I was in a couple of environments where people simply knew not to ask too many questions. Those were pretty fucking great places. The apparent lack of interest was slowly blossoming into conversation, then into genuine interest, ending up into a couple of great minutes spent in the company of a person. Being followed by each part minding their own business and perhaps resuming the connection, at some point, in the future.
At the opposite pole, there are the Intrusive Bitches who I also met (in this case, Bitch applies to both men and women). From the first minute of interaction, these entities proceed to ask dozens of questions, like they gained the absolute right over your entire file information: family history, personal life, health, genealogical tree, career path and income.
Often, those guys that you just met for five minutes or less, consider somehow, asking all the personal and inappropriate questions, a form of bonding. Moreover, possible answers are almost never followed by a respectful silence or a decent head nod. They are followed by…
The Hell of Personal Opinions and Subjective Remarks.
If I had to choose between The Hell of Personal Opinions and Subjective Remarks and the classic Hell, I would definitely choose the last. There is nothing more dreadful than when you reveal aspects of your life (because you were too polite to decline an answer) and receive almost-dumb remarks which are out of your personal context and almost never helpful in any way.
Here are some examples that I faced in the past, from people who felt entitled to know them, though their path accidentaly crossed mine.
- Are you married? Why? Why not?
- Do you want children? Why? Why not?
- Why did you choose to live here and not somewhere else?
- Why did you choose this job?
- How much money do you make?
- What are your specific and detailed plans for the future?
- Have you considered [insert thing they are obsessed with and never crossed my mind]? Now, that I told you about it, are there 100% percent chances you will consider it?
- Where do your parents work?
Often times, a Disgusting Assumption pops in:
- I bet if you [have this/ did this/ think this], then you must [limited imagination scenario where they just placed me in]
The Disgusting Assumption is the darkest pit from the Hell of Personal Opinions and Subjective Remarks. Unfortunately, having a trip through this Hell involves almost every time landing at least one Disgusting Assumption.
Here is a very solid statement from my part: I will never open up to a stranger who I just met, who didn’t prove anything to me yet, who clearly has very little in common with me and who I DIDN’T CHOOSE TO SEE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
If I choose to go out to a coffee with you, I may agree to share some of these things. I also consider you have somehow the right to know, since I agreed to spend a couple of free hours in your company. Though this is also debatable, here are my boundaries set when I choose to meet someone.
But you’re not allowed to invade my personal space with your over-the-top questions and remarks when:
- You met me by being your employer’s delegate, an entity which I have a commercial contract with.
- We wait in the same line in an arbitrary place.
- We have close seats in train.
- Any other situation that was forced by circumstances and not enforced by me personally.
And if you need a friend and feel frustrated by not having someone to bath into the river of your personal opinions, here is a simple piece of advice you can start with: stop asking personal questions to people you don’t know yet!