“Mind your own business” is a good way to get people to butt out of your conversation or problems. However, it’s no secret that it’s far from a polite phrase. This article will help you to understand some more suitable alternatives that we can use to remain polite.
What Can I Say Instead Of “Mind Your Own Business”?
There are plenty of good ways of telling someone that they need to keep out of your business. You should try one of the following:
- I’d rather you not be here
- This does not concern you, I’m afraid
- That’s none of your concern
- Do not concern yourself with this
- I’d rather not say more
- That’s a personal matter
- This is a private matter
- This is an internal matter
- I don’t feel comfortable with you here
- It’s complicated
The preferred version is “I’d rather you not be here” or “this does not concern you, I’m afraid.” Both phrases work well to let someone know that they should not include themselves in your current conversation or situation, and neither of them is rude by any means.
I’d Rather You Not Be Here
“I’d rather you not be here” works well when someone has welcomed themselves into a conversation of some sort. If they do not belong there, we can use the polite word “rather” to indicate that this is no place for them.
Here are a few examples to help you understand it:
- I’d rather you not be here while we discuss this.
- I’d rather you not be here, Sam. Please leave.
- I’d rather you not be here at all. This is a private event, and you have no right to listen in.
This Does Not Concern You, I’m Afraid
“This does not concern you” is a great way to show someone that they should not be listening or asking questions about something. We can add “I’m afraid” to stay as polite as possible since it’s an apologetic statement we can use to show that we mean well.
If someone is trying to pry for further information, it’s a good idea to use a phrase like this. If that information does not concern them (whether it’s personal to you or above their working grade), then you need not say anything more.
Here are some examples:
- This does not concern you, I’m afraid. I would like you to stop asking about it.
- This does not concern you, I’m afraid. So, move on before it’s too late.
- I’m afraid this does not concern you. You should try and focus on your own work.
That’s None Of Your Concern
“That’s none of your concern” is a polite way to shut somebody down quickly. If they’re talking about things that they should not know about or trying to get more information about certain things, this phrase is a great way to put them in their place.
While it’s a very blunt phrase, it still works well. It can get your point across effectively while remaining as professional and polite as you need to when dealing with these kinds of people.
These examples should help you understand this one:
- That’s none of your concern. I’d appreciate it if you forgot all about this.
- Trust me; that’s none of your concern. I really don’t want you to learn more.
- That’s none of your concern. Now drop it before you get someone else in trouble.
Do Not Concern Yourself With This
“Do not concern yourself with this” is a polite way of telling someone that they are outside of their realm. If they have overstepped their boundaries trying to do something they should not be doing, this phrase works well to shut them down.
Here are a few examples that will show you how it works:
- Do not concern yourself with this problem, John. It’s really not for you.
- Do not concern yourself with this, Matthew. I don’t think you’ll want to hear what else I have to say.
- Do not concern yourself with this. I’m sure there are more pressing matters for you to attend to.
I’d Rather Not Say More
“I’d rather not say more” works well when we’ve said all we want to say. If someone else has started to listen and you do not think it’s appropriate for them to hear, this phrase is a polite way to turn them away (or stop the conversation altogether).
Most people will get the hint once you say a phrase like this. They’ll usually leave you to it, which will give you more time to talk to whoever you were originally sharing personal matters or private conversations with.
Check out some of these examples:
- I’d rather not say more about it now that she’s listening in.
- I’d rather not say more. We can discuss it further on Friday when we’ll have a little more privacy.
- I’d rather not say more in front of you, buddy. I’m sorry, but it does not concern you!
That’s A Personal Matter
“That’s a personal matter” works when we want to show someone that they do not have a right to listen to our conversation. When dealing with “personal” problems, we usually only want our closest friends involved.
If anyone outside of your close friend group decides to join in, you can use this phrase to remove them at once.
Check out these examples to see how it works best:
- Jack, that’s a personal matter. I don’t think you should concern yourself with anything you might have heard.
- This is a personal matter. Please do not ask me to clarify anything that I said when I thought I was alone.
- That’s a personal matter. You have no right to discuss it with anybody else, understand?
This Is A Private Matter
“This is a private matter” is another great way to show that something is too personal for someone. When dealing with “private” situations, we create a list of people who we allow to enter the conversations.
If someone new tries to join, we can let them know about the privacy. This will show them that they are overstepping their boundaries, and they need to leave.
Here are some examples:
- This is a private matter, Scott. I’m sorry, but you need to leave.
- Don’t worry; this is a private matter that does not concern you!
- This is a private matter! You shouldn’t be here.
This Is An Internal Matter
“This is an internal matter” is another way to show someone that you are dealing with personal or private issues. We can use it successfully to show that someone does not have the correct position in our lives (or in a company) to be hearing the current conversation.
These examples should help you make more sense of it:
- Oh no, this is an internal matter. I’m afraid you cannot be here to listen.
- This is an internal matter, and I’d appreciate it if you left immediately.
- This is an internal matter, and we don’t have the time to explain the full situation to you, okay?
I Don’t Feel Comfortable With You Here
“I don’t feel comfortable with you here” works really well when we want to show someone that their presence is not welcome. It is not rude, but it does show someone that they need to think about their actions, and they should probably leave you alone.
Saying you do not feel “comfortable” with someone’s presence is bordering on the offensive side. However, everyone has personal boundaries, and you’re well within your rights to set them however you want.
Check out these examples to see how it works:
- I don’t feel comfortable with you here, and I’d appreciate it if you’d leave us alone.
- Sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable with you here. We need to discuss this privately.
- I don’t feel comfortable with you here, and I think you should leave.
“It’s complicated” is the least effective way to tell someone that they do not belong in your conversation. However, it’s still a more polite option than “mind your own business.” Saying this phrase shows that you do not have the time or patience to explain something to someone.
You could see it work in the following situations:
- It’s complicated, and I don’t really have the time to explain any of this to you now.
- I’m sorry, but it’s complicated. Please would you let us keep this discussion as a private matter?
- I’m sorry, but it’s too complicated. I need some time to think about what to do next.
Is It Rude To Say “Mind Your Own Business”?
“Mind your own business” is rude to say. It lets someone know that you do not value their opinion about your current situation and that they shouldn’t have stuck their nose where it doesn’t belong.
However, while it is a rude phrase, that doesn’t mean it’s undeserved. Sometimes, people do butt into conversations or problems that do not concern them. That’s why we might be quick to snap with a rude comment like “mind your own business.”
It’s always better to stay out of situations that you know do not concern you. That way, neither you nor the person who tells you to “butt out” will be perceived as rude.
You may also like:
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.