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#1 May 5th, 2016, 21:19
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#1
An Introvert in India .

I have been bought up to be honest truthful and open but India causes me anxiety .

Its the lack of privacy , personal space and constant questioning .

Are you married . Where is your wife . How many Children do you have . Why are you not married . Why don't you have children ? A constant stream of questions and then ...its your duty as a man to wed and have children .

Now I like to be honest and open but as a gay man and an atheist too then explaining that has caused embarrassment , silence and at times confusion and even hostility . The fact that I married a man and divorced , even more difficult .

So at times I have had to make up stories . I even told someone my wife was at home looking after the children because that was where she belonged . That answer pleased the questioner very much but left me feeling dishonest .

Being an Introvert then I need my quiet , an escape from all the questions . How do you cope with the natural inquisitiveness but barrage of questions ?
#2 May 5th, 2016, 21:25
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  • nayan is offline
#2
You do not need to be "open" with strangers.

As a country of 1.3 billion there is very little concept of personal space in public areas. You need to create your own mental space.
Same advice as I would give a woman(and use myself) - if someone is too inquisitive stop responding to them. Bring out a book or your phone and start reading or browsing. Even the most thick skinned will get the message.

Anyone can ask questions. You are not forced to answer them.
#3 May 5th, 2016, 21:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayan View Post You do not need to be "open" with strangers.

As a country of 1.3 billion there is very little concept of personal space in public areas. You need to create your own mental space.
Same advice as I would give a woman(and use myself) - if someone is too inquisitive stop responding to them. Bring out a book or your phone and start reading or browsing. Even the most thick skinned will get the message.

Anyone can ask questions. You are not forced to answer them.
I agree!

And nothing wrong with a little fib to a total stranger. A few times I said I was from Canada when I was in an Arab area.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#4 May 5th, 2016, 21:38
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#4
Yes I suppose i can be too open but when you find yourself in a situation then all the questions do become difficult and i hate having to be 'closed' . Makes me anxious at times
#5 May 5th, 2016, 21:44
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#5
Any special reason to select "Scams and Annoyances in India" Forum to discuss your questions/doubts, Artbrut?
#6 May 5th, 2016, 22:10
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Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Any special reason to select "Scams and Annoyances in India" Forum to discuss your questions/doubts, Artbrut?
Well it can be very annoying to be bombarded with questions all the time, No?

But it never bothered me. I usually had fun with it.
#7 May 5th, 2016, 22:27
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#7
Yes it was the annoyances I meant . Its part of India i find very challenging . At home in England you are just completely ignored / anonymous
#8 May 5th, 2016, 22:47
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artbrut View Post An Introvert in India .

I have been bought up to be honest truthful and open but India causes me anxiety .

Its the lack of privacy , personal space and constant questioning .

Are you married . Where is your wife . How many Children do you have . Why are you not married . Why don't you have children ? A constant stream of questions and then ...its your duty as a man to wed and have children .

Now I like to be honest and open but as a gay man and an atheist too then explaining that has caused embarrassment , silence and at times confusion and even hostility . The fact that I married a man and divorced , even more difficult .

So at times I have had to make up stories . I even told someone my wife was at home looking after the children because that was where she belonged . That answer pleased the questioner very much but left me feeling dishonest .

Being an Introvert then I need my quiet , an escape from all the questions . How do you cope with the natural inquisitiveness but barrage of questions ?
No worries, Artbrut. I'm an introvert and I know of at least one other introvert who travels in India. My best advice is to find a quiet place to be by yourself for an hour or so. The museum in Jaipur was a good spot there. My driver took me to a park in Agra where I had a view of the Taj. A little time alone to recharge, and I was as good as new.

As for the constant questions, you know in advance that you will be asked, so you have time now to decide what to do. I told one person that my boyfriend would be along soon (total lie) and I told others that I was divorced (true). It's up to you how much you want to divulge. Your personal business is personal and only belongs to those you want to share with. You can even say things like, "I really don't want to discuss that. Say, have you seen the latest Shahrukh Khan movie?" This could keep the conversation going if you so choose, but would take it in a direction where you both would be happy to continue it.

