15 Awkward Questions You Should Never Ask, Because They’re None Of Your Business

For the most part, asking each other questions is encouraged. It shows that you’re interested in getting to know them and understanding their points of view and that you care about them in some form. However, there are some questions that you should never ask people, primarily because it will make them upset, uncomfortable, or angry — particularly if you don’t know them that well. Not only is asking them rude, but the answers are also none of your business.

If the answers to these questions come up naturally, that’s one thing. However, if they never do, you’ll have to settle for never knowing. It’s just not your place.

1. “When are you going to get married?”

Newsflash: Not everyone wants to be hitched. On an added note, guys who are the “permanently single” ones in their group do not want to answer this question, either.  Even if you’re asking this to a couple, it’s not a good idea. You don’t know why they may be deciding against getting married right now, and it may even spark an argument among some.

2. “When are you having kids?”

Stress, family and energy with kids playing music on a guitar in the living room at home while giving mom and dad a headache. Mental health, children and tired with a girl and sister causing chaos

This one rarely goes well. It’s unbelievably intrusive, and if the person you asked recently miscarried or has been trying to conceive without success, she’ll most likely burst into tears. It’s awkward and rude, so don’t do it.

3. “Why did you drop out of college?” OR “Why didn’t you go to college?”

College isn’t for everyone, and at times, it’s not even accessible to everyone. With college increasingly being seen as the only ticket to success by society, this often comes off as condescending, rude, and intrusive.

4. “Why are you single?”

There’s no way to answer this that doesn’t make the person sound stuck up, insecure, or screwed up in one way or another. Like, really, what are you expecting them to say? That they suck? That everyone else sucks? Even if it’s meant in a nice way, it never comes off as nice.

5. “Why don’t you like me?”

Oh, God. If you’re socially inept enough to ask this, then you’re waist-deep in Fedora-wearing territory. This is a surefire sign that you are the reason that the person you’re asking this doesn’t like you, and putting them on the spotlight like this isn’t helping. They probably don’t want to hurt your feelings, and they also don’t need to tell you why they’re not interested, either. Leave it alone.

6. “How many people have you slept with?”

You don’t wanna know their number. You know you don’t. Therefore, don’t ask.

7. “Don’t you feel embarrassed about [doing a nonconformist thing]?”

Oh, I don’t. Don’t you feel embarrassed about being a total d-bag? No? Well, you should. As long as they’re not hurting anyone else, let people live their lives and do what they like doing. Don’t yuck their yum.

8. “Don’t you know that’s bad for you?” OR “You really shouldn’t be drinking/eating/doing that, you know that, right?”

This is most often directed at pregnant women, smokers, or anyone that’s higher weight. For the most part, what another person does to their body isn’t going to affect you at all. Unless they’ve been under a rock for all the years they’ve been alive, they already know whatever they are doing is “unhealthy”, and your judgment masquerading as faux concern is not helping.  They don’t care, and they don’t want to hear about it. You’re not saving lives, and chances are that you’ve also engaged in similar at one point or another.

9. “Why don’t you live in a better area/house?”

It’s hard to believe, but I personally have heard this multiple times from guests. Well, if I had more money at the time, I would have chosen a better neighborhood. However, I didn’t, and they made me feel bad for it. As a result, I stopped talking to them all, and also never invited them back. Shocker, right?

10. “Why can’t you afford this?”

Once again, this is always a low blow for people who are dealing with financial issues. Aside from it being incredibly rude, it also is a quick way to make sure that whoever you asked will never want to buy anything for you again.

11. “So, uh…what’s that?” [points to scar or other body marker]

This won’t always be a big deal with some, especially if it’s a cool scar that makes them look like a ’60s supervillain. However, a lot of people who were born different or who experienced major trauma will be pretty damned mortified by this. Unless you’re going to be paying their therapy bills, just avoid the topic.

12. “Why can’t you lose weight?”

All the better to sit on you with, my dear…

13. “What’s your least favorite thing about me?”

Smiling young couple holding hands together and standing face to face on a sidewalk outside of a cafe

When you ask this, it’s often with a good reason. You might actually want to improve yourself, and that’s totally awesome. However, it has a similar issue to the “Why don’t you like me?” question. It puts people in the spotlight, and if you can’t handle constructive criticism, it will end up fraying your friendships. 

14. “Why didn’t you invite me?”

This is one of those questions that generally should not be asked because no matter what the answer is, you won’t like it. Unless it’s a really odd occurrence, you’re best off not knowing the answer.

15. “So why don’t you want to (insert status quo action here)?”

People who live an alternative lifestyle often work very hard to make it happen. They often have to sit there and explain their position to tons of people who may abandon them because of their choices. Walking the road less traveled is never easy, and actually asking this only makes it harder for them. Don’t be the person that rains on someone’s parade.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.