I like to meet new people. It’s one of my favorite things to do. However, some times, the new person in question makes it awkward by saying or asking something inappropriate, thereby ruining the entire experience for me. I have just recently experienced one of those and I was highly pained by my waste of time and effort. It got me wondering whether there are some things that I say to, or ask people I just met, which are highly inappropriate. In my bid to cover all grounds, I asked a few people their opinions on what they’d consider inappropriate coming from someone they just met, and below are some of them:
1. How much do you earn?
I mean, really?!! How exactly is this in anyway your business? Except you’re considering getting into the same field or business as the person you’re directing this question at; and except if the meeting of the person is solely for the purpose of getting an insight into the field or business, this question should never leave your mouth. Even at that, you must frame it in such a way that it is clear that you acknowledge how personal the question is and how you hope they don’t take offense at it.
2. You look fatter in person than in your photos.
First of all, was that really a necessary thing to say?! Honestly, this is one of my worst and most frequently received. I just get exasperated like: “Duh! Have you never heard of working your best angles for photos?! Am I supposed to just look like the sack of potatoes that I am?”
If you’re ever tempted to comment about how different from their pictures a person looks like in real life, you either fight it, or change it into a good comment. E.g. “Even though you look great in your photos, you look better in person.”
See? It really is not that difficult.
3. Why aren’t you married yet?
I’m convinced that the Association of African Aunties (AAA), in their first ever annual general meeting, passed a resolution to make it a part of their constitution to ask every younger woman they meet that is unmarried this question. You’d attend a family function and get introduced to a certain african aunty you’ve never met before (whom your mother insists wiped your bum as a kid on one occasion), and next thing, BAM! She attacks you with this question. Why?! WHY?! Sigh. Since it is impossible to stop the african aunties, I can at least prevent you from making a complete ass of yourself and assaulting someone with this question.
Please never ask anyone, male or female, this question. If you don’t know them well enough, you have no business knowing the answer; if you do know them well enough, then you wouldn’t need to be asking anyway.
4.When was the last time you had sex?
You know, I believe you must have been dropped as a baby and landed on your head to be able to ask someone you just met this. That’s all I’m going to say.
5. You eat too much.
First of all, how dare you?! You don’t know me! You don’t know my life! You don’t know the things I’ve been through! How dare you judge me like that?! Who are you to determine what is “too much” for me?! Ok, i think I’m taking this too personal, but you get the idea. It’s not a cool thing to say to someone you just met.
6. You’re too skinny.
Thank you very much for body-shaming me. I shall now proceed to wear body pads beneath my clothing because you find me “too skinny”. Or better still, wring my neck with my own hands so that I cease to exist. *insert dramatic eye roll*
Nincompoop! What exactly were you hoping to achieve by making this comment? Put the person down? Make them feel bad about themselves? Increase their possibly already existent insecurities? Because you damn right achieved them all! You deserve a round of applause. A standing ovation. Idiot.
P.s, the same goes for saying “You’re too fat” to someone you just met (or anyone at that).
7. Can I look through your phone?
Why? Give me three legitimate reasons why you should. A phone is a personal property. It contains personal information. You should never ask to look through a person’s phone except you’re authorized by your job to do so, and likewise the person in question is bound by a certain law to comply.
8. Why are you wearing that?
Erm, because I own it. Because I like it. Because I don’t need anyone’s permission to dress myself. And finally, because it’s really truly none of your damn business.
It’s ok to give a person you know wardrobe advice and tips. But unsolicited express disapproval of the choice of clothes of someone you just met is rather rude. The only exception being when you’re duty bound by your job or position of authority to do so, and the person has a duty to obey you.
9. Do you know who I am?
No, I don’t and I don’t want to.
This is a question that readily tumbles out of the mouth of some Nigerians in the face of contradiction or confrontation. I find that it is also sometimes followed by “Do you know who my father is?” in the case of younger Nigerians.
The truth is, I really don’t care who you, your family members or your ancestors are. From your attitude, I can already tell that you’re an arrogant egotistic whom I definitely want nothing to do with. Have a nice day, and remain blessed.
10. You’re too quiet. Are you shy?
No, I’m not. I just don’t make an effort with people I don’t like.
To be honest, I don’t understand the essence of the question “are you shy”. I’m just curious as to the answer you expect to receive. Do you really think a shy person will be comfortable with admitting that they are shy when you have put them on the spot like that? Or is your goal to make them feel even more self-conscious now that you’ve drawn unwanted attention to them? No matter how I look at it, I really can’t see the essence of asking a person this, not to speak of a person you just met.
I’m pretty sure there are more and even worse questions and comments being put out there daily by humans. The list is endless. You can add to our list in the comment section! Also, if I’ve ever asked you any of these questions on meeting you (which I highly doubt), I really do apologize for my unlikely stupidity. Forgive and forget. Thank you.