Today’s post is a guest blog from our good friend and regular blog contributor, Amy. We are all guilty of asking people some of these questions, but today’s post may make you think twice before asking certain questions!
Recently I have been thinking about the different phases in life, sparked by people continuously asking me when I’m going to have another child. I get.it.all.the.time. So much so, that it made me think about all the different phases of life and the awkward questions you get.
I can remember when Scott and I were dating, everyone would ask, when are you going to get engaged/married? Then you get married and everyone asks, when are you going to have kids? This happened for a looooong time since we decided to wait a good while before having a child. So, then you have a child and you think, I have it all! The family, full heart, etc. And then it starts again, when are you having another baby?! I get this question a lot. Way more than when we didn’t have a child!
So all of this got me thinking how people could be offended by simple conversation starters or someone who is just being nosy. I’ve always been sensitive to not asking people about kids because it drove me nuts when people would always ask me when we were having kids and I didn’t want to annoy anyone! Plus, several people I know have had some major struggles to have children. Some have been able to become parents and some have not. I’ve been guilty of asking people questions like this too. When I worked, I remember I would always ask the veterans when they were going to retire? Which is none of my business and I am realizing this could have been uncomfortable for the people I asked. It’s very possible, that they would love to retire, but might not be able to. Other awkward adult questions that I have witnessed or had happen are when people ask, how much did you pay for your house, how much money do you make, etc. I had a guy I worked with ask me over and over how much I was paying for our house when we were building it. He wouldn’t give it up and actually started throwing out numbers and wanted to guess! Awkward! The examples of Infringing questions could go on and on…..I’m realizing more and more that everyone’s story is different. We can’t assume everyone is in the same boat as us and we could easily be prying by asking simple questions.
I decided to search to see if there are ways to politely ask personal questions. After all, a lot of these questions are personal. I got ideas like this:
I hope you don’t mind me asking but…
Can I ask you a personal question?
Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?
I hope this doesn’t sound too personal, but…
This might sound a bit personal, but can I ask…
After reading this, I quickly came to the conclusion that if you have to preface a question this way, you shouldn’t be asking it! If it’s a good friend, they will share this personal information with you. If it’s an acquaintance, you don’t need to know this info.!
I decided to take a different angle and looked at ways to answer awkward questions. The awkward personal questions will never stop, so here are some great ideas with how to handle them! I’m loving #4. I totally should have used that with my old co-worker!
1. Why– Ask the person why they want to know, they might have a really good reason for asking, and if they do not have a reason for asking this hopefully will realize that it is not an inappropriate question.
2. Not Sure – You can say I am not really sure how to answer such a question.
3. Not Important – One way of handling such questions is just say it’s not important.
4. Answer With A Question – Ask the same question in return, For example if someone asks you how much money do make, you can turn around and ask them, how much money do you make?
5. Change The Subject – You can change the subject, you can just say, Oh did I tell you …, or I almost forgot to tell you that ..
6. Answer A Similar Question – If someone asks you how much money you make, you can answer what job you do or your profession etc.
7. Repeat The Question – You can just repeat the question with a surprise voice and facial expressions. Such as ” How old am I!!!!!
8. Excuse Me – I love this answer you can just say Excuse Me!!!! or excuse me!!, and repeat the question
9. Pretend You Do Not Understand – Pretend you did not understand the question.
10. No Comment – There are ways to say you do not want to answer, you can say I prefer not to answer.
11. Why – I am curious why do you need to know???
12. Funny Answer – I love it when people ask me questions about money, or something I sometimes say, enough to pay taxes, or not enough, or more then you etc.
13. Smart Ass Answer – Are you from the CIA, FBI, or from the government tax office.d
As I was finalizing my big post today, I saw one of my favorite mom blogger’s post about this same topic. People always ask her if her 7 children are all hers. (Another awkward question) Her blog post is so funny and totally relates to this post. Check it out! She has hilarious comments to the imposing question.
Our question for you, what is the craziest question someone has asked you?