I'm going to say this to my parents. Unless your friends are kind of jerks they wont interrogate you about your exact schedule. (that said, I do aim at treating her the way I would an adult roommate.) Why is receiving an invite considered such a stressor and its ok not to get back to the person. Or else, Id rather people not start a conversation unless they have something specific to say, unless its somebody like my sister who I know well enough to talk about nothing and enjoy it. A short, simple reply can be all it takes for you to let them know you appreciate their comment. Me: Nope. its BANK HOLIDAY?. I kind of resent that you assume I will tell you. Im busy! It's healthy and doesn't cost a penny. E- Excitement. What is the stuff?? Because everybodys got something. I appreciate the suggestions about responses, having to deal with a pushy in-law (nosy for information and has a big sense of entitlement). I can find someone else, so dont worry if youd rather not-Mittens likes you, so I thought of you first, but I know at least two people who have been angling for some alone time with the fountain., Translation: Here are all the ridiculous things I am asking for, and the dubious rewards I can offer in exchange. "I'm not saying I hate you, what I'm saying is that you are literally. I felt disliked, maybe undervalued, often embarrassed (and some of that came from my own brainweasles or ablism in broader society, not primarily my parents) but never unsafe. And they tend to be very very very sure of what counts as racism (nothing they do/say, of course), with an overlay of you should be grateful I am nice to you to wrap it all up. You are doing things and going places. It generally meant that they had read somewhere on some really stupid website that you should try to get the girl you want to talk about herself, because girls like to talk about themselves. It is one of my pet peeves. Here's a more thorough list of things Siri manages to do well most of the time: Making a call / Facetime. Its the same here. And it happens often enough, with friends/family/acquaintances, that it can get annoying, but I generally dont jump straight to why do you ask unless theyve previously over-stepped in presuming my time was theirs since Im doing nothing (that I want them to know about or feel like talking about). Thats because I regard is as manipulative and Im very surprised that some people consider it a way to make saying no easier instead of harder. Lots of commenters here are noting that people ask about weekend plans as small talk. I never know how to respond when service people ask How are you? and is seems almost like a variation of just saying hi. is how this has been explained to me, and it makes perfect sense. If they want to tell you about their job, they can. You obviously dont have to do things any differently than you are, BUT if this conversation is frustrating and/or awkward, you may find that it goes more smoothly if you offer something up. So if someone said What are you doing next Thursday? I imagine they said Would you like to do something on Thursday? Is it a throwaway social nicety, or a veiled attempt to get you to accept a task or invite? You're still implying you have a lot going on, but you're demonstrating that you're handling it. Its been pretty good policy.) Indoor Cat raised some good points. I decided we couldnt be friends anymore after one time I told her I couldnt babysit and she said, Your calendar says youre free. If someone asks me the question, I am happy, because that means they are probably inviting me somewhere. Because our societys patterns absolutely will not let anyone think it could be possible that what I, for example, would be doing with that time is letting my brain process the mathematics that will lead to an invention that most of us will never hear about, but it will make all of our lives better. Tell me more! Of course I would never do this it would be returning the aggression but its a real puzzle to me. This is just a funny response to give because it is the opposite of what they had asked just you. Good, I just saw the cutest squirrel.. (this one may not be my wheelhouse anyway, no translation needed. Call me. Does *your* phone not work? ME: Great! Then there is the Miss Manners rebuff, where the pitch is level until the final word is raised. IMO the correct answer to we should get lunch some time or lets hang out is actually sure, Saturdays are generally good for me or Ive been meaning to see Black Panther. How can I ask in a way that minimizes that feeling? I read the question; did all of you who are saying its only about the manipulative cases? I understand how it can be othering and I never ask anyone where theyre from first. Sounds like hes a robot instructed to find out a fun thing the customer is doing later. Well, have fun whatever you end up doing / decide to do. When I am planning an event I usually offer a description of what I have planned first and then we move to scheduling but most of that is done in social media or by e-mail these days. She could NOT grasp that she was experiencing a cultural difference and the question wasnt going to stop because a) people were genuinely curious and/or wanted to show they were interested in her as a person and b) she was living in a part of the country where small talk was expected and people would consider it rude NOT to ask that question. !" 6) "Come back here weekend!! If you want to invite them, INVITE. Oh god then you might need to find less-jerky friends, probably. This is about the blandest, most banal small talk question I can think of.). Any/all such inquiries get an automatic Unsure have to ask my other half., Sans that Id just go with Unsure. Him: Nothing fun? Which I guess was appropriately scary for the season? 3.If LW does not want to do the babysitting or isnt available for it on weekends, that should be a separate conversation with those people and maybe set of boundaries to discuss with them. I then fully expect to be the person who takes the next step of saying yay! It kind of sucks to be going about your business and then people remind you that you dont fit in. Jana: I'm good. Someone responding with why do you ask? would basically make me instantly take a mental step back from that person in terms of comfort level. Funny Responses to "What Are You Doing?" I love having something witty, funny, or even sarcastic cued up in response to one of the most common questions asked in any given day. But in the age of smart phones I also find Im going to have to check my email before I say yes to that, so let me get back to you helpful. Her dad would not agree with a move to force her to move out. You? @freyasacksen I have a friend who will almost always respond with, Still alive. Always true. Numbered point 4 specifically says LW doesnt understand why people are asking this, hence the many explanations of different reasons people ask, and while the possible manipulation is noted in numbered points 2 and 3, its not the only thing LW is asking about, while point 3 suggests to me that LW may well be reading manipulation into cases where people are just curious or are actually trying to do the planning themselves (by finding out if LW is even available for a possible activity), not trying to make zir do the planning, as ze suspects. People here are talking about changing a norm, but you have in fact learned the norm