Sometimes the inquiries can be an innocent form of small talk but being on the receiving end of intrusive questions is both awkward and uncomfortable. Millennials are deviating from the traditional timeframe of life milestones. We’re marrying later, having children later and doing everything else at later stages too. We’re taking an overall different approach to life and tend to focus more on other experiences like traveling, obtaining work-life balance and self-care then previous generations.
It can be hard for other people to understand that what might have worked for them, doesn’t work for you. Times have changed and each situation is different. Not everyone has the same goals and aspirations and even more, it’s easy to judge a lifestyle that isn’t the norm.
At some point, maybe without realizing, we’ve each questioned someone else’s choices. Making a distinction between what you believe they should be doing and how they live their own lives. It can be anything from a career move, buying a house or romantic relationships. Whatever the situation the person on the other side is likely to become defensive and feel attached then to accept the conversation as merely small talk.
Defensive not because they have anything to hide but because it is implied that they should. That because their life is not what is normally envisioned it must be defended. Mindfulness is a beautiful trait since it promotes the ability to read our surroundings. Understanding the basics of body language is apart of mindfulness. It’s a complicated concept but it’s generally easy to determine when YOU are the source of another’s discomfort. Questions that are often perceived as personal or intimate are best not asked and are none of your business. For those of you who can’t take the hint, here’s a list of intrusive questions you should STOP asking.
Why are you single?
Are you engaged yet?
When are you having kids?
Love, every culture has its take on what constitutes both a happy life and a successful relationship. The problem is that most often the thought of being happy equates to marriage and kids. By the time you hit your late-twenties being subjected to a barrage of questions like When are you getting married? or When are you having kids? becomes an everyday occurrence.
If you are single people will question your love life. It usually seems like a simple question but unconsciously the thought of being single and happy is often contradictory. Single people are culturally perceived as lonely, depressed, bitter and all other connotations to describe a spinster cat-lady.
Truth is there could be many reasons as to why someone is single. Maybe they’ve gone through a bad breakup and need time to heal or more simply doesn’t see themselves settling down anytime soon. Whatever the reason, answering this question is usually complicated and not something you should be asking.
If you’re in a relationship then there’s an expectation that you should be heading towards marriage. Several years ago I was listening to a radio show when someone was discussing this very topic. The host said that every relationship partner should be a potential life-long partner. To a certain extent, I agreed. When you enter into a new relationship there should always be a strong foundation for developing a future together. But being in a relationship means that you’re allowing yourself the chance to get to know the other person better and there is no time limit in determining when or if a partner is right for marriage.
Some time in our history, 2 years became the average and most acceptable timeframe from dating to marriage. We’re expected to know without a doubt that our partner is the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. Personally, that seems crazy to me. I’m sure that there are relationships that have thrived and will continue to grow stronger but I truly couldn’t fathom making such a lifelong commitment after such a short amount of time dating. The point is that every relationship will build at its own pace. I’m not suggesting to stay in an unhealthy relationship because sometimes it is better to move on but rushing a relationship will only cause unnecessary stress. Furthermore, implying that someone else’s relationship isn’t progressing is a comment that you should keep to yourself.
Married or unmarried, eventually every woman will be subjected to the most annoying question ever… When are you having kids? Let’s be honest, making it into your late-twenties and thirties without kids seems nearly impossible but growing up we’re taught to be safe and some of us listened. But after turning 25 there is a societal perception that starting a family is now your biggest ambition. You’ll quickly realize that your friends and family members have taken the plunge and expect you to do so too. There’s nothing wrong with starting a family but myself and many others have no intention to do so anytime soon. It doesn’t mean we’re selfish or frightened of motherhood, just that our life plans are different than yours.
Physical Appearance & Body Questions
Is (insert) real?
Have you gained/lost weight?
Common sense should stop a sane person from making comments on another’s physical appearance but nevertheless, those intrusive topics still make it through. Rather you care to admit it or not, we all have insecurities. Maybe you’ve gained weight, cut your hair or even have a small scar. Regardless of whatever it is, having someone make it the center of a conversation is embarrassing.
The same way you wouldn’t want someone else to bring it up is how the other person feels. It’s hard to know what questions are off limits but the best motto is to avoid topics you wouldn’t want to be asked.
Use Your Judgement
Lots of other questions can be considered intrusive as well, i.e. sex, money, faith and politics. There are some who will take your questions in stride but the majority of people will be offended. Knowing how to read the situation when you’ve entered into touchy-issues is apart of accepting someone else’s boundaries. If a topic deemed too personal was unintentionally bought simply allow the conversation to change and know that just because you’re curious doesn’t entitle you to any information.
Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation?
How did you handle their questions?
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