# Etiquette # Madame Chic

What CAN You Ask Someone You Just Met? Rude Questions Part 3


When are you due? Oh, you’re not pregnant? Do you have children? Oh, you already have 2! Don’t know what causes that? Don’t you have a TV? Well, are you going to have any more? You have two boys? I bet you want to try for a girl. Well, what do you do for a living? Oh, do you plan to get a real job? Oh, you were in nursing? Well, I have this health condition. I wonder if you could help me with it. By the way, where are you from? No, I mean where are you from? No, I mean where are your parents from? What is your ethnicity? Really? Are you sure? You don’t look like you’re from that region of the world. Why are you so quiet? Are you mad? Well, good luck with the pregnancy. Oh, wait I forgot you’re not pregnant!

Did you find any of these questions annoying? If you did, you probably weren’t the only one. It contains many of the most commonly asked rude questions you reported to me in my recent videos on the subject. Today, I have swooped in to help, because I’m sharing a whole list of questions you can ask people you just met. 

 This is part 3 in an etiquette series I’m doing on rude questions- many of which I shared with you in the opening of this video. The problem with many of these questions is that they are intrusive. It’s not that you will never reveal this information to people, but you should only do so when you have established a relationship and feel comfortable with them. You don’t owe strangers answers to personal questions. So, what can you talk about when you’re meeting someone for the first time? What questions are safe to ask? Here are the list of questions. 

Write these down and have a look at them before you go to your next big party. 

How do you know the hosts? 
What do you like to do in your free time? 
Have you seen any good movies lately? 
What’s your favorite show to watch? 
Have you read any good books lately? 
Have you been to any good restaurants in this area? 
Have you visited any interesting places lately? 
Do you like to watch sports? What are your favorites? 
What blogs do you like to read? 
What’s your favorite YouTube channel? 
Where is a place you’ve always wanted to travel to? 
What are your favorite things to do locally? 
What type of music do you like to listen to? 
What book are you currently reading? 
What has been the best part of your week? 
Do you have any pets? 

I would love to know if you have any questions to add to this list. What are some great conversation starters you can use with someone you just met? Share them below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog. I hope you enjoyed today's video

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Jorja said...

I usually ask if they’re new to the city, area, etc. The conversation seems to flow naturally from there eg where they used to live, do they like it here, have had time to attend …………( city’s baseball team game, outdoor festival, etc)

Annissa said...

Yes I agree! However, did you know that in deaf culture it is considered okay to ask these kind of questions upon meeting a person for first time? We are so open and it is not intrusive for us. I had to chuckle because I had people coming up to me asking me those questions especially the pregnancy questions at all the time!

Unknown said...

My husband always asks "what's the best part of your day?" I like to ask "how did you meet your partner?" This one often has a great story that people don't often get to tell once they've been married for a long time.

Nora said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for this series on responding to rude questions! I have enjoyed it and have learned a lot from you (as usual!).

I have two requests: first, would you consider creating a video about how to respond to rude or invasive questions from people who are close to you rather than strangers? It seems a little easier to redirect a stranger's questioning than a close friend or family member. For example, I have a friend who is constantly pushing for details about my romantic relationship (When are you getting married? How often do you see each other? etc.) and then making judgmental comments in response to my answers (Don't you want to ___? I don't understand how you can ___). I also have family members who push for details on topics that I'm not comfortable discussing with them because, frankly, I am pretty sensitive and my family can be quite critical. I'd love to have a way to respond to these people kindly but firmly.

Second, would you consider creating a video about responding to rude comments? A question generally begs a response, but a comment is sort of different. For example, I am on the slender side and people seem to think it is appropriate (and nice?) to comment on my size, weight, shape, etc. I have a family member who will often comment, "You're too thin!" in a joking manner, when what I believe they mean to say is something along the lines of, "You have a nice figure." Other people will say obviously rude things, like, "Eat a burger," etc. In general, I let rude comments pass (easier than with a question), but is there a way to shut them down without being rude in return?

Thank you for all that you do to educate and inspire!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thank you for watching, ladies. I'm happy you have enjoyed this series. Thank you for your requests as well. I will take it all into consideration. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

~ Jennifer

Sandy said...

This was excellent. Thank you! I appreciate at the end when you remind us to have grace towards the people asking rude questions (because as you say we are not typically educated in conversational skills) and to then direct the conversation in positive ways.