# Daily Connoisseur # Etiquette

5 Rude Questions and How to Respond | Etiquette Chat


In today's etiquette chat I'm sharing 5 commonly asked rude questions and how you should respond to them. 

All of us have been asked a rude question at some point in our lives. When this happens, it takes you off guard. What did you do to merit this question? What is the questioner thinking? Do they even know they're being rude? 

Many times the person asking the question does not have rude intentions (sometimes they do) so always try to remember that the other person finds you interesting and wants to know more. 

I recently posed the question on my community tab: What is the rudest question you have ever received? The following 5 questions appeared regularly on that tab, showing that they are commonly asked questions. 

⚜️When are you due? This was the most frequently asked rude question The Daily Connoisseur audience has been asked. An unassuming stranger asks when your baby is due. There's only one problem: you're not pregnant! Your response may vary depending on who is asking the question. A stranger in public merits no answer at all. If you're in a discussion with a friend, family member, or new acquaintance, you can simply shut it down by saying, "I'm not pregnant, thank you." 

⚜️What do you do for a living? This question is often one of the first things asked upon meeting a new acquaintance in America. We are not defined by what we do for a living, however. That is just one small facet of who we are. A vague answer will suffice and then ask them about their hobbies and interests to change the subject. I learned this tip from etiquette expert, Myka Meier

⚜️Why are you so quiet? All introverts have been asked this question at some point in their lives. How do you respond to this without getting defensive? I like to compliment the other person and tell them I enjoy listening to them talk. 

⚜️When are you going to have children? This question should never be asked, but sadly, is asked all the time. A simple "that's a private matter, thank you" will suffice. 

⚜️What are you? This question is often asked of people who look ethnically ambiguous, like myself. People want to know our ethnic heritage. The bright side is that they are intrigued by us! Sometimes the way they ask the question can be rude, however. Watch today's video to hear the various ways in which you can answer. 

⚜️What I'm wearing
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Mystery Reader said...

Thank you for addressing this topic. I agree that most people are just trying to make conversation when asking these intrusive questions. Your answers were very gracious and positive. I like the idea of pivoting the conversation or having a polite response ready when you’re put on the spot. I’m frequently asked why I’ve never married and I’m usually shocked that people would ask such a personal question.

Ros said...

Oh my gosh, I've heard most of these. Pivoting the conversation absolutely works, and I want to thank you for addressing the awkward silence - that we don't owe it to rude people to make them comfortable and smooth over the awkwardness of their questions. We can be polite and kind without needing to erase ourselves. Perfect!

I think the rudest question(s) I've received was after announcing my third pregnancy - first it was the comments from several people - "oh, was it on purpose?" (answer: "oh, we're so pleased, *oldest child* is so excited!). And, once he was diagnosed with a serious heart defect, "oh, why didn't you have an abortion?" (To that one, I must say, the answer was "the door is behind you, and I invite you to leave my house until you're ready to contact me and apologize" - and to be clear - I fully support the decisions made by any person in this heartbreaking situation, and no one else can know what the right choice is, it depends on so many variables. We felt the decision we made was the correct one for our family, and now, 2 heart surgeries in, have a thriving and happy small child. And how DARE she.)

JanElise said...

I, too, was asked when are you due when I was not pregnant. I just replied, "Oh my goodness, I'm not! I'm just fat!" and laughed. Laughing allows you to comfortably continue the conversation if you want to. If asked why are you not married (I am married), I would just laugh and say, No one would have me I guess." This cuts it off and allows you to appear to not be hurt by the question. Actually, I would be hurt by both these questions, but I don't like others to know if they hurt me. If they didn't intend it, I don't want them to feel bad, and if they did, I wouldn't give them the satisfaction. I think your way is good, too, I just think it would be awkward for me to continue the conversation, if I wanted to, If I were asked if I was "mixed", I would probably laugh and say, "Oh, like a dog? Do mean what breed I am? Well, I'm pretty sure I'm 100% human, but there might be some alien mixed in. You never know."

DD said...

I never thought asking someone what they do to be rude. I thought I was expressing interest, making conversation, giving people the opportunity to talk about themselves (which people love to do). I know someone who asks "What's keeping you busy these days?" That let's them talk about what they want to -- job, hobbies, whatever. But still, I don't feel I'm judging people if I ask them what they do and I would never find their answer uninteresting and walk away.

