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How to deal with excessively nosy co-workers

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Chattering with co-workers can certainly brighten your routine and make tasks go by faster. But sometimes people who work with you can be too curious about your personal life and you just don`t know how to deal with their inconvenient questions.

Here are 6 easy and effective ways to stop your colleagues from prying into your life.

1. Ask them about themselves.

Often nosy people are very open. They would easily share their personal information, so they just think that other people would do it, too. They don`t even realize they are overstepping boundaries.

So, let them talk! Instead of answering ask them. For example, you are talking about parenting.  If your co-worker asks you about your parents, but you`ve had bitter childhood, you may just say: “Oh, they were ordinary parents. And what about yours?” When your interlocutor starts talking about how good or bad his parents were, he will probably forget that you are anything but a listener for his stories.

2. Change the subject of conversation.

Sometimes friendly talk can touch even delicate subjects, for example you may be asked how many sexual partner you`ve had. Here you should switch the conversation to more general topic: “I think the quantity of partners doesn`t matter for your current relationship. How do you think, what is the most important thing for a happy marriage?”

3. Bore them to death.

Nosy co-workers poke their noses into your business just because they think you are interesting. So, show them they are wrong!

When your co-worker asks you some personal question, answer it. But the answer must be as detailed as possible. When they ask you: “How was your vacation?” you may simply describe everything in all the details (intentionally avoiding some spicy moments). Make them regret asking you.

4. Have a busy look.

When you see a nosy colleague is approaching your working place, pretend extremely busy, for example type an e-mail or look for something in your drawers. Then you probably won`t be bothered. But if this person stops beside your desk anyway and starts chattering, deliver a complaint about all the tasks you have to finish in the next few hours. The most effective way to look busy is pretending talking on the phone but don`t use it too often, otherwise they may catch on.

5. Don`t show off your personal possessions.

What average person wouldn`t see, a nosy person will notice for sure. In order to prevent unneeded questions like “Who`s that on the photo?” or ”Who gave you this?” you`d better keep your personal possessions off your working place. If your nosy co-worker is curious about some paper relating to work and the information is allowed to be shared, just share it, why not?

6. Be careful to share the information on social media.

Keep in your mind that nosy people would probably google you. This will only encourage them to ask you new questions if they don`t find the answer online.  Of course, you can`t just refuse to add them to your social media, but you can limit their access to certain information (unfortunately this option is available not on all sites).

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