“It Is My Business, None Of Your Business” – Things You Should Never Ask Anyone

The human species is a strange one. On one hand, we talk about empathy and ‘humanity’, while on the other hand we end up hurting others around us – sometimes due to thoughtlessness and sometimes willfully.

I have had many such encounters that make me wonder about people and what goes on in their top floor (brain or lack of it).

I have been married now for 20 years. I don’t have children. From well-meaning relatives and friends to people looking for gossip, to random strangers I just met, I have been asked this question soooo many times after I tell them I am married – “how many kids do you have?”

A recent incident prompted this post – during the rehearsals for a community dance that I was part of, a couple of ladies I had just met were discussing how it was difficult to manage dinner and the next day’s lunches, etc due to the rehearsals. Then came the million-dollar question – how many kids do I have? I replied “None”. They gave me a very pitying look and asked me “Why?”.

Other times, I have had relatives refer me to gynecologists or even discuss my ‘case’ with theirs and then tell me to go consult them for a resolution. From IVF to special pujas to adoption, over the years I have got some ‘wonderful gems’ as advice from people. And most assume that there is a problem and it is with me, so I am the one who is subjected to most of these pieces of advice.

I understand the need for some to procreate and keep their ‘lineage’ alive. I also know the joys of parenthood – I am a mom to an extremely cute and naughty Dalmatian. I adore and am adored by my nephews and nieces. But my reasons for not having children are private – it could simply be a choice or a medical issue. It is nobody’s business except mine and my partner’s.

Whatever the reason, people should learn to stop offering unsolicited advice or trying to satisfy their curiosity on some matters that are private.

  1. Asking people about their weight – either loss or gain
  2. Asking a woman if she is pregnant (or worse – congratulating her)
  3. Asking when someone is getting married
  4. Asking when someone is giving ‘good news’
  5. Commenting or telling people to make purchases to spruce up their house
  6. Asking if the house you stay in is rented or owned
  7. Asking if a piece of jewelry is ‘real’
  8. Asking someone how much money they make

This list can go on…

The bottom line is that we must learn to accept people’s privacy even if we are very close to them. Unless the person initiates a conversation on the topic, it is better to keep opinions to yourself than feed your curiosity.

It does not take a top school or college education for one to learn to show empathy and common sense. An illiterate person can still be an educated one and someone with a top-notch degree or from ‘high society’ can be crass.

Let us pause for a moment and ask ourselves if we would like to answer a question before we put it to someone. Being sensitive to another person’s choices and needs can go a long way in making us ‘human’.

This post is part of the ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Baked Happily Ever After.

19 Comments

  1. Vasumathi I want to give you a hug … I loved your boldness and I loved the way you answered back. Afterall its your life its your choice. No one daam has the right to ask what, why, when, where or any such stupid questions to you or to any one. Count me as your fan from today.

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  2. Vasumati, you spoke straight. Yes! Peoples are having a bad habit to pick nose in other’s business and yes it start with such a little question you mention in your post. I do hate it. Why people wanted to know and why they offer advice without asking?

  3. I can understand where u r coming from Vasu… I too write out my feelings when I encounter stuff like that. but one thing I’ve learnt in all these years is that we cannot help people from saying what they do n being who they are, but we can surely help the way we react to it n the way it affects us.

  4. Despicable ..I too have met such prople and feel they get some inner satisfaction by putting others is such discomfort. they should really mind their own business.

  5. #Authentic. You be you girl!
    People ask such questions to compare, classify and adjust their own standing in relation to biases. A more compassionate view is to be a better version of your own self, each day.

  6. I loved your title and very much relate to it. Even me and my partner do not have kids and the reason for that is something we do not wish to discuss with anyone. Yet we are often subjected to all sorts of questions and suggestions sometimes I wish I could carry a board around my neck saying it’s my business kindly keep your nose out of it.

  7. All of us have been subjected to this kind of behaviour sometime in our life and it’s truly cringeworthy. People really should just shut up instead of talking like a fool. Izzat to bani rahegi.

  8. I wish more and more people understand these things. I am so glad you raised this topic. It is not very hard to mind one’s own business. We have many specimens like this around who directly or indirectly keep on minding other’s business and make it a pathway to showcase their own greatness.

  9. Seriously we need to have special subject in school which is understand what to or what not to say or ask, not that Im perfect but realizing in time and correcting ourselves is important. I love ur blog and wish it could reach the right people.

  10. I really hope that more and more people can get an understanding of these concepts. I am very happy that you brought up this subject. Minding one’s own business is not an overly difficult task. Along with the other questions that you have mentioned, I am pleased that you have brought up the topic of asking if a piece of jewelry is “real.”

  11. Love how truthful and on point you are on this blog post. Sometimes, there really isn’t any point of sharing things with others or knowing others’ life for instance. It’s all about respect and knowing that there’s an invisible line within us to meddle with other’s problems.

  12. We Indians have no clue about private space. We are always infringing on everyone’s. I hear you loud and clear. I have had my share and am still going to for the rest of my life am sure. My husband’s loss..why I can’t go live with my son or my daughter? My son passed away and everyone just wants to claw my insides out to know how I am coping. My daughter is 33 and not married..the list as you said goes on and on. I have developed a hide now and don’t let it affect me anymore.I can now laugh it off as silly people’s silly thoughts.

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Vasumathi

Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.