At some point in your TTC journey you may come across invasive questions. These questions usually come across as unsolicited questions regarding where you are in the TTC process as well as unsolicited advice. Depending on your mindset these questions could be inappropriate and potentially a trigger.
While you can’t always avoid or predict when these questions are going to be asked (group setting or one on one) you can easily adapt a few simple tools to buy yourself some time to come back with an appropriate response that shows a touch of panache…but more important than panache a way to deflect the unsolicited question or advice so that you don’t feel triggered.
We can choose any sort of response that we want within degrees of the zing-sting impact to let the person posing the question know just how uninterested you are in answering their question.
“Don’t judge any woman until you have walked two moons in her moccasins.”Proverb
When caught off guard with an invasive question, especially depending on where we are (in the moment!) in the TTC journey, we can replay and spend time thinking about what we could have said, should have said, and now want to say! Improved and juicer 1000x over! I know this happens to me! It doesn’t serve us to spin our wheels in the mud and potentially feel even worse even after the conversation is long over.
Go in with some prepared lines!
I mean you could drop something like “well I’m obviously not ready to deliver right now…” but the tone of how you say it also says a lot and you don’t want to give the other person the satisfaction that you are flustered or possibly triggered. You are attempting a one liner to shut the conversation down from a defensive position.
What if you could shut down the conversation and not have to be forced to think about a quick witty response on the fly?
“Sometimes people answer a question with another question not because they believe in the other person’s innate wisdom, but because they want to evade a straight answer, or even to violently challenge the premises-or right-of the questioner to ask such a question.”Brandon Rhodes
In answering a question with a question you buy yourself a few moments to pause and recollect yourself to give you space to move on…in the direction you wish to proceed in the conversation.
Let’s try some examples. Feel free to drop in the comments what your favorite questions you have received in the TTC journey?
“When are you going to have a baby?”
- Are you asking so that you can start to plan my baby shower?
- Are you asking if we are too kinky and need to tone it down a bit?
- What makes you think you have the right to ask that question?
“Whose fault is it? What’s the hold up?”
- Are you curious who sleeps on which side of the bed at night?
- Are you a doctor or medical specialist?
- Are you asking for a complete rundown of our nocturnal activities?
I enjoyed coming up with answers for this question because it was super easy to go from fun to a question laced with a little more zing! Get creative!
Why don’t you just adopt?
So let’s think of two or three questions you could fire off right away to give yourself a pause to really deal with the question in the manner you would like.
“Why don’t you just adopt?”
Some possible responses could be…
- Are you asking me about how I am choosing my family planning and family building?
- Is this a social issue area that is an interest of yours?
- How interesting! Have you ever considered adoption to build your own family?
- What makes you think you have the right to ask that?
- Do you think that’s supposed to make me feel better?
I’m sure that you’ve thought of some fun responses during this exercise!
The biggest pro-tip here is to come off as genuinely curious. Being curious helps to take the spotlight off of you to think of what and how long you want to go in your next response while putting the spotlight back onto the person asking the question.
But what if they go on? Well you could also go on with the questions? It’s more succinct if you start out with curiosity and stay with curiosity especially if, all of a sudden become defensive, it’s unlikely though as returning the question back to them It depends on how the back and forth goes on and on but if in a group setting it is likely someone will jump in and take it off topic.
Do you know what an Irish Goodbye is? An Irish Goodbye is another way to say ghosting… plan to have a Irish Goodbye in place if you are attending a party together with your partner. If you hold your partner’s hand at a party and you agree to squeeze three times so that they know that suddenly your cat is ill or there’s a flood in the basement. Going in with a plan helps you recognize, cope, and eventually thrive.
“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”Proverb