I was a little worried about India before my first trip. I'm not only an introvert, but also claustrophobic. I was worried that I would be yelling at people on trains to stop breathing my oxygen. That didn't happen. I had an amazing time. I knew my limits, like when I needed a break, and that helped me relax and enjoy my time in India. I really hope you enjoy your trip, too.
#9 May 5th, 2016, 22:57
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#9
Thanks , am planning my second visit . My first 2 years ago didn't quite go as planned as i had a few panic attacks because of anxiousness . I would try to find somewhere quiet to relax and read a book and would be surrounded by curious others . I found the attention very stressful at times
#10 May 5th, 2016, 23:00
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#10
How about a 'No English / Little English' response to people who ask (too much / personal) questions?
#11 May 5th, 2016, 23:01
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#11

Smile

:d
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post how about a 'no english / little english' response to people who ask (too much / personal) questions?
loves that idea
#12 May 5th, 2016, 23:29
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#12
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Originally Posted by aarosh View Post How about a 'No English / Little English' response to people who ask (too much / personal) questions?
Yes. And I also used the I-pod as a way to not answer. It doesn't even have to be on. Just keep walking and pretend you can't hear because your listening to music. I would point to my ears and give the gesture that I can't hear you even though it was off. Works every time.
#13 May 7th, 2016, 02:34
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#13
I agree with Artbrut, the Indian penchant for asking probing personal questions of casual strangers is SERIOUSLY annoying! I appreciate that Indians are outgoing and do engage with visitors. But we westerners so often have the wrong answers to the barrage of questions, and it gets wildly awkward quickly. One enjoys talking to strangers when visiting another country, but after you've begun the conversation and are still waiting in the railway ticket line next to the person, you can no longer really activate the "i-phone strategy" or the "No Ispick Ingliss strategy."

You are from!
You are married?!
How many children!
Why not!

Why are Indians so concerned that a perfect stranger MUST marry (heterosexually) and have children? Try being an ageing female without children. Can't tell you how many times I've got lectures from strangers on how my life is meaningless if I don't have children. I mean, they really obviously care! Somehow the fabric of the universe is disturbed for them if they meet someone who chooses not to follow that particular life path.

For god's sake, there are so many other topics that are pleasant to talk about with strangers. If you like talking pleasantly to strangers, Well, thank you, that's very nice. But doesn't it EVER OCCUR TO YOU that if somebody has a "wrong answer" to one of your personal questions, it almost certainly reflects either
a) a personally painful situation that they didn't choose, or
b) a choice or personal characteristic, in which case, what the hell inspires you to tell them right here in the railway ticket line that their choice or characteristic is all wrong?!

Okay, sorry, I'll wipe the spittle off the computer screen and try to come up with a vaguely useful strategy.

How about
"Not yet. And how about you, where are you from?""
or
"It's complicated. And how about you, what do you do?"
(Modelling neutral questions in the vain hope that they pick up on it, and changing the topic as quickly as possible. I admit I've never had the presence of mind to do this.)

I tried lying and made up children, then made them old enough to be in boarding school to excuse my absence from them, but then it only led to more detailed interrogation and I'd mix up my lies.
"When did you get married? ... Oh but your son is 12." (Oooops)
(But I mean, my god, imagine that in the west?! Who EVER expects that the mom must still be married to the dad when her kid is 12? I mean she might be, but if she isn't you sure as hell don't ask a stranger why not!!!!)

Ooh, gonna punch a hole through the "!" key on my keyboard so I'd better close here.
#14 May 7th, 2016, 04:49
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonIndianResident View Post I One enjoys talking to strangers when visiting another country, but after you've begun the conversation and are still waiting in the railway ticket line next to the person, you can no longer really activate the "i-phone strategy" or the "No Ispick Ingliss strategy."
That is precisely the time to adopt the phone strategy
Pretend you have to check your messages and then continue fiddling with the phone. Pretend to be so busy(and stern) that you are not able to hear all the questions aimed at you at all.

You do not need to respond to inquisitiveness. Will they think you rude? most likely. Does that really matter to you?
#15 May 7th, 2016, 09:10
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#15
How about 'I do not want to answer personal questions?'

You could add a sorry in the beginning if you want to be overly polite, but I wouldn't bother about that.
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