On prying family

My family likes to talk about relationships. I don’t. I believe it’s none of their business who I’m dating, but now, I dread any family lunch because by avoiding their relationship questions, I’m accused of being distrustful and/or of hiding something. I’ll admit that I don’t handle it in the smoothest of ways and get irritated fast, but it’s really annoying. How can I explain boundaries to people?

You don’t have to explain your boundaries. You just have to set them and keep your cool. Don’t get irritated when they start to pry. Learn to deflect, and get comfortable with the phrase, “I’d rather talk about something else.” It’s perfectly okay to tell them flat out that it’s none of their business who you’re dating. (Just do it calmly.)

When they accuse you of being distrustful or of hiding something, recognize it as emotional blackmail, and don’t let it it get under your skin. Tell them that this isn’t a trust issue. (You trust them.) It is simply a privacy issue, and they need to respect that.

Remember, every time they accuse you of being distrustful, you can accuse them of being disrespectful. Every time they accuse you of hiding something, you can accuse them of meddling. I’m not suggesting you start arguments, but you should know in your head that you have firm ground on which to stand up for yourself if need be.


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