Awesome Etiquette: Oh, So You're Not Pregnant?

Aug 25, 2017

This time we're faced with a classic etiquette question: how do you reply when someone wrongly assumes you're pregnant and comments on it publicly?

A woman, who describes herself as slender, was recently horrified when, in front of others, an older lady came over to her, looked at her belly and asked, "what's this?" Not only did the question cause a moment of embarrassment but could have also been awkward had the younger woman, in fact, been pregnant but had not disclosed this to others.

The best response to an unintentional but offensive comment like this is to simply say no. That will immediately alert the other person that s/he was wrong and should immediately elicit an apology. If the offender is someone you see regularly, you could also explain that you didn't appreciate the comment and that it made you feel uncomfortable. This could help prevent the person from asking such a question in the future.

Remember, never ask others about their family, health or finances unless you're explicitly invited into that conversation. Listen to this podcast of Awesome Etiquette for more on the topic.