correctly, and Im sure this whole conversation feels like slipping sand beneath your feet. I find the amount of people suggesting this interesting. If someone just says yeah that tells me theyre not actually that interested. parents of adult children pull this exact same rude little stunt, I am the parent of an adult child who is living at home, and I have been training myself since her teenhood to say, I would like to claim some of your time this weekend or I would like to ask a favor for this weekend, if youre available. or would you help me with X instead of are you busy? (OK, sometimes Ill say, Are you busy? I think it would be helpful for folks to give LW the benefit of the doubt that she/he is not taking the time to write in to an advice column over very simple coworker small talk questions. This relationship goes both ways. Are you busy? Like oh youd rather do nothing at all than do this activity with me, wow., I wish I had better boundaries around that. Fill in the gaps using the correct form of Future Simple Tense. As I explained, however, sometimes responding to a compliment requires a funny response. If you dont want to go, just say so. For an acquaintance, depends. You: Oh, I have a few plans but Im free for the good stuff!. Silly Friend: what are you doing this weekend? This week is bad for me, but next week Im free except Tuesday. But I have made a major effort to train myself to STATE WHAT I WANT first. Umm.pardon me, I wasn't listening. If you dont want to do something tell them youre not allowed and your parents are really strict etc. The professor went to the restroom. after reading a ton of CAs archives I feel comfortable telling people, Im up to nothing both Saturday and Sunday, and I CANNOT WAIT. She looks so comfortable. They help us tons, just because they love us and were family. If an invitation to something materializes at this reply, I have no problem saying No. Mentioning your actual plans is one. Try these instead. Funny Responses To How Are You Save Image: Shutterstock Somewhere between better and best. Do I think X is a fair thing to insist upon? Luckily my husband is a Mega Introvert as well (sometimes more than me) and understands my feelings. (Im a lady dating ladies btw, if thats relevant, though I have also dated men before and my experience is definitely colored by some of the emotional labor / potential gender-related danger issues some of the commenters pointed out thats spot on). None of us see each other over weekends. I thought why do you ask? meant you are being nosy. I dont use it myself because I dont like the way it comes across. Its totally true that you can opt out of those things. I went to a lot of meetings I did not want to go because of this, cause I pretty much was cornered into it after admitting I have not set plans.. But I like to think that Im better at saying no now, even though people do sometimes react badly. Nothing much. (To the point where one of my coworkers will sometimes ask What are you doing this weekend? I was taught that if you are actually inviting people for something, its rude to do it by asking them what theyre doing that night first, because it traps them without a believable excuse for saying no. Later that evening I find out through facebook that HE went out ice skating, with several of our friends, and he had never even mentioned to me that he was going, let alone asked if I wanted to come too! In this post, we'll throw out tons of ways you can tackle this question, from funny to maybe even downright rude. Why not? You can also better manage your time because you can text her at anytime you want. Then Ill say Whats up? or Whats going on then? or What did you have in mind?. It can still get extremely wearing through, and I do wish people would think more about when this conversation is appropriate and when Im maybe not up for answering a litany of questions that literally every stranger asks me (ie when Im obviously exhausted and struggling with four bags of groceries that I have to cart away on foot). And it is really freaking wearing on them that people in the UK will correct them if they say theyre British. I find looking out for the people who cause difficulty when things dont go their way, is more useful than trying to figure out all the numerous different ways common interactions could be interpreted and trying to use the right one for every situation. There are a couple of questions my Mother asks that trigger a Pavlovian eye-roll from me because I know they are invariably followed by a request for a favor, to the point where if someone else asks me the same question in a totally innocuous way, I still react to it. I ticked the following boxes: 1) had conversation, 2) got her to talk about herself, 3) gave her questions so she could talk about herself some more to make her feel good, 4) she was talking to me, AND I saw her smile! I have a friend that would ask me what Im doing and when I say, Nothing the next thing is, Well, lets meet for lunch and then irritation and shock when I say Id rather not. Funnily enough, my co-workers are also doing laundry. And then they get all pissy because the girl is taken aback by being asked out so abruptly by this guy about whom she knows pretty much nothing except his appearance. Or something. ? comments. Figuring out how my plans fit together is my problem, not anyone elses. Are you willing? or, if Im feeling that Im entitled to demand it, Ill say, are you available? (example: Im not going to react well if you want to play Minecraft instead of helping me wrap the favors for grandpas birthday dinner; if youre getting together with friends, online or IRL, or doing homework, OK). This breaks the meaningless exchange of localized variations in air pressure aspect of the typical greeting, and most people seem to respond favorably to having good things introduced into a conversation. Most people would rather talk about themselves than anyone else, so turning the question back to them will almost always divert them from further questions about what Im doing. I like to use Oh, you know, just some of the usual weekend stuff. But, in the long run, in my life, I think the conflict over emotional labor and fair division of chores, while sometimes painful and frustrating, was something we were able to move past when I moved out because I never felt unsafe. If you want! Thaaats what Im telling myself about my children anyway. Its a little more inconvenient to go to a different branch, but I do that sometimes, or mobile banking or attempt to time it so that I end up with another teller. Like "How are you?" can be asked formally and informally, the response of that can be a unique one, too. What you are currently doing. People hinting around leading up to asking for dates: Pretty much the same deal, only much more dangerous. But I think its disingenuous? This might just be a difference in communication styles. I also ignore We should hang out soon! It doesnt replace actually reaching out to me and trying to set up plans. But sometimes its manipulative, as LW also said. Your mother/father and I are going to X, would you like to come along?. I cant see into the future and neither can the people in my life. Tomorrow is the weekend! Except LW specifically said that with the peer-friends who are not using it as entrapment, LW doesnt find it problematic at all.
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