How to deal with 5 invasive questions from family members while you’re all on lockdown

Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images

As you make the best of your time in lockdown with the family, you might be enjoying days lounging in the sun and playing games.

One minute you’re dishing up some roast potatoes at the lunch table, and the next, you’re getting asked when you’ll be getting married or having your first baby!

While these types of questions can often come from a place of genuine love and concern, they can still be an absolute pain.

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If you’ve managed to dodge family members getting way too involved in your personal life, you may need additional tips to keep them at bay until you can get back to normal life.

Here are a few tips for tackling those uncomfortable moments as you are on lockdown with loved ones:

1 - So where's the boyfriend? Are you STILL single?

Ah yes, the good-ol' 'when are you getting someone to complete your life because you're wildly incapable of being happy alone' question. A classic.

This one tends to pop up first. Don't be tempted to be spiteful by saying something outlandish (especially if it's not true) like: "He's spending lockdown with his wife and five kids, but I'll see him soon!"

Instead, opt for a polite response without giving away too much if you are not ready.

A suggestion: "That's not a priority right now, but I'm doing well."

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2 - Oh, but you're getting nice and big, hey / Are you eating enough?

Now it isn't a family situation if at least one person doesn't comment on your weight, is it? 

Again, don't get into a back and forth by telling them how terrible you think they look too.

A good response is to brush it off jokingly by saying something like: "And I still look this good? Some people really do have it all."

If the question really does make you uncomfortable, be honest about your feelings and express that you prefer not to discuss your weight, though you appreciate the concern.

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3 - Is he really the best idea?

Unsolicited advice - you didn't think we'd forget this one, did you? This one generally comes from more conservative family members who tend to view their opinions as facts or because they saw it on Dr. Phil.

It can be tempting to snap and say something like, "neither is your cooking." But we'd strongly advise against that.

A good response is to be honest, and say: "I appreciate the concern, but she/he makes me happy."

Or, "Thank you for asking, yes, I've never been happier."

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4 - You should do [a thing you don't want to]

Whether it's insisting you partake in more religious activities or telling you which supermarket is best for purchasing your veggies, it seems like there is always someone who feels they know what's best for you.

Doing some finger guns and moonwalking away from the conversation (with a broad smile), works every time. 

But it might be hard to do that to a parent, so you could say, "I think I'm good for now, but I'll definitely consider it."

And bear in mind that not all unwanted advice is a bad idea; you may be surprised if you are open to trying out some new things.

However, if you decide to skip the advice, don't feel bad about it.

READ MORE: Is lockdown making you miss your work husband? Why this friendship isn't as innocent as you think

5 - How much are you earning there? 

While some people may find it acceptable to share personal details such as how much they earn, it's generally considered a taboo question. Hopefully, your family members get the message.

It might sound like a good trick to tell them you've been earning more money since joining your particular "group" and then try to rope them into your fake pyramid scheme.

But rather be polite. An easy response is: "I can't be revealing all my secrets, but I'm comfortable." 

Don't be tempted to ask them the same question.

Quite obviously, a lot of the suggested responses should be adjusted to your family dynamics and are only a guide. The goal here is to handle these situations like a pro and keep the good mood going. 

You can stand your ground while still being respectful and having a good time. 

How have you been handling your lockdown family time since the coronavirus outbreak? Tell us here.

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Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
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Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 678 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 282 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
50% - 1554 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 40 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 558 votes