#23 ASK KATARINA: How to respond while chewing? 🤔

#23 ASK KATARINA: How to respond while chewing? 🤔

''Dear Katarina, I have a question about a certain situation. How do you let the other person know you will respond after done eating? Every time I eat and someone asks me something I don't know how to signal that I'm not going to answer because I'm chewing. And they're like "why don't you answer me?". In my opinion it's quite obvious because I'm eating, but still some people don't understand. Is there any specific way to signal it in an elegant way? Thank you very much in advance.''

Dear C.,
thank you for your question!

I fully understand that the situation you are describing can be confusing as we wish to show respect and remain polite, and others sometimes do not get the hint.

You’re right to say that it is quite obvious why you are not answering while chewing but some people do speak with their mouth full, so perhaps they have never encountered otherwise!

But there is no need to worry! There is a little trick you can use when you encounter the situation once again: If you’re in the middle of a bite and someone asks a question, simply raise your hand gently (as if you were to cover your mouth) and with a subtly raised index finger signal that you need a minute to first finish chewing.

This should be a widely recognized gesture, so it should help you to get out of the situation elegantly and politely.

I hope you will find my advice helpful.

Yours sincerely,

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