Wednesday 7 April 2021

Why We Need to Stop Asking Personal Questions

Why We Need to Stop Asking Personal Questions

We are bombarded with personal questions throughout our lives. When was the last time someone asked you when you're getting married, having a baby, or getting a new job? Of course, personal questions like these are necessary for some situations, but in most cases, they definitely are not. 

Being asked personal questions can be unwanted, unnecessary, and uncalled for - even if it's someone close to you who is asking. You should always remember that no one ever truly knows what someone else is feeling, thinking, or going through, and your seemingly harmless question could cause them a lot of pain, stress, or negative emotions. 

Above all else, though, why is it any of their business? Everyone lives their lives in a different way, and the path they follow or the choices they make might differ from your own. And that's okay - we are all individuals capable of making our own way through life. 

Therefore, applying your own beliefs, experiences, expectations, or even prejudices to someone else's life is just wrong. Let them lead their lives as they see fit; they have no need to answer to you. 

Here's why my personal life is none of your business!

Put Yourself in their Shoes

The majority of people rarely show their full selves to others. While the exceptions are usually partners and close family members, this isn't always the case and different people have different dynamics and ties with others. However, this means that the chances are, you don't know the full picture and they might not actually be okay.

For instance, one of the most difficult personal questions often asked is - 'when are you having a baby?'. Starting a family is a dream shared by many, but you should always remember that it's not always easy or possible, as explained below:

  • Pregnancy may not be a possibility
  • They might have lost a child
  • Money, housing, or work might be an obstacle
  • They could currently be struggling to conceive
  • They may not have a partner currently
  • They might not want children
While there are many more valid reasons, these are just a few to get you thinking. Next time you consider asking someone when they're planning to start a family, just stop and put yourself in their shoes first. 

It's Their Life

Different people place value and significance on different aspects of life. For instance, you might consider a well-paid job essential, but someone else might value job satisfaction above pay. We are all unique individuals and no two people are the same. It's their life, not yours, so let them live it how they want!

Why Do You Want to Know?

Are you genuinely interested, or are you just fishing for information? Personal questions might seem like a good way to break the ice, continue a conversation, or get to know someone better. However, there are plenty of other less-difficult questions you could ask instead. By all means, ask about their lives, their hobbies, their favourite music or books or TV shows, but steer clear of the thorniest questions. 

The only exception should be if they offer a piece of personal information. Treat their confidence with respect and try not to pry. Instead, let them offer up as much or as little as they want to do so. They are bound to appreciate you all the more for respecting their boundaries. 

We need to stop asking personal questions and stop thinking that it's acceptable to do so. Our personal information is our own to share as and when we want to, not when we feel obligated to share with others. The next time you are chatting to someone - be it a friend, relative, or colleague - just remember this and ask yourself why you want to know and if it's really worth the risk. 

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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