Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Forbidden Questions

Many times we get urge of asking people all different kinds of questions. The rule I follow is, would I like being asked that question? Or would you share that information about yourself with the others? If the answer is no, then it's not worth asking that question. Also, present company matters. Who is present when you ask the question. Some questions are not to be asked in public and so on. But within last one week, I experienced or observed that there are some people that don't really think before asking questions.

I saw one person asked the other person their salary. This is something that I would never do. If the other person shares their salary, that's fine but why ask such personal questions. Only time it might be okay to ask this is if it is your spouse or your children. And in country like the US, it's not even recommended because people don't always share such information with their spouse or children or parents. Our Indian culture is more close-knit and we don't have those restrictions or we are not that independent yet to not share such information. Bottom line is, one never asks other people's salary.

Same applies to age and weight. Unless you are talking to a potential matrimonial candidate, you shouldn't be asking these questions to other people, regardless of their gender. And even for matrimonial purposes, there are ways to find out this information without actually asking the questions explicitly. If you made a mistake of asking one of these questions, you just might end up getting an answer that is worse than a slap in your face.

At work, we have a handful of ladies who are expecting new family members. Same with some of my close friends. The total count of these ladies has crossed the dozen limit. When it was one of the coworkers in question, a lot of us could guess that the good news might be on the way, but we refrained from asking or discuss the matter among us. And when she asked me if I could guess, I actually ended up telling her I didn't even notice it. But again, this is something you don't ask. Another coworker who had a baby last year shared her embarrassing story about she being asked whether she was pregnant after a few months of delivering her child. That is when I was glad I never did ask any woman that question and told myself to not ask ever again.

You call someone and they say they are busy. Don't ask them busy doing what. You might not want to hear what they say. I have been asked that many times over the phone by friends and relatives and would have to change my answer because I don't feel comfortable sharing certain details with them. It might not very well be any thing embarrassing but at the same time, we all have preferences about what to share with whom at what time. More so because answering that first question truthfully leads to numerous other questions that I prefer not to answer. I have even seen people asking me what I am doing at the same time what other people around me are doing. What kind of conversation is that? I do understand that if you want to talk to someone else and I picked up the phone you ask for that person but why does it matter what they are doing at that moment? I never understood that. I guess curiosity sometimes does kill the cat.

You call someone and they are having their meal. Don't ask them what they are eating. What's in menu today is something you can ask but again... many limitations apply. Better just steer clear of this question. I personally don't like it when people ask me this because it gives me the same feeling like I am being stared at while eating. If everyone is sitting at same table, then may be it is okay to ask this question, but not otherwise.

Ever heard people asking on phone to other people "so what are you wearing today?" I thought this was the limit. I mean if it's your boy/girl friend and you are asking that in private, fine I am not too bothered about it. But how does it matter what the other person is wearing? I do admit, I asked have asked my friend this question. Not because I was curious but it was her engagement day, and I didn't want to end up dressing up more than she did so to be on safer side I asked what kind of costume she planned to wear so I can dress accordingly. Afterwards, thinking about the incident I wished I had asked her what I should wear instead of asking what she planned to wear.

These are just some of those things you don't ask someone on phone or in person or at least that's what I think. Life teaches many valuable lessons every day and this week I know I have learned many more.

Is someone not returning your calls or not calling you at all? So are you one of those people who asks these type of questions? I know where to start the self-analyzing process.


AmiDA said...

totally agree with you...
last few days i have been so bugged by questions that are way to personal that i feel like carrying a placard reading, "damn with your curiosity, i am not answering your questions!!"
(i also feel like sticking out my tongue at whosoever dares)
its just so frightfully weird that there's no way to stop these inquisitive-beings from prying!!! :/

Kanan said...

I can imagine, specially at key milestones in life people bombard with such questions. I am trying to find a way to not offend anyone at the same time get the message across. It's tricky when we are dealing with friends and relatives. *sigh* If only people were little considerate of others...