We love small talk. It has saved us in very uncomfortable situations. However, if you ask the wrong questions, they might be the bane of your existence. Here are the top 5 questions you should never ask:
NEVER ASK ‘How old are you?’ Unless you’re gathering data for a census, this question should never be asked. If you work for a licensed venue, it’s better to request for a proof of age card. If asking a person’s age is just out of curiosity, you can ask this question after 15 minutes of continuous talking given that it’s related to the topic you’ve been talking about and by starting it with ‘I hope you don’t mind’ or ‘Would you mind…”
NEVER ASK ‘Why don’t you have children?’
In some cultures, married couples are expected to have children and are assumed to want to have them. What bystanders don’t take into consideration are the couple’s circumstances and choice. Asking this question can be especially offensive if having a child has been challenging and heart-wrenching.
NEVER ASK ‘Why aren’t you married?’
There’s nothing wrong with being single and being asked that question sometimes insinuates that it is. We make choices every day, and this includes our choice to remain single or be in a relationship.
NEVER ASK ‘Do you know _________?’
This question is one usually asked in small talk. When you say you’ve studied at a particular university or lived in a particular suburb, some can’t help but ask if you know someone who used to study at the same university or live in the same suburb. It’s quite rare that you get a ‘yes’ to this question.
NEVER ASK ‘Did you have your ________ done?’ In some countries it’s common to have one’s nose, breasts or bottom done. It’s so common that it’s not kept a secret. However, if you haven’t established a good relationship with this person you suspect to have had some face or body enhancement, keep the query to yourself. When that person becomes more comfortable with you, s/he might just share this juicy information freely.
There are so many questions that are so tempting to ask. Be sensitive or at least think twice, three times or ten times before asking these questions you should never ask.