How to deal with very curious inlaws?

posted 5 months ago in Married Life
Post # 2
2917 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

it sounds like they’re just showing an interest in your family and making conversation by asking questions. My Mother-In-Law has only met my sister and mother once but will often ask questions like how their relationships are going or how work is going. It seems normal to me.

ultimately you can’t control what other people tell them (mutual friend), you can only control what you say to them and I think it would come off poorly if you were to somehow ask them to stop talking about your family… 

peachnlello :  

Post # 3
938 posts
Busy bee

If they heard it from a mutual friend, it doesn’t sound like they were prying into your life or anything. It sounds like it was unsolicited info given to them and they were trying to be kind to ask you about it.

I understand being a private person, but neither of these questions seem invasive to me at all. Especially if other people know about them or they are being posted to Facebook. They aren’t private topics so I don’t see what the issue is.

Post # 4
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

I understand being a private person but if the info was shared with them by a mutual friend there is not much you can do other than speak to that individual and ask them not to share information. From what you’ve described, it sounds like the kind of questions I ask my DIL about her family – and I don’t do it to snoop but simply to show interest in HER and her family and make conversation. She’s welcome to share as little or as much as she wants to, just like you.

Post # 5
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Maybe they feel that from you they are not getting information, but still are curious and want to know more things about you and your family. If they did not have the chance to speak with you or you sharing this information, how would they be able to talk WITH you about it? I mean, maybe it is a bit odd, that they suddenly had a lot of info, but it’s also because it was a long time they haven’t seen you. What I want to say is: You haven’t been seeing them, but how do you expect them to talk WITH you about things, when you’re not present? (I just assume that you don’t write or talk to them over phone) So how could they ask you those things directly?

I don’t really see the matter either, because it’s just that they were given some general info, they didn’t talk bad about you or your family behind your back.

Post # 6
9391 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Sounds like they’re trying to make conversation. I think you’re really looking too hard into this.

Post # 7
909 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Use what’s called “minimal response” or “grey rock.”

“We’re good.” “It’s fine.” “Okay, as far as I know.” “Seems fine.” “We’ll have to wait and see.” “I haven’t heard.” “I suppose so.” “Sooner or later.” “I don’t know.” 

The advantage, other than giving no information and thus no food for gossip, is that it’s so boring people often give up trying to pry information out of you.

Post # 8
8815 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

peachnlello :  If you have mutual family friends, it seem natural that when your in-laws hear something pleasant about your family, that it would be a topic of conversation next time they see you. I don’t see how asking if your sister is enjoying her new house or if your brother is happy after his move, is prying into YOUR life. They’re asking harmless questions about publically available information. If you don’t want to answer, give vague answers like “Oh, I’m not sure” or “I haven’t talked with him lately.” 

I don’t understand your distinction between talking to you about things vs talking with you. First of all, the topics you gave as examples are not personal things about your life, and second, it sounds like they are trying to talk with you about them and you shoot them down by asking “where did you hear that” as if it’s some big secret that they’re divulging. 

Post # 9
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I agree with Daisy Mae.  I think they’re just being friendly/making conversation.  Most people enjoy talking about the people they love, especially good/new/exciting things (new hosue, new city, etc) It sounds like you don’t LIKE them and that you might be looking for a reason to be annoyed at them.  People ask about other people.  It’s human nature.  I suppose you could shut them down with “I don’t want to talk about that” but I’m not sure you’d get a great response.  

Post # 10
6407 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

It doesn’t sound like your in-laws meant any harm, and in communities, word about things gets around. They may not have even had to ask to have all the information they did. Your in-laws may have heard these things and felt they were harmless and good things for conversation (especially because they mostly sound like positive events).

Unless they regularly pry about private things you don’t want to talk about, I think that perhaps you are being a little bit sensitive.

Post # 11
3029 posts
Sugar bee

peachnlello :  I agree with PPs: those questions are so very “vanilla” that it’s difficult to understand why you are so upset.

Post # 14
793 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

peachnlello :  I agree that you have a right to whatever boundaries are comfortable for you. That level of privacy might be a bit more stringent than the norm though, so it may be necessary to have a chat with them and let them know how you feel. I wouldn’t think they meant anything by it and it would be hard to predict that it would be upsetting to you. If they don’t respond well or respect the boundaries that you draw, make another post and I bet you’ll get some good advice.

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