What happens when a loved one, friend, or acquaintance says something truly inappropriate and crosses the line?
Some readers have shared that they feel blindsided, and speechless; and while the comments are uncomfortable and often hurt, they don’t know how to disengage or firmly end the conversation. Others shared a pre-planned reply, responding with something like, “How would you feel if someone said that to you?”
I’m not sure why people feel they have the right to make comments that express their thoughts on a personal trial that’s causing us pain. If you change the subject or walk away, you often still feel the sting of their words. And that pre-planned response? I tried it with someone and asked, “How would you feel if someone said that to you?” The person said they’d feel just fine so I’m not so sure the pre-planned reply is the way to go.
I’m going to suggest a new approach. When someone crosses the line and engages in a topic that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can say, “That’s something I don’t discuss.” If they press on, take your open hand, palm side down and lift your hand slightly as if to say “Stop;” and while making this gesture, say “Enough.” If you want to carry on the conversation, continue in another vein. Or, say, “It was good seeing you,” and move on.
Only you can decide when enough is enough.