Many times, you’ll be the only person you know working on your dissertation- at least in your daily, immediate life, that is. This is especially true if you’ve moved away from your school. How should you handle the inevitable comments and questions about your dissertation progress, and "are you done yet?" I think there are a couple ways to handle this. First, I think you ascertain why someone is asking- are they genuinely curious or are they somehow intending to criticize or pressure you with the question? If it’s the former, you can, perhaps, try answering with the truth, for example, "Well, my progress is slow, but steady. I’m working on chapter 3, and once that’s done, I’ll have just another two chapters to go." If it’s the latter, you might try to set an appropriate boundary: "I know you want to know about my dissertation, but it feels like you’re pressuring or criticizing me. I’d rather talk about something else" or, even more simply, you could deflect the question, "Oh no, you’re asking me about the dissertation again? Why don’t we find something more interesting to talk about…" Which can be helpful because you’re not just absorbing the comment without an appropriate reply. The next time someone asks you if you’re done yet, consider either 1) being honest about where you are and what it will take to finish, or 2) making it lighthearted and skipping over the question. Remember, no one can make you feel badly without your participation.