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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %PRIVACY RIGHTS HONESTY CONTROL OPEN EXPRESS SEE 910507 It is important to protect people's rights to privacy when some people are preoccupied with issues of informal conformity, control, and proper behavior. People who are preoccupied with issues of conformity, control and proper behavior act as though they have the right to ask any question they wish to ask of anybody they wish to ask; and expect to get an honest answer regardless of how intrusive their questions are. They often assume that a refusal to answer their intrusive questions is a sign of hidden improper behavior; rather than a defense of everybody's right to privacy. Honesty does not demand that everybody reveal everything about their private lives; or be willing to reveal all aspects about their private lives upon demand. Some people try to make people feel that such demands are reasonable, for if such demands are regarded as reasonable then it is easier to control people with cleverly chosen intrusive questions, and with suggestions of impropriety designed to elicit denials or confessions. When an intrusive person asks one of their intrusive questions which shows lack of respect for people's rights to privacy an effective way to respond is with a pleasant and polite return question, "Why do you ask?" If they have legitimate reasons for needing to know the answer to the question and if your relationship is such that it is a reasonable question, then they should have no reason for not revealing what the legitimate needs to know are. If they have no legitimate need for knowing the answer to their question, then the burden is on them to explain themselves and their behavior. If the intrusive person persists, it may be useful to ask "Why are you focusing so much of your attention on these questions? Don't you have other more important things to be doing?" It is useful to shift the focus of attention to the overt behavior of the intrusive person and to charitably ask for the overt behavior to be explained; as it is not private behavior. There is no constitutionally guaranteed right to get answers to questions asked of others, and intrusive people need to be reminded of that fact in gentle ways. If intrusive people are not overt in their prying then it is probably best to be implicit in responding in the above spirit; letting them know that their prying does not fall within the range of appropriate behavior by indirect responses to their indirect questions. In this way there is no need to accuse them of impropriety in a direct way. Neither is there any need to give satisfaction to them by answering their intrusive implicit questions. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================