~About asking personal questions~

It has been a while since I wrote a new post, at least that’s what it seems like to me. I have had almost full-week trainings, audit support projects and I have been travelling for work a bit in the past few weeks. It has been an 6 am to 6 pm kind of weeks for me, which TBH is tiring. I have been trying to write new posts, but ended up just saving them in drafts without completing them.

I usually get back to them and complete them though.

This post will be about asking personal questions to people you barely know. If you have been reading my posts, you know that I barely write posts that are not so positive. But, life happens, so do things like these. I feel it is necessary to bring awareness about subjects like these.

**So this happened to me this AM.**

BACKSTORY

My job requires me to travel a lot for work, mostly international, but some domestic trips. When I am in the office, I like to go to the office cafeteria and get breakfast. I am really grateful that our campus(it’s what we call them because we have a lot of buildings) has it’s own cafeteria where we can get custom order hot breakfasts. I usually do this most mornings because I love breakfast foods, who doesn’t? right?

I go in, order my omelette or eggs however I want them, then there is a wait time. There is a guy that I usually see there in the mornings who makes these breakfasts. I am a friendly person and so is he so we end up making small talks, which I do just to be polite and he is nice so I chat for a bit.

During this time for the past year, he has been asking me things like how i am doing, where I have been travelling, how my husband is doing  …& why I don’t have kids yet…<WHAT>?!

Keep in mind, I usually only have a couple minutes or so in the morning while I wait for my breakfast to be made and I walk downstairs to my work area.

Now, I have been politely telling him that we will when we are ready or something along these lines for the past year. I also just went and got breakfast yesterday.

THIS MORNING:

Him: How are you doing?

Me: I am good. Thanks! How are you?

Him: I am good. Still no kids yet?

(OK, this made me really angry for some reason, because, WHAT the …?”)

Me : Why do you keep asking me this? Between the time I was here yesterday and today, NO, I haven’t had ANY kids between yesterday and today.

Him: Ok, as long as you are happy.

Me (politely, trying to not escalate the tone): I am. Thank you for caring so much about my personal life. Please don’t ask me about kids again! (smiled)

This to me, was super annoying. Why do people care so much about other people’s lives? Is it entertaining? Are you gonna help them raise the kids? If not, please don’t unless you plan on actively helping out.

Especially when I have told him over and over that we will have kids when we are ready. I don’t know why he feels the need for this to be a part of our conversation, when all I want when I go up there is my breakfast.

I have been really nice about it in the past. But, have you faced similar situations where you were asked personal questions by people you barely know. I try to keep a distance because, although this person is nice, he is not someone I am close friends with or want to be. If I did, we would be friends by now.

Why don’t people understand boundaries? Maybe I let it go on too long without retaliating, but not today. I had enough of his judgemental tone and prying into my personal life. I said something back which made me feel a lot better and next week when I go in to get my breakfast, hopefully we will just keep things professional.

I didn’t mean any disrespect to him, but I needed him to back off! No matter how polite I am, I had to set some boundaries today and I did. I am still a little upset about it, today more compared to every other day. Even if I had kids, or was expecting, unless I feel comfortable, I shouldn’t have to share these things with someone I don’t want to discuss it with. AND I will not!

SENSITIVITY TO THE SUBJECT:

There are a lot of women who have had miscarriages, or recently lost a child or are having a hard time conceiving. There needs to be some sensitivity to this subject as they may not want to share or be comfortable with sharing or are ready to share.

In my opinion, specially for people you are not very close to, it would generally be a good idea (and respectful) to have some sensitivity to this subject and to not ask these types of personal questions.

I understand people have genuine interest in other’s life but not having some sensitivity to blatantly asking very personal questions like these is not acceptable.

Have you thought about this?

Have you had instances in which people you barely know ask you personal questions like this?

What was your reaction to it?

Have you had an similar experiences?

On the reverse side of this, if you are the one asking these questions, why do you want to know?

~~Let’s discuss in the comments below.~~

As Always,

Stay curious & Have a Peaceful Day!

**Like this blog post? Comment and/or hit Like and Re-blog. **

32 thoughts on “~About asking personal questions~

Add yours

  1. Some people are seriously so tiring!
    He might think he is funny or simply is bored or really has a lack of creativity to think of anything else to say.

    I am not a very private person and I don’t mind personal question, but if one keeps of repeating them I simply get annoyed.
    I used to have a colleague who kept on asking why I am a vegetarian and if I haven’t changed my mind.
    One day I simply wrote him an email explaining my story. When he would asking, I referred to the email 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, this morning, I was really annoyed with this conversation. I hadn’t even had my morning tea. 🙂

      For me, I prefer silence compared to awkward small talks. I like to be private at work.

      That’s funny you sent him an email. That makes it seem like you actually liked this person. For me, I just want my breakfast EGGS! 😀 I have calmed down a bit from this morning now. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting subject.
    When I read the story, I chuckled a bit, because I thought he was being funny (still no kids? even though you spoke yesterday). However, I understand your position. It can surely get annoying if someone asks the same question repeatedly. I might ask something twice. Afterwards, I just stop.

    This is why I don’t even try to chat to random people about anything aside from how they are/ how the weather is.

    Here’s the thing – I am a curious person, but not curious about other people’s lives. Because of that, I expect them to focus on their own instead of mine, but of course, that rarely works.

