We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.
53

Most languages will have a saying akin to "I was feeling a bit under the weather" or something close to that. I would simply say that. When I am sick and my co-workers ask me about it I usually say "I was feeling really sick". This is something people often say in my language (Dutch) when they either are feverish, sick to their stomach or just feel like ...


27

I've often been around my brother who is asked to take pictures of someone, or a group. His procedure is very consistent and the people in the picture always seem pleased afterwards: Before taking the picture, he interacts with the group verbally in a positive manner thus making them smile and have happy faces. He will use small jokes or your typical "say ...


25

Some people have suggested strategies to do with being vague and evasive, but I'm going to suggest a different approach. Be honest that it is a private matter. People are naturally inquisitive, and will want to know what was wrong. In my experience, being evasive can be a problem, especially when talking to colleagues that you are friends with. It can ...


23

From what I've seen my coworkers do when they didn't want to talk about some personal thing (like the reason for sick leave) there are 2 main ways to handle any inquiry about it. Which one to choose depends on whether you want people to always take you seriously, or if you want to be known as a bit of a joker outside of serious work related topics. 1) Give ...


22

I tend to ask very generally about the issue when I find myself in such situations. ie. instead of "Have you used my computer?", I would say: It looks like my computer got moved since I last used it, you haven't noticed anything have you? In this way my question is limited to the thing you noticed that made you suspect someone used your computer, I'...


20

It sounds like you need a way to change the subject. Business Insider lists two techniques that I've personally found great success with: Use a distraction The article says to do something like pointing behind the other person and yelling "Squirrel!" which, to me seems a little overkill. I do think using a distraction outside the scope of the conversation ...


11

Over time I have personally found the following technique to be useful. It depends on your personality and how you deliver it, plus the audience, culture, location and other factors but it may help you. Throw one hand up and shake your head and say 'ah boy you really dont wana know. Trust me! Smile sorta sadly at the end. Uses humor Avoids lying about ...


10

Full Disclosure: I work as a programmer for a NorthEastern United States State Government, so take this within the proper cultural context. Don't Answer Personal Questions You Don't Want To Answer "I'd rather not talk about it" is a full and complete answer to anything anyone asks that you don't want to respond to - and culturally, acceptable as an ...


8

First, you need to know the origins of the phrase. It is the opposite of "politically incorrect". 20 years ago, we didn't tell people "be politically correct" we told them "don't be politically incorrect" or "you can't say that, it's politically incorrect." But that phrase itself went through an interesting transformation. It was first said as a mocking ...


8

Without asking, I don't think you can get this information. This is a frame challenge. What we are discussing is a situation with the following characteristics: Someone else has handed you their equipment so that you can take a photo of them That person will have a non-obvious amount of resources relevant to this (ability to buy/develop more film, for ...


8

I've found that when people ask questions like that, it's usually an unintentionally roundabout way of finding out one of two things: whether they should be concerned about your well-being, and whether this is something they should worry about catching. I've always answered questions like this with something like: Don't worry, it's nothing contagious, ...


6

It sounds like you have already figured out this person's motivation for asking you questions - they want to give you advice. "Advice-giver" is a recognised personality trait, and many do it for their own ego gratification. As the opportunity to give advice is evidently what is prompting the questions, if you stop fuelling him by answering them, the advice ...


6

Stop asking, start saying In my experience, once you know someone is not likely going to object - you may state it as an assertion, not as a question. I interpret it like it seems he is more disturbed by having to answer the question than someone lowering the blinds. What is a possibility then is just stating I am lowering the blinds And then lower the ...


6

I have been in this situation and situations very similar to this one before, this is how I handle this. Usually when this happens (with friends or very good friends) either me or another of the people in the group will try to divert the conversation. You and others did this, but it did not work. If this still fails after, let's say three tries, then ...


6

As a non-confrontational way of eliminating the problem, I would suggest locking your screen (and have your password known only to you) so that your coworkers couldn't possibly use your computer even if they wanted to. Yeah, you won't know who used your computer or if they used it at all but still, your aim is not knowing if your computer has been used, it'...