I married what some consider "late in life" and before I did I was often asked why I wasn't married. I would say "I'm having too much fun being single" or "I like being in charge of my own life" or "I haven't found anyone good enough." All true, by the way.

The why don't you have children question or rather the next generation question "Do you have grandchildren?" People ask because they are searching for something to talk about. "No grandchildren," I'll say, and people almost always say "Not yet?" I usually answer "Not ever. No children." A surprising number of people assume it's because we were unable and say so. I have said "We made the decision not to have children." One person told me I was selfish. I thought this quite rude so had no problem being rude back, and I said "Hmmm. I think I'm just the opposite." That's true, too! I really do think that.

Jane said...

I've had the pregnancy questions as well! When will people learn, lol? I've had a few rude questions in regards to my children... I was checking out at the grocery store one day and the checker was commenting on how beautiful my daughter was. She then looked at me quizzically and asked, "Is she yours?" Another time, I was out shopping with my two daughters and a lady peeked into the stroller to look at my toddler daughter and said, "That's not what I was expecting." I can only assume her comment was because one of my daughters looks very similar to me (blond, blue eyes) and the other daughter, who was in the stroller, looks like my husband (dark hair/dark eyes). I guess she was expecting more blond hair and blue eyes, but I found the comment very rude. I was speechless....

Julia said...

How do you respond when someone asks you, "Why are you so dressed up?"

Lynn from SoCal said...

Hi Jennifer,

I think I must have a unique perspective based on the comments. Most of the questions don't apply to me because I am Caucasian, single, never married and my big chest has always made my stomach look relatively flat. I don't get offended if someone asks me what I do for a living or why I am quiet. Usually they are trying to learn about you(in case of career) and if I am quiet, that's unusual for me as I am trying to "earn my keep" in a crowd by cracking jokes and trying to be the life of the party.

But it always makes me sad to hear when a young person is troubled when their family/friends ask them - When are you getting married? Why are you still single?

My family/friends never asked me that. I would have loved to have been asked! It was as if they knew nobody would be interested. So I think how lucky they are to have people to think that they should have someone to want them and spend the rest of their lives with because not everyone does.

On a funny note though, I had a friend while living in Arizona who was morbidly obese and she LOVED it when people thought she was pregnant (she had two grown children already)- because she would get discounts at restaurants. I can't remember how many times she would come back from lunch break and say, "I got another break on lunch....this time at Olive Garden!"

So I guess it's just how you look at it.

One question I get that I feel awkward about is when people admire a piece of jewelry and ask me how much it is. I never know what to say -- and I can't ever use the husband/boyfriend bought it excuse because they know I don't have one. Any suggestions?

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello ladies, thank you so much for watching and commenting and sharing your own stories. I will need to do a follow-up video. The response to this one was tremendous! Thank you for your great contribution to the blog!

Love, Jennifer

Ladylike said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for your timely video. I am sorry I am late in commenting. I find that there are many medically intrusive questions from virtual strangers at this time. We have even been asked by tradespeople employed at our home: medical questions that I consider to be private decisions. This is an unfortunate trend in our current society. I hope that people will soon regain their sense of the appropriate. Thanks again for addressing this important topic.

Warm best wishes,

Unknown said...

I really did not like that when we had adopted, people would ask intrusive questions about the birthmother and her situation. (Like what do you want to know? Was she poor, young, old, a drug addict, a prostitute?) These details are not necessarily what I want to talk about and perhaps my child would not want those details shared.
The point is that another person's curiosity does not equal any obligation (on my part) to share.

And often, people would ask about her "real mom." I would usually say, "Oh, her birthmother?" This was especially difficult when I had been her mother for YEARS (since 2 days old) - people asking about her "real mom." (I guess I was just the fake one or imaginary one?)

I am an introvert and choose to talk about general topics until I get to know someone better. Privacy is the right to choose the pace at which we disclose any personal information to someone (or even whether we wish to do that at all with this person).

Unknown said...

If someone asked me about the birth mothers situation I would say" I wouldn't have a clue about the birth mother if someone asked about her real mum. I would say don't I look real.