Zarley
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Hello, so I wanted to ask about something a little bit weird.

Some context, I have been learning to drive since late 2020 and have been with the same driving Instructor since then. He’s and older guy, who’s retired and been an instructor for 2 years.

For the most part I enjoy my driving lessons with him. However, I’m now beginning to think that he might be a bit nosey which makes me uncomfortable. For example, for some reason he keeps constantly asking about my mother’s employment as one time he asked where my parents work I said that my mum lost her job due to covid so is currently unemployed. Looking back on it, I shouldn’t have said it but at the time, I thought it was just a harmless question. But, ever since then, during EVERY lesson (without fail) he’s asked me “Is your mother back in work yet?” which when I reply with “No.” is followed with multiple questions such as “Why not?”, “Why doesn’t she apply to X place?”.
This is incredibly annoying and puts me at an uncomfortable position. He doesn’t share much about himself, this isn’t a problem as I don’t care and I’m not concerned with other people’s business, but it just makes it more uncomfortable cause it just feels like an interrogation as I’m the only one expected to share personal info.

He also asked questions about mine and my family’s religious beliefs, which made me feel very uneasy as my family is quite complicated in that regard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there as he also very often asks about my financial situation with stuff like “Who pays for your lessons?” and “Where do you have money from?”. To be honest, by now he probably asked about every aspect of my life.

I understand that perhaps he doesn’t consider these questions as nosey or simply thinks that our relationship is on a level where such questions are acceptable but I would prefer to keep our relationship at a more formal level. Therefore, my question is how can I achieve this without making the whole thing even more uncomfortable? I know that I could simply say “Mind your own business” but I don’t want to come across as harsh.

Many Thanks
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Imabigman26
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Change instructor
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Satori Tendō
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Tell him you're going through a private family situation and you are uncomfortable to talk about it with non-family members. Say you would appreciate not being questioned about your private life because it's distracting to the lesson or something etc... Just make it sound serious and scare him off
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YaliaV123
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Have you paid for lessons in advance? I would find someone else.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Zarley)
I understand that perhaps he doesn’t consider these questions as nosey or simply thinks that our relationship is on a level where such questions are acceptable but I would prefer to keep our relationship at a more formal level. Therefore, my question is how can I achieve this without making the whole thing even more uncomfortable? I know that I could simply say “Mind your own business” but I don’t want to come across as harsh.

Many Thanks
Is he foreign? Most British people wouldn't dream of being so intrusive and impolite - not any British people I know, anyway.

The best way to close this sort of thing down is to be blunt about it: say "I'd rather not talk about my private life, and I don't believe it's necessary to our lesson' the next time he asks, or something like that. There's no point being all coy about it and trying to be subtle: he clearly isn't, and people like that only tend to react to very pointed, direct comments.
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Zarley
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(Original post by Satori Tendō)
Tell him you're going through a private family situation and you are uncomfortable to talk about it with non-family members. Say you would appreciate not being questioned about your private life because it's distracting to the lesson or something etc... Just make it sound serious and scare him off
Thank you for the advice! Last lesson (on Thursday), when asked about personal stuff, I tried to make it super obvious to him that I’m comfortable and don’t want to be asked about my mum’s employment, the topic changed quite quickly. But, I’m wondering whether I ‘scared’ him off enough to not continue with his questions on my next lesson.
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kkai
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He's probably Asian. I'm asian myself and we in general don't hesitate in asking other people personal questions whereas, British people tend to be more reserved but some ppl are unable to make this distinction. I think you should just tell him cuz it's a cultural thing and unless, you tell him directly he isn't going to back off.
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Zarley
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Is he foreign? Most British people wouldn't dream of being so intrusive and impolite - not any British people I know, anyway.

The best way to close this sort of thing down is to be blunt about it: say "I'd rather not talk about my private life, and I don't believe it's necessary to our lesson' the next time he asks, or something like that. There's no point being all coy about it and trying to be subtle: he clearly isn't, and people like that only tend to react to very pointed, direct comments.
He is definitely British, I’m just as surprised that someone can be so intrusive as I never dealt with a situation like this before.

Thank you for the advice, I’m gonna try to speak up if he starts asking personal questions again. Hoping that I can manage it!
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Zarley
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(Original post by kkai)
He's probably Asian. I'm asian myself and we in general don't hesitate in asking other people personal questions whereas, British people tend to be more reserved but some ppl are unable to make this distinction. I think you should just tell him cuz it's a cultural thing and unless, you tell him directly he isn't going to back off.
I’m gonna try to stand up for myself next time, thanks for the advice. But, he isn’t Asian, he is very much White British.
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Zarley
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(Original post by YaliaV123)
Have you paid for lessons in advance? I would find someone else.
Yes, I have as it worked out cheaper than paying individually. I currently have three lessons left paid in advance.
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kkai
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(Original post by Zarley)
I’m gonna try to stand up for myself next time, thanks for the advice. But, he isn’t Asian, he is very much White British.
That's even more odd 😐 if he repeatedly keeps asking about your mother then he (probably) has a thing for her lolol... i might be wrong but who knows.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Zarley)
He is definitely British, I’m just as surprised that someone can be so intrusive as I never dealt with a situation like this before.

Thank you for the advice, I’m gonna try to speak up if he starts asking personal questions again. Hoping that I can manage it!
Gosh, how unusual! Yes, just be quite matter-of-fact about it when you tell him that it's not a topic(s) you wish to discuss further. If it start to be awkward, then you could always think about changing instructor after your paid-for lessons are done, though I suspect he will just let it drop if you're blunt enough about it.

As I say - most odd!
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Zarley
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(Original post by kkai)
That's even more odd 😐 if he repeatedly keeps asking about your mother then he (probably) has a thing for her lolol... i might be wrong but who knows.
Haha he never even saw her but honestly at this point nothing would surprise me.
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Zarley
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Gosh, how unusual! Yes, just be quite matter-of-fact about it when you tell him that it's not a topic(s) you wish to discuss further. If it start to be awkward, then you could always think about changing instructor after your paid-for lessons are done, though I suspect he will just let it drop if you're blunt enough about it.

As I say - most odd!
Yes, that’s what I have to do cause I feel like he definitely won’t stop if I won’t, it’s been going on for months now :/ and I am thinking of changing instructors but I’m moving to a new city in September for uni, so I’m thinking whether it’s worth the hassle that maybe I should just suffer through it as I’ll have to change instructors anyway.

It’s so weird honestly!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Zarley)
and I am thinking of changing instructors but I’m moving to a new city in September for uni, so I’m thinking whether it’s worth the hassle that maybe I should just suffer through it as I’ll have to change instructors anyway.
That would be the most practical approach, I think. So long as it's not unbearable, I'd say your piece, assume that will be the end of it (or at least put a lid on it), and get through to September.

It's a good impetus to pass your test early, if nothing else
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Zarley
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That would be the most practical approach, I think. So long as it's not unbearable, I'd say your piece, assume that will be the end of it (or at least put a lid on it), and get through to September.

It's a good impetus to pass your test early, if nothing else
I would love to get my test done soon but I don’t think I am quite ready yet, plus there are currently no test dates available, unfortunately.

But just hoping I’ll have a normal instructor when I move haha
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