5

Last year (while working in a French company), I had a very serious and sudden health condition that led me to the ER. I had to leave work in a hurry and my coworkers had questions when I came back. I didn't want to disclose said health condition to them (I had an internal haemorrhage and I was afraid their imagination went wild should I tell them about it), ...


5

This is something I used to run into with my college roommates. It's all too easy to go from "Is this your bowl in the sink?" to "Yea, but you leave your clothes in the washer for days, so who cares?" to a downward spiral with no end. In my years living with messy people, my chief advice here would be to ask yourself: What's your actual goal here? ...


5

In similar situations, I usually prefer saying something like: I prefer to avoid talking about this, because it is something which is embarassing me. However I'm healthy and happy now; thank you for worrying about me! And I say that with a thankful smile. This is the truth and they will not insist, as you already said you don't want to discuss that ...


4

If the asker has any sense of etiquette then providing the answer: I was just dealing with a health issue but I'd rather not get into the details; I'm feeling much better now though. This should give them a clue to change the subject. I've had co-workers go absent for extended periods of time and naturally I will ask such things as "How are you feeling?"...


3

My way of handling situations similar to this is to excuse myself from the conversation saying something like: This really isn't a topic I feel like discussing right now, can we get back to [insert previous topic]? This is usually enough with my friend group to softly burst the story tellers bubble a bit so to speak, this gives others a chance to ...


3

I'm in Germany, so a fairly direct culture (i.e. "How are you?" is the invitation that if you'd like to you can now discuss the full details of your illness). In order to stop people from bugging me about details I don't want to disclose, I'd go for something like the following steps of escalation: "Thank you [for asking/caring]. [no explanation following]"...


3

Getting blinded is really annoying and not really an option so you need to lower the window blinds. I don't can think of a regular reason to object to this question. And if an irregular reason is coming up he always can stop you lowering the blinds. I think it is not a big deal and you should not worry about it and ask him again. I am from Germany myself ...


2

As someone who is an introvert and not very good with having a small talk with strangers, I usually just make it simple without asking: a minimum of 3 acceptable photos, let them review, then take more if they request (provided you have the free time to fulfill their request). Almost always, when someone asks me to take a photo, I will straight up agree and ...


2

Here's an example of my style: Generally people are interested in a photo showing where they are. Thus, I will move around, and move them around to get in a good spot for lighting and for showing some sort of landmark. Then, I tell them I'll get a couple of different shots. In one case, the landmark was the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. I told them, "...


2

This can be very different from company to company, but I can tell you about my personal experience, because I am in a quite similar situation (I am actually German yet). I am the only one, who is blinded by the sun in the afternoons, so I often lower the window blinds in the afternoons, and nobody ever has objected this ever. In opposite: My superior even ...


2

I am a German myself. So I can tell you in your case and depending on the tone of your coworker the "ja ja" means something like "yes, I don't really care". So it's okay for you to assume that you can lower the window blinds without asking again. If your coworker says "ja ja" in an annoyed tone it probably means that he is more annoyed with the repeated ...


2

When I have friends over, I want to spend quality time with them, doing fun activities and chatting. I don't get visits that often, and it's usually a special occasion. For that reason, I defer any cleaning to after they're gone. I don't want to spend our precious time together doing chores alone instead of having fun together. Especially if it's something ...


1

From the way you describe it in your question, it sounds to me like you're already dealing with the situation perfectly well. As you yourself have said: you let them ramble on, you were honest with them when asked for feedback, then later you distanced yourself from them. It sounds like you have already "convey[ed] that [you're] not interested in him ...


1

Ten years living in East Asia speaking here... In summary: Address it casually and as often as it comes up. Start by understanding your situation: 1. Cultural difference: Generally among Far Eastern cultures, people feel more free about looking after each other; in the West if feels more like being nagged and nannied. She probably doesn't mean any offense ...


1

Since you consider they could get offended by asking them directly. Then, when they hand you the camera you can tell them how nice the camera is or how much you like take pictures with that kind of camera, I mean film, or how you love to develop film. Something along those lines. I am guessing you actually like it, and I think many people love it like a ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible