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My friend asks too many questions

March 16, 2017 | By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
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How do you handle a friend who asks too many questions…to the extent that you feel like you’re being interrogated?

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

My friend is constantly asking me questions and I have no idea what her motive is. She asked me what meds I take, what my doctor’s name is, etc. She will ask me when I did something, what day, what time, was I by myself, what was I wearing? UGH!

Signed, Maura

ANSWER

Hi Maura,

There are many reasons why someone might ask too many questions: For example, the person might be very anxious and need to keep up conversation. Or…the person may not have the social etiquette to know when questions begin to feel invasive rather than signaling genuine interest.

The person also may feel like she has a more intimate relationship with you than you do with her.

Regardless of why your friend acts this way, I can understand how uncomfortable it might make you feel. It sounds like she’s asking questions that you don’t feel like answering.

I suspect a problem like this may be tough to resolve. If you want to maintain the friendship, you can have a talk with your friend and let her know that she asks too many personal questions, to the extent that you often feel uncomfortable when you’re together.

If she can’t remedy her ways, you may have to see her less often and/or be more assertive about telling her you don’t want to talk about things that you would rather keep private.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene


You’re not the only one having this problem.

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Category: RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (7)

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  1. Ariane says:

    Ask her why does she need to know about (fill in the blank). Make her feel uncomforable. I find nowadays people in general ask too many personal questions. I live in another country and am I frequently asked intrusive quetions. I don’t feel the need to quench anyone’s curiousity especially if I have no click with him/her meaning if I don’t see possible friendship or a necessary working relationship with him/her I don’t see the need for that person to know loads about me. And even with friendships there should be boundaries as well. I think if these aren’t established earlier on in the relationship then things can run amuk in regards to the interrogations. You can also put a sarcastic spin on it and say “Hmmmm, do you work for the FBI now?” Or deflect her questions back on her. She probably wouldn’t be my friend for long because it sounds like she lacks boundaries or possibly has none. Talk her about it. If she isn’t willing to tone it down dump her or don’t deal with on a regular or frequent basis.

  2. Tanya says:

    I think people have different set of boundaries and different expectations of friendship. Some people prefer one or two close friends where they really connect on a deep level. Others prefer tons of friends but no one really close. My sister likes having a few friends close and she shares everything. She puts herself out there in the hopes that they will put themselves out there as well and a connection is formed. However, once she feels close she may ask too personal of questions, some people will not mind because they have shared so much anyway that it makes sense that she would ask that question. But another person may mind, they may give you information then suddenly draw back. So I always tell my sister to be careful for that.

    I on the other hand am closed off. I reveal information to those I feel close to or connected to in the moment. However, I may feel guilty for revealing too much and then iii act like a stranger for our next meeting, which can be confusing. I am connected to my sister and I have lots of friends that I have known for 5 yrs since I moved here and they still feel like acquaintances to me, although I have let them in to an extent. Just recently, I let my friend of 5 yrs know that I am on medication for anxiety. She was shocked I didn’t mention this before! So naturally she asked more questions.

    I guess I am saying that if these questions come out of the blue it is odd. But if there is a natural progression to what lead to this questioning, it is common sense to expect these questions. That is the consequence of opening up on an issue. And how you feel about the relationship.

  3. Lady Mary says:

    I had to smile at this but not in a mocking way. I so relate to this scenario. I don’t have friends who do this but my daughter-in-law and sister-in-law grill me like this. Drives me bonkers. I’ve seen articles online about “smart people ask lots of questions.” So I think it’s a thing….? I don’t know. It does seem like manners in general have tanked. Maura, the only advice I have is to tell her that you realize she doesn’t mean to come across as nosey, but she does, and her excessive questioning eventually makes you uncomfortable. Since the friendship is not balanced, what do you have to lose by laying it out there….?

  4. Latasha says:

    You’re not obligated to answer any questions unless you under oath in a courtroom setting. Just casually say to your friend each time she dives too deep for you, “This conversation is over.” If she asks “why” say it come under the “Nunya Clause” None Of Your Business, then keep walking, if she persists then say too much familiarity breeds contempt and point our that you don’t grill her like a cheese sandwich.

  5. Amy F says:

    Sounds to me like you and your friend gave different boundaries and different definitions of the emotional intimacy of your friendship. When this happens, the person with the looser boundaries (her) has to acquiescence to the wishes of the friend with the stronger boundaries. Sometimes this means the relationship won’t be satisfying to the person who wants more, and that probably signifies the friendship won’t last.
    You might want to respond, next time she asks questions, “When you ask me so many questions, I feel uncomfortable and it makes me less interested in talking with you.” Unless you tell her, she may not be picking up on your cues that her questions feel intrusive. .
    If you’ve encountered this with other friends in the past and see a pattern, you might want to examine whether you’re too closed off to have close interpersonal relationships.

  6. Irene (the other one) says:

    My advice is: Don’t give too much information about yourself. Some people gather information about others, which, at a given time – perhaps at a time of falling out – will then use against them, by passing this information to others, who may then mock you. There are things you should keep totally private, particularly that which is nearest to your heart, because that’s where you are most likely to get hurt. Be wise in what you say.

    • Melinda says:

      I agree with Irene! Because I have experienced people doing that to me in the past, I’m much more careful about sharing information with others.
      A lot of people can’t be trusted.

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