How do I respond to innocent questions that really hurt?

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    ok, i cant be very literal and detailed about this because i dont want anyone to know my real identity. so lets see what i can work with… basically, i am not enrolled in a school for this year. my brother is iyh getting married in a few days and i am terrified at the prospect of being public. you see, everyone is going to ask me what school im in and i always feel so dumb saying im not in one. and people never know how to respond, either they interrogate me( why not? are you scared? are the rabbonim working on getting you in? where did you apply? dont your parents have any pull there? your siblings went to this school- why didnt they accept you?)

    or they bite their lips and look away awkwardly. and then run off. i am really not looking forward to my brothers wedding because of this. these days i pretty much just hide out at home so that i wont have to deal with everyone and i know im going to be really overwhelmed at the wedding. at the last public event i went to, i just hid in the bathroom the entire time but that is not an option now. im not sure why im telling you all this. ive really been spilling my life story here, im sorry about that. im kinda venting i guess. but i need some advice too.

    how should i respond to people that ask what school im in? God knows i cant deal with awkwardness anymore, i really cant.

    thanks in advance.

    Shopping613 🌠

    Tell them either:

    Its complicated or you are stilll deciding, or ignore the question…

    people will take a hint. Go and enjoy urself! Its ur brother’s WEDDING!!!!!! Just eat, dance and be with your friends and people will feel bad interupting to ask you random questions!

    Good luck! I hope everything with you is OK.


    Been there done that (different situations though) and yes, very uncomfortable for both people involved. You can try adopting a friend/sibling/cousin for the night and stick to them like glue and possibly avoid a long conversation because you’re “talking” to someone, or, before the questioner gets the chance to ask you, lead the conversation (still civil and friendly,) and ask them how their summer was, what color their ceiling is, how their pets doing etc. It wont save you from every question, but maybe it can save you from some. In theory, you can also name the last school you attended (unless it wouldn’t work) but at best, use it as a last resort because it can backfire really badly (especially with people getting info from multiple sources).

    And you phrased the title really well IMO. :-/ Good luck with the wedding and the school sitch.



    Best way to remove scrutiny is through laughter and showing that you aren’t bothered by it. When they ask say you don’t know yet. After that explain that you just aren’t sure yet and are debating between a few options. Laugh and go on how you know it’s such a last minute decision but you just aren’t sure yet. Be confident and continue the conversation so as to show nothing is bothering you. It will go right over their heads. Have a list of schools and reasons in your head prepared beforehand and just smile away.

    Hope I helped.


    Thats rough taom people at weddings and other social events can be so insensitive to people in your situation and singles, my first instinct was to tell you to lie pick a school and tell them you are going there but on second thought dishonesty is never the way to go look them square in the eyes and say i am not enrolled right but i am looking into different options, good luck with this and mazel tov!!!!!

    Luna Lovegood

    I was in a similar situation a few years ago and when people asked me what school I was in I just told them the name of one of the many schools I had applied to. Not because I was actually enrolled but because people wanted an answer and I figured that giving one of the names of the local schools would satisfy them. Most people don’t actually care which school you are going to. They ask just to be polite and figure it is an easy way to start a conversation. If you give a name such as ‘Bais Yaakov of so and so’the average aunt, neighbor or family friend will smile, say ‘oh how nice’ and move on.

    I knew someone who came to high school in NY from either Arizona or Tennesse or something like that and had gone to public school. When people asked her which elementary school she went to she felt uncomfortable saying she had gone to public school so she made up a name that sounded legit and that was what she told everyone. The only people who knew she had gone to public school were the principals and few of the teachers and some of her close friends.

    So if you feel uncomfortable telling people you’re not in school you can either embrace it (it’s hard finding a school with the right fit but eventually you’ll get there)or if it seems easier you can make up a believable name and when you do get into school and start telling people you can tell all the people from the wedding you switched schools last minute. These are not perfect solutions but they might help for the one night of your brother’s wedding and perhaps during sheva brachos too.



    “Thanks for asking.I am actually in the midst of making a decision about that, even as we speak. Thanks for your interest.” Now change the topic, “And how is your family doing? What’s new with little Moishy/Saraleh/Dovid/Estie????”

    BTW, if someone has the chutzpah to ask anyone a REALLY personal absolutely-none-of-their-business question, the proper response to that is, “I’m really surprised that you would ask me that!” And change the subject.

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit

    The Goq- I don’t think asking which school she’s going to is insensitive if they are not aware of her situation. For most people, that’s an ordinary question to ask. I have a family member that’s in the same situation right now. Whenever anyone asks me about it, I just answer that we’re still deciding. I may feel hurt every time I think about the situation, but it’s not the person that’s hurting me. It’s the situation.


    Ouch. I know it doesn’t help, but you are far from alone. What can you say? If you are learning with someone, you can answer, “I’m learning with …. right now.” You could also just try changing the subject, ask “Where is your daughter/nephew/grandson going?” or “I’ve heard some very good things about the new high school that just opened in your area – what kind of students are going there?” Best of luck.

    Oh Shreck!

    I know that feeling. When people ask me “..And what do you do?” (“Um, um, I work for the Yeshiva World, I’m a writer”)

    Burnt Steak

    First off, mazal tov on your brother.

    Secondly,make up some ridiculously funny story, like training to become an international kangaroo surfing champion. Then after they laugh, change the subject and ask about the other person (like other people suggested).

    If they still persistent, try to act normal and tell them that you are in the process of deciding and would rather not explain. Most people would stop asking at that point, but if they don’t understand then you should start acting like a mime and build glass walls around them.


    You can say you are in between different options. The chance you take with a fake name is if the person asks you where it is. Then you’ll have to find out where they live first so that you can place it far away from them.


    thanks for responding. i am really upset right now so im not gonna respond to anyone, but please know that every single response helped me. thank you.

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