    I can be pretty straight forward. A straight shooter. I might even ask about something that maybe I shouldn’t, but I think that others do it a lot more, and about REALLY ridiculous things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thinking back to it, now it is funny. Actually, his tone wasn’t funny at all, in fact it was judgemental – as in, it sounded like he wanted to say “you are a woman, why don’t you want kids or why do you have them already?” type of thing..Hence, he got a piece of my mind! I said what I had to say, smiled and stared for a while to make sure he got the point! =)

      I am naturally friend and am nice to people. But, just like you, I am also a straight shooter. This is a guy that makes my food, so not someone I wanted to offend, but he just didn’t get the hint.

      What you do is emotional intelligence, you ask twice then you stop. Some people don’t know when to stop. Of-course, people on the receiving end of it also need to speak out. Right?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well you do find such annoying people around us always. The best way I think is when you are having conversations with less acquaint people, first of all you don’t ask any personal questions to them, keep the talk formal and short.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is a very good approach.

      I have been seeing this person most mornings when I am in the office. You would think after getting the same answer for a year, people would stop asking the same question, but they don’t!

      Like

  4. Just for shits and giggles, I’m going to play devils advocate.
    SOMETIMES the statements we make are leading. If someone talks about their niece/nephew. Pets, holidays.. they are all a little more personal than ‘how’s the weather’?! If you talk about Christmas it could invite ‘Do you have kids to buy for?’ and so on. It’s very difficult to stay out of personal topics sometimes. I absolutely agree that his repetitive questioning is offensive however and I get it. I have an English accent and it seems to allow people a free pass to ask outrageous questions! The thing that irritates me most those is people faking a broad Liverpool or Cockney accent, neither of which I have, and thinking they’re hilarious.. Every SINGLE Time They Talk To Me. How I haven’t shanked someone with a white out brush is a mystery! Repetitive behaviour gets tired very quickly. I answer the same questions daily but from different people so I smile and say yes I love it here, no I won’t move back, why I moved here etc because they’re being nice but yes, people think they have the rights to know the ins and outs of a ducks arse!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fully agree with your devils advocate approach, i fully expected you to😉! For this particular person though, I never make any other statements besides, Hi, How are you? And when he asks, Where i have been, i tell him i was in so and so country. I just ask him how he is doing. No other statements included, because I want to keep things light.

      What you experience sounds annoying too. Why do people feel the need to talk to you in an accent. If it was any other language accent, I bet people would stop and think before doing it. Should be the same for you. However, how you handle it is so polite. I would love to know how you handle it when you are not in such a good mood though😁😉😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I work in HR so if someone does that to me at work I generally say ‘oh who do you know from Scotland/Liverpool etc?’ If they say no one, I might say me neither or I might leave it there. That or I smile, say nothing and freeze them out until they talk properly. I try very hard it to make others suffer for my bad mood at work though because it WIll nite me on the bum at some other time!
        If I’m in a bar or restaurant I generally say I’d mimic them but I’ve never mastered drunk whore/ inbred drunk/ short man shouting etc.
        They don’t tend to do it again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your last sentence made me LOL!

          I am generally very patient about it, but his tone and how judgemental it was made me really angry this time. It is none of his business when or how or if I have kids. I am totally fine with silence while i wait for my food!;)

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Exactly why I just freeze them out if I’m at work! Just because I’m in HR doesn’t mean people have the right to Personal Info anymore than anywhere else. If people are just interested I’m never rude, the only time I’ll ever get rude is if I’m out of work and someone isn’t being interested but provocative. If they’re trying to make me bite they better expect teethmarks!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. He asked that pretty abruptly. I agree that people should have sensitivity about certain topics because you don’t really know their backstory and/or how would the questions impact them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Things happen a bit differently in my life. Complete stranger don’t ask a lot of questions. I used to think it was a Canadian thing, but that doesn’t ring true. There are nosey people everywhere
    In my case, it is my students who ask some personal questions. Sometimes it is because there cultural norms don’t mind them (age for example) or sometimes it is because there lack of English skills make asking difficult questions tactfully…well, difficult. I can teach indirect questions, but at the same time, I have to look for any well formed question.
    In the end, I have decided not to let it bother me so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I get irritated with this too! Occasionally when someone finds out that I don’t ever want to have children, they feel the need to make it their personal mission to change my mind. I don’t have the time or energy to debate my most important life choices with strangers – I’d rather live and let live.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ya, it’s quite annoying! It is actually better to not have children when you know you don’t want them.

      When people have kids out of societal or any pressures they end up resenting the kids, which cannot be a good thing for them.

      I am happy for you that you know exactly what you want. And live and let live is a great way to go! 👍🏼🙌🏼

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, he has been asking me for a year, and I keep providing the same answer of “we will when we are ready”. This time his tone was judgy and I had to set some boundaries…Ya, the second day, I think he got the point. 🙂

      Like

  8. I enjoyed your post. I will say that I myself am an open book. This is something I learned from my husband. You never know how I person can learn from your experiences. Now if he had asked a thousand deep and person questions within like the first two days of meeting you thing I can kind of understand. But I think he may have just been joking and just wanted to make small talk. Or sometimes a the smallest things that people say may tend to throw is off balance at first or they may resonate with us later and we understand why the question was asked. As long as you set boundaries that’s great but just think about what were or what could have been his intentions. Just continue to be open to people because you never know if something you say could help them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, absolutely agree with sharing experiences with people that you can trust and think that it will help them.
      In this particular case, I was patient with this guy for a year. I think one year is enough time for someone to know when to back off asking personal, especially, questions related to having children or not. As I mentioned, this may be a sensitive topic to some women. Wasn’t to me, but I was just done with his judgemental tone.

      Like

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