How to deflect “What’s wrong?” when you just need some time to think

When someone asks What’s wrong? it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re in the middle of processing your thoughts or emotions. You might not be ready to dive into a deep conversation, or maybe you just need some time to gather your thoughts before sharing. The good news is that there are ways to deflect this question without being rude or avoiding the person entirely.

One of the most effective ways to handle this situation is to acknowledge their concern while also buying yourself some time. Here are some strategies to help you do just that:

The Art of Deflection

When someone texts you What’s wrong?, you can respond with a simple acknowledgment that shows you appreciate their concern:

Hey, thanks for checking in! I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now and need some time to sort some things out.

Or, you can use humor to lighten the mood and give yourself some breathing room:

Haha, just having a minor existential crisis Nothing to worry about, just need a little me-time to figure some things out.

If you want to give a hint that you’re not ready to talk about it just yet, you can say:

I appreciate your concern, but I’m not quite ready to talk about it right now. Can we catch up soon?

Another approach is to shift the focus from your emotions to a more lighthearted topic:

Thanks for asking! I was just thinking about that new show I’ve been meaning to watch. Have you seen it?

Alternatively, you can use a clever deflection technique by asking a question in return:

How was your day? Anything exciting happen?

By asking about the other person, you’re showing interest in their life and taking the spotlight off yourself.

Buying Time with Honesty

Sometimes, it’s better to be honest and direct about needing time to think. Here are some examples:

I’m still figuring some things out, can I get back to you when I’m clearer on what’s going on?

I appreciate your concern, but I need some time to process my thoughts before sharing.

I’m not ready to talk about it just yet, but I promise to fill you in when I’m more sorted.

Remember, honesty is key, but it’s also important to be polite and appreciative of the other person’s concern.

Setting Boundaries

It’s essential to set boundaries with people who might be prone to asking What’s wrong? repeatedly. You can say:

Hey, I appreciate your concern, but I need some space to think things through. Can we talk about this later?

I know you’re trying to help, but I need some time to figure some things out on my own.

By setting clear boundaries, you’re communicating your needs and expectations without being rude or unappreciative.


When someone asks What’s wrong?, it’s not always easy to respond. But by using these strategies, you can deflect the question, buy yourself some time, and eventually share your thoughts and feelings when you’re ready. Remember to prioritize your emotional well-being and don’t be afraid to set boundaries or ask for space when needed. With practice and patience, you’ll become a pro at handling What’s wrong? and maintaining healthy, respectful relationships.

Be kind ❤

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