A couple of friends and colleagues, who have the habit to ask me this question, without providing any context of why they ask. If it was the case of "Where are you? We are going to X and we can pick you up", I'll gladly respond if I'm available, but a simple question just for curiosity is uncomfortable to me to respond.

How can be possible to respond to the plain question politely, in order that the other person doesn't feel bad for asking me or feels that I'm being rude with him/her?

  • 1
    Have you already told them anything? and if you tried telling them something, what was their answer? beside "in my boots right now" of course :)
    – OldPadawan
    Jun 12, 2018 at 11:10
  • They just ask the wrong way round. "We are going to X and we can pick you up. Where are you?" sounds totally different - of course they need to know where you are if they want to pick you up. That happens, most people don't make perfect use of their language.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 14, 2018 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


I have a friend who used to have the same habit. My solution was fairly simple: respond with a question.

Whenever he would ask "Where are you now?" I would respond with "Why do you ask?". I would use a friendly, interested tone of voice, nothing even remotely approaching upset or annoyed.

In the short term, this helped me get the information you're mentioning: the reason why this person is asking me for my location.

In the long term, it helped this friend realize that whenever he would just ask after my location without telling me why, he would get the question. In the end, he started including the reason in his question, so I no longer had to ask. I've noticed that he now does the same even when he's talking to other people.

The tone of voice is key in this, because you want to make it clear by your tone of voice that you're not inherently opposed to giving them this information, you just want to know why.

  • "The tone of voice is key in this" What if it is in a message, and not a call?
    – user18765
    Jun 12, 2018 at 11:50
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    @SeanWalsh I don't think texting "Why do you ask?" is rude in any kind. You could add a :) after it to clarify it's a friendly question.
    – CaldeiraG
    Jun 12, 2018 at 12:09
  • If it's a call (can't text a friendly emoticon) maybe "Why, did something happen?" could work as well as to convey curiosity? Jun 12, 2018 at 13:51
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    @AlinaCretu The problem with that sentence is that it could be easily explained as 'I don't want to give you this information unless something happened' but if the other party is simply planning an impromptu get-together or the like, I'll also gladly tell them my location. All I want to know is the 'why' without pre-judging that 'why' in any way
    – Cronax
    Jun 12, 2018 at 14:10
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    "What's up?" or "What's happening?" might do a better job than "Why do you ask?". They both put the onus back on the asker, but "What's up?" is much harder to interpret as an accusation.
    – Joe
    Jun 14, 2018 at 19:38