9 Splendid Ways to Deal with Nosy Friends ...

There are many helpful ways to deal with nosy friends, some of which are polite and cordial and some of which employ firmer tactics. If you hate having people all up in your business, especially when they aren't invited, you have to stand up for yourself. Maintaining your personal space and privacy is entirely your right. You might not feel comfortable when someone, even a friend, asks all kinds of uncomfortable questions, second guesses you, and questions every decision you make. You don't have to put up with that, though – especially if you use any of the following ways to deal with nosy friends.

1. Play It off

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One of the friendliest, most lighthearted ways to deal with nosy friends is to play it off when they start digging. If your friend is firing question after question about your date the night before, demanding to know where you went, what you did, if he kissed you, and so on, jokingly ask her when she became a member of the CIA. You're not exactly being mean, but it can make your friend realize that she's going a little overboard.

2. Remain Vague and Don't Commit

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Heather once had a work acquaintance who gave her the third degree all the time. She wanted to know where Heather was going to lunch, whom she was eating with, what she was doing after work, and if she didn't weasel out an invitation, she'd just show up. She did it with all of her work friends, to the point where she'd show up at private parties to which she hadn't been invited. Over time, Heather and her colleagues learned to be vague and never commit to anything. They'd say they weren't sure where they were having lunch and mention that they might – or might not – head to a certain restaurant after work. When you're vague, you don't give your friend room to endlessly question you without being entirely obvious.

3. Zip Your Lips

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Sometimes even vagueness won't work, however. If being noncommittal isn't doing the trick, stay silent instead. Don't talk about your plans, don't discuss the aspects of your personal or professional life you don't want to share, and generally keep your lips zipped. You may have to ignore your friend in certain situations, which is difficult, but if talking about something makes you uncomfortable and your friend won't stop, do what you have to do.

4. Speak with Body Language

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If the idea of ignoring your friend doesn't appeal to you, get your point across through your body language. You can easily telegraph discomfort through the gestures you make and the way you hold yourself. Crossed arms, turning your body away, and tense shoulders reveal that you're not at ease. Sometimes a well-placed eye roll or sigh can do the trick as well.

5. Don't Look Her in the Eye

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Although technically an aspect of body language, eye contact deserves its own discussion. Eye contact is essential during conversations. Looking someone else in the eye as they speak to you or you talk to them reveals interest and openness. When you refuse to look your nosy friend in the eye, you can make it clear that you don't want her probing a particular subject. Hopefully she'll take the hint.

6. Play Musical Subjects

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If she doesn't, then just change the subject – and then change it again and again. Change it as many times as you have to if it helps you get your point across. Any time she ventures into forbidden territory, as it were, make sure you start talking about something else entirely, or turn the questions around on her. You don't need to be spiteful and start firing off inquiry after inquiry, but deflect her curiosity by asking about how she's doing, what she's doing, what she's reading lately, and so on.

7. Don't Engage in Gossip

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If you gossip about others with your nosy friend, she may get the idea that you don't mind talking about yourself either. After all, if you're willing to talk about all aspects of mutual friends and acquaintances, why wouldn't you want to lay bare your life as well? It's not nice to gossip anyway, but it happens. However, to prove to your nosy buddy that you don't like to talk about certain subjects, don't talk about other people with her, either.

8. Set Boundaries That Make You Comfortable

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Depending on how close you are to your friend and how comfortable you feel with her, you may simply need to sit down with her and outline some boundaries. Let her know that you're private about certain aspects of your life, and you don't necessarily want to talk about them. You need to make it clear that she's still your friend and that not all subjects are off-limits, but that there are some things you want to keep to yourself.

9. Just Say No

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Unfortunately, some people just won't take that hint, even if they're your friends. When that happens, you may just have to say no. When your friend asks you how much you make at your job or how much your new shoes cost, just tell her no. When she wants to know if you've gone all the way with your new boyfriend or girlfriend, just say no. If she asks about a fight or argument you had with another friend, just say no. Tell her straight up that you're not going to talk about something. If she's really your friend, she'll respect that without taking offense or feeling insulted.

I hate having someone question me or try to dig into personal aspects of my life. Your nosy friends may or may not realize what they're doing, or they may think that, just because they're a friend, they're entitled to know every little thing about you. That's not true, and keeping some things to yourself won't make you a bad friend. Do you know someone who constantly tries to play Sherlock Holmes with your life?

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