Friday, April 3, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge "C is for..."

...Comments and Questions; Rude, Critical or Obnoxious, How to Respond
From the series "Words Matter" 
by Shelly Burke, RN, Author, and Publisher, Nebraska Family Times Newspaper

When people make a rude, critical or obnoxious comment it's usually unintentional and not meant to offend or criticize the recipient of the comment. However, some people consistently go too far with their improper comments and questions. 

Consider the circumstances before you make your reply. If the comment comes from a stranger who just left her manners at home, answer (or ignore it) with a smile. However, if the person who made the remark has a history of asking overly-personal questions or making hurtful comments, you might choose to offer a stronger response. Whatever your approach, do it in a spirit of Christian love and grace. 

What to Say

  • With a disbelieving expression and a polite, surprised tone, ask, "WHAT did you just say?" (Sometimes when a person repeats the comment he will realize how inappropriate it was.)
  • "Wow! What a question! There is no right answer to that one!"
  • "That's kind of an inappropriate thing to say to me..."
  • "That's something I'm not going to talk about."
  • "I don't discuss that with anyone but my family."
What not to Say (even when you are tempted to)
  • "You are a horrible person to say something like that. I don't ever want to hear you do that again."
  • "Obviously your mother didn't teach you any manners!"
What to Do
  • Try silence and an "I cannot believe you just said that" look with eyes and mouth wide open and eyebrows raised. Perhaps the person will realize the inappropriateness of the remark.
  • Remain pleasant and kind; you can make your point with kindness and grace.
  • Change the subject without acknowledging the comment. 
  • ...respond by returning and insult or rude comment.
  • ...reply to a rude or obnoxious question or comment if you don't want to.
What is YOUR best response to a rude, inappropriate or critical question or comment? 

This post is an excerpt from “What Should I Say? The Right (and Wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life’s Sticky, Tricky Uncomfortable Situations” 
by Shelly Burke, RN. 
Coming soon! Download “What Should I Say” and be prepared for any of life’s sticky, tricky uncomfortable situations!

The mission of the “Nebraska Family Times” is to “inspire, encourage and motivate you on your Christian walk.” To receive local, state and national news from a Christian point of view, as well as devotions, Bible Study and articles about all aspects of Christian life, in your mailbox every month, subscribe for only $20 for 12 issues! Click “Subscribe” on the sidebar or send your address and payment to Nebraska Family Times, 209 27th St. Apt. #13, Columbus, NE 68601.

I am also taking the Blogging A to Z Challenge at


  1. Words certainly do matter! I am often appalled at people and the questions they ask. You give some great responses that are probably more effective than what I currently do so thanks for that! Happy a-zing...
    Michele at Angels Bark

  2. Thank you for commenting Michele and Happy A to Z to you too!


Thank you for your comments!