Where Are You From?
Dealing with annoying questions.
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I DO believe many folks are generally harmless and interested in doing more than pointing out cultural stereotypes, but I can't say that for everyone. And, occasionally, you might get the notion that someone is trying to take advantage of you. It's important in each situation to evaluate whether you are being made to feel uncomfortable or in any danger. And this goes for just about any question you are asked. Some folks are just nosy, but if you have any sense of being threatened, excuse yourself and get somewhere safe. It's good to remember that you are only expected to stretch yourself so far with politeness. When the other person becomes overtly impolite, it is no longer your job to be polite to them -- unless it IS your job. At that point, you'll have to talk to your manager.
Hopefully, I'm being a little over the top there, and these questions are mostly coming from harmless friends and co-workers who are more curious than they are courteous. You might remind yourself that even polite people like you have other things to do or think about from time to time. Offering a small answer and applying your attention to something else will, many times, get the point across. If this does not discourage them, just tell the person that you have a lot on your mind and couldn't possibly work out a meaningful conversation at the moment.
Thanks again for the email, Tatiana! I would love a description of the person's face when you tell them you are from Alabama!
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