What do I do in situations where, in a social group, somebody starts to say something totally inappropriate for the situation and I need to interrupt the speech, and talk about something more neutral. Or somebody asks questions I do not wish to answer. In both cases I need to be very polite but do not know what to do or say. Please help. – Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

It can be very uncomfortable when you are with a group of people and someone begins to say or ask inappropriate topics of conversation.

First, try to draw as little attention to the matter as possible. I would say nothing and as soon as the person is finished talking, I would immediately go back to the conversation at hand.

If this person continues to say things publicly that make you uncomfortable, your best bet is to speak with this person privately and mention that these questions they ask make you uncomfortable and could they please respect your privacy and not ask such things.

 

• Have a question? Email Charles at askcharlesthebutler@metronews.ca.

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