
These people are nuts as it is and they may be digging for info and dirt on you.
I'm still and active member and brothers know better than to try that crap on me. I've made my position clear. Steer clear! Elders, Circuit Overseer, or anyone else for that matter.
One way to stop a person from asking too many questions. Once they ask you a question. Ask them a few uncomfortable questions. Such as, how much Money do you make each year? How much alcohol do you drink at one time? How many hours do you average each month in field service ? Hopefully, they will get the point. Or just tell them you would rather not discuss certain subjects.
Start asking them the same kind of intrusive questions:
- I hear JWs don't believe in oral sex. Is that true?
- Really?!? What kinds of sexual positions are approved? Who decides these things? Has it always been this way? (It hasn't, in case you don't already know this).
- How long have you been married?
- Do you still have sex? I've heard couples that've been married that long never have sex any more. Is that true?
It's real easy.
Start with "Why do you ask?"
If that doesn't stop them, then determine if you want to give them the "answer they want to hear" (I assume there is some reason you're there and putting up with this shit), or say "That's kind of personal, don't you think?"
ll them if it's ok to talk about "personal things" then you've had some questions talk about weight. Sooo many JWs are obese and iisn't gluttony a "sin". Ask the FAT JW woman (50/50 she is overweight) what she weighs. Ask her views on gluttony. Watch her squirm.
thank you for your answer
"how much money do you make each year"
you got me laughing SO HARD!!! Ahahah!!! You are a smart ass!
I just wanted to add to my spouses comment above (we share the account).
Tenacious pretty much said what I would have also written. You have to let these people know that their questions are getting a bit much. Don't be afraid to respectfully tell these ones that you just don't feel comfortable with the multiple questions (especially the questions on your private life). We had a couple in our hall that would dig for information. It's amazing when you put boundaries on these ones, they don't quite know what to do, but as Tenacious said above let these ones know that you are not a push over just because you are studying. If they know you will give up info and are an easy target for gossip, they will run with it. Don't be afraid to start your sentences out, "with all due respect, I am starting to feel uncomfortable with all the intrusive questions. Please respect my privacy and stop it." What are they going to say? It may embarrass them but who cares, they don't have any issue with asking you a million and one questions.
Holy crap. That's nosy.
- Avoid being stuck in awkward situations with j-dubs. Always bring your own car. Do like people do with blind dates--have someone phone you at a pre-planned time and pretend it's an emergency if you want to leave. Or don't go at all!
- Have excuses ready. "I've been having sporadic bouts of uncontrolled diarrhea lately."
- Be contagious. <cough cough>
- Humor. Answer while doing an impression of a GB member.
- Change the subject. "Have you heard about the jw sister who got the flu shot and could only walk backwards because of it? Those who work territories with her start at the other end and they meet in the middle."
- Deflect questions with questions, except crank up the awkward factor a few levels over theirs. "My great-grandparents' names--now that's an interesting question. John and Mary. Now I have a question for you. Has anyone in your family tree ever been a criminal?"
- Be direct. "Why are you asking me so many questions? You're creeping me out."
Wow, if anyone interrogated me like that I would be unconcerned about being rude, as they have already been rude first.
You could respond to nosy questions by
"Why do you want to know"
"If you will forgive me for not answering, I'll forgive you for asking"
"Youll have to forgive me, I have to be somewhere/make a call"
"Oh, my life is pretty boring, so let's talk about something else"
Hi again Esmeralda:
There is no privacy in the Jehovah's Witness religion and the barrage of 20 questions you got is typical! I was once in your position but was deceived into thinking these people were my "friends".
They feel especially ENTITLED to grill YOU because you are young, are a woman and SINGLE. If somebody tried to subject one of the old married bags there the same type of questioning - they might get an indignant answer. But they try this garbage with a young single woman. But, it is a one-way street.
I was in the religion over 20 years and noticed the intelligent and wise people kept their business mainly to themselves. Only stupid, chaotic people blabbed their business all over the place. But, this is a lesson learned with experience!
This intrusiveness and nosiness is a slippery slope you will go down once you start giving them information. The worst of it is that you will get a FEEDBACK and these idiots will presume to tell you YOUR business.
While it is normal to some degree to be curious about a new person in any group, the level of microscopic scrutiny in the Jehovah's Witness religion (and any other high-control group) is way out of the ordinary.
You'll see, sadly.
Always glad to be of help, LHG