I Can't Believe She Said That

Be prepared for tactlessness with some witty comebacks.


When an acquaintance of mine heard about my pregnancy from a mutual friend, her reaction was, "Really? That's so weird. I can't picture her with kids." Needless to say, that's not what this mom-to-be wanted to hear.

If sharing your happy news brings cringe-worthy comments and questions instead of congratulations, respond politely and definitively—and then change the subject to something you're comfortable with, says etiquette expert Cindy Post Senning, director at The Emily Post Institute. "There's something about pregnancy that makes people think they can say things they'd never say otherwise." Here are her suggested (polite) replies to some classic remarks and questions:

"Were you trying?" You say: "You bet, and we've been having a great time!" Humor is a great way to deal with nosy questions. Not the cheeky type? Simply say, "I consider that personal, but we're so excited."

"Are you supposed to be eating/drinking/doing that?" You say: "Thanks for your concern, but this is perfectly OK."

"You're so big already!" You say: "My doctor tells me I'm right on track."

"You're naming the baby that?!" You say: "Yes, I love the name." It's hard to combat an "I" statement.