I usually get ideas for my blog when talking to friends or seeing something online that I am passionate about. A few weeks ago I posted about “my womb, my business” and today when talking with a REALLY good friend (you know who you are) I realized all over again how their fertility is really not my business unless someone volunteers information or asks for my advice. We talked about the fact that even though we are close and share a lot.. this is a topic we don’t discuss and I would not ask about it.. as I realize it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
I am astounded at the amount of strangers who inquire into things that are NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Including the woman who came up to me two days ago and asked me what we pay in rent! I think, as women, we tend to think, “I have to be nice” or “I don’t want to be rude” to this perfect stranger.. so we answer them or we smile politely and demur quietly. NO MORE. NO is in fact, a complete sentence, you can say it with your body language and you can also change the subject or ignore the question.
Even worse though and much harder to deal with is the family member or friend who asks you a question that to a stranger, it’s one minute and over .. but with a family member it’s stickier because you don’t want to “offend” or “upset” them by being withholding.. but truly.. it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS either. I am not saying be rude, but think about what you want to say, and how much you want to share (IF ANYTHING) and remember your boundaries are the most important thing. IF your answer is, “I prefer not to discuss it” stick with that and don’t waver. For you reading this, if you are tempted to ask one of those seemingly harmless questions, please think twice and ask instead, “How are you?” or talk about something going on with you, I promise you, the person you are talking to would far rather talk about something you WANT to share, rather than something they DON’T want to talk about. Trust me, if they want to share with you, they will.
For instance, though I am intimate friends with someone and see her happily married, it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS if they are trying to have kids, want to have kids or even if they hate kids and don’t want them at all.
Also, if two of my friends are together and happy, it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS to ask so, when are you two getting married? (no matter how long they have been dating)
Also, if you see a friend with a baby, and you are curious if they are working towards another.. (say it with me) It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. You don’t know what someone is going through or has gone through. Your “innocent” question might just put them into a very awkward position of not answering you or searching for words to say when what they want to do is cry.
I think too often, women in particular, myself in specific, feel pressure to answer the question that is asked.. no matter how much it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. A few months ago, I saw a woman handle this beautifully, someone asked me about how I was feeling, (7 months and visibly pregnant) I said, “you know, tired and achy” and the person then turned to someone I was sitting next to (who I did not know) and said “So how about you and ____, when are you two going to get going on babies, kind of laughing as she said it.. (which suggests to me she was uncomfortable asking in the first place) This woman took a deep breath and said quietly, “That’s none of your business” and got up and walked away.
I don’t know her situation, but I know that she has a firm grip on her boundaries and at the end of the day, It’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS what her situation is. I salute her and and other women like her and I aim to be more like them.
As you might imagine, I am getting tons of questions as a new mom, and some i am choosing to answer or address, but I know MY boundaries and I encourage you to examine your own so you aren’t caught unawares when and if someone tries to encroach on yours.
THINK ABOUT IT.