If you’re like me, you probably wish you knew some polite ways to say none of your business or mind your own business when a nosey friend asks about a private matter. Or when someone from work inquires about the conversation you just had behind-closed-doors with your boss.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like talking about something. It may be a private matter, or a sensitive issue, or even someone else’s issue.
Truth be told, you might not feel comfortable talking about an issue, or you might even think it’s not your place to talk about the matter. Either way, when someone directly asks you about the sensitive situation, you usually feel like you need to have a response.
But proper etiquette tells us that we should be polite, right?
Fortunately, there are ways to say “none of your business” or “mind your own business” without being rude. It helps to be prepared and practice some responses ahead of time, if possible.
Let’s look at some simple responses you could say instead of mind your own business.
What Does None of Your Business Mean?
There are two responses people generally want to use when confronted with questions about a private matter:
- Mind your own business.
- It’s none of your business.
People might even be inclined to simply say the acronym MYOB.
Wikipedia has an entire page about these phrases:
“Mind your own business” is a common English saying which asks for a respect of other people’s privacy. It strongly suggests that a person should stop interfering in what does not affect themselves. Contextually, it is often used in an argument or dispute as a remark to refute, reject, disregard, or discourage others’ concerns or comments
When using these phrases, you are somewhat rudely telling the person not to ask about something that does not concern them. Often times, it comes with an annoyed tone of voice and may offend the person asking the questions.
Why Do People Ask Personal Questions
People have a wide degree of opinions about what constitutes personal questions or a personal matter. Plus, some people don’t have the life experience to know that they are asking inappropriate questions.
Try to be patient in these situations because it’s usually not worth getting upset about. The person asking the questions could become truly embarrassed if they don’t realize it’s a sensitive matter, or they won’t care anyway.
There are also potential cultural differences that could cause barriers in communication about private matters. So you can offer a polite response and move on.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to say mind your own business, or it’s none of your business, in a polite and proper manner.
Polite Ways to Say None of Your Business
When someone asks about a private matter, you can choose a good way to respond rather than risk being rude or starting an argument.
Plus, remember it’s absolutely not necessary to elaborate on your answer. Make it simple and move on. We are sometimes inclined to keep talking — but just don’t. It’s not necessary.
On a positive note, you might even politely teach someone a lesson about not asking personal questions in the future.
- Don’t worry about it. I’ve got this!
- I’d prefer not to talk about it.
- I’d rather not go into details if you don’t mind.
- Thanks for asking but I’m not ready to talk about that yet.
- That’s not my story to tell.
- Thanks for your concern but it’s personal.
- I’m still sorting it out, let’s talk later.
- I don’t want to think about it right now. Let’s talk about you.
- I need some time to think through this on my own.
- It’s not my place to say anything about it.
- I’m a private person and I’m not comfortable sharing.
- That’s rather private information that I’d prefer not to discuss.
- These are uncomfortable questions so let’s not discuss this right now.
- Their issue is none of my business so I prefer not to discuss it.
- I appreciate your interest, but I prefer to handle it in my own way.
- Give me some time to work things out and I’ll fill you in as soon as I can.
- I have no comment right now.
- I’m still trying to figure things out, but if I think I can use your help, I’ll let you know.
- It’s really not your concern, but I appreciate your inquiry.**
**This is somewhat more confrontational so I would only use this in situations where I’m trying to make a point.
There is no one best answer to questions about private matters, but you do not need to discuss something that makes you uncomfortable. Give your full attention to the person asking questions, and use a friendly tone of voice when you respond with a polite phrase. Just know that your private life is yours.
The next time you need a polite way to tell someone to mind their own business, use these phrases without any hesitation or regret. Don’t be mean or upset about it. Some people just don’t know it’s not appropriate to ask about a difficult situation or personal matter. Use a nice way to say mind your own beeswax!
Good luck! You’ve got this! Do the right thing and rise above being rude in these situations. It’s really not worth your peace of mind to become upset with nosey people. At the end of the day, a polite response is the best way!
Love to ALL! Susan
Do You Have Polite Ways to Say None of Your Business?
I would love to hear about the ways you handle these situations. Please share in the comment section below:)