Realizing that the foundation of etiquette is pleasant boundaries. The kind that hints that you might be joking, but there's a chance you might not. Even when all signs point to rude, I usually just smile at them and say, "I don't wanna get into it. Hmm, why do you ask?
No time to chat! Tolerance goes both ways. I don't like to discuss that" would have gotten her point across, and I probably wouldn't still be shuddering years later. Since each one of us will feel differently about whether a question is nosey or not, this approach is polite and respectful. He said, "It's complicated. I'm an amateur musician and I spend a lot of time around musicians and none of them have any problem talking about how many hours a day they practice or used to practice. Start Here" links at the top of this page. I'm a musician, and you don't know me, but I could see why that'd be personal to some of the musicians I know - sometimes even myself. Someone close may want to know what you are writing, where you are going, about your health or wealth! Corbett, my little one, catches every illness within ten miles of a sneeze. The kind that hints that you might be joking, but there's a chance you might not. Anyway, how about those Mets? The last guy who tried this conversation with me as I was checking in, I just answered everything like "Oh, sort of for work. How much do you make? Just you at your authentic best! She could have made the same point in a kinder way. I never do that to people I don't know and I've never understood why people do that to me. What about you, [echo question back at them]. Have you got a mortgage? So I vote for "I'm sorry, but I'd rather not discuss that. That would be a "gentle push. Nosy questions are small talk and small talk is culturally required. I find that most nosy people don't have ill intent, but just may not have learned the best social graces yet. Nosy people have already proven themselves to be rude, so you should hardly expect them to make tactful remarks. How much do you earn?
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