5 scripts to help you deflect nosy questions, stop advice-givers, fend off criticism and more - Deepstash
When someone asks you something you're unsure about

Here are a few ways to buy yourself more time to assess the situation.

  • "I need a minute to regroup. Can we talk about this in an hour?"
  • "Can we chat about this later today, after I've had some time to consider it?"
  • To a friend who wants you to go to a dinner that sounds boring: "I'm going to say no to dinner, but I'd love to catch up another time."
  • To the colleague who wants you to help with an extra project: "I can't, unfortunately. But once I finish up my current deadline, I can see if there's a way I can support you."



You don't owe anyone personal information, especially not to satisfy their curiosity.

  • To someone asking how much money you earn: " Trust me, not even close to what I'm worth."
  • To someone who asks about your love life: "I'd rather not talk about this. When I have news to share, I'll let you know."
  • To a colleague who wants to know what you plan on your day off: "That's why call it a personal day!"

Repeat your stock answer if the person persists.



  • If you want to share something with a friend or colleague who likes to offer their opinion, say: "I want to share what's going on and would appreciate it if you can listen without offering advice or criticism."
  • Another way to stop auto-advice: "At the moment, I'm not looking for feedback. I would love it if you could just listen with compassion."
  • In relationships: "I love that you are always willing to help me. But right now, I appreciate it if you list and have faith that I'll come to a solution by myself."



When a friend, family member or colleague makes a rude comment and then says," I'm just honest," you may feel inclined to accept their words. Don't. If you know them to be genuine, you will know when to be open to their feedback.

Comments about how you wore the wrong dress or how bad your hair looks, say something like:

  • "I don't recall asking you."
  • "What you call 'honesty,' I call 'giving me unsolicited criticism.' Please don't."



When someone has crossed a line, you should open up the conversation alerting the other person to your feelings, concerns, or objections.

Some conversation starters:

  • "I thought you should know..."
  • "I wanted to bring something to your attention. I felt uncomfortable when.."
  • "I want you to be aware of my feelings about what happened..."



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