Awkward questions – let's face it, we've all asked them! You know, the kind of question that makes us cringe the moment the words have left our mouths. We ask awkward questions to our partner, family, friends, colleagues and strangers. Nobody's safe! So try to train your brain, and avoid asking these embarrassing, difficult and awkward questions …
Of all awkward questions, this must be the one with most potential for getting it wrong. It's said that you should never ask a woman if she's pregnant unless you see a baby emerging from her body! It's a well-meaning question, but since there's a very high risk that the woman may just be carrying some extra pounds, don't mention the P-word unless she does!
Asking someone about their salary can also give offence. Some are happy to discuss the issue, especially if they can boast about how much they earn, but many prefer not to discuss their personal finances. So unless someone indicates otherwise, it's best to avoid the subject.
When someone you know splits up with their partner, you may think you're being sympathetic if you ask what happened. But the reason may be upsetting, embarrassing or simply something they don't wish to discuss. So stick to expressing sympathy but don't be nosy.
There's a particular category of awkward questions – ones that on the face of it appear complimentary, but may be interpreted as quite the opposite. So if you ask someone if they've lost weight, you may think you're being nice, but they may understand it as you implying that they were too fat before! Try a subtler tactic if you want to compliment someone's appearance.
You've got to feel sorry for guys sometimes. They just can't win! There are questions that a man dreads hearing from his partner, and one of these is, “Do you prefer this outfit or the other one?” Whichever he chooses, she'll immediately assume that he thinks she looks awful in the other outfit.
Everybody has a past, and for most of us that includes a number of sexual partners. However, we don't necessarily appreciate being quizzed on the exact figure by a new partner. So if you ask that question, do be aware that you might not get an accurate and honest answer!
This is categorised among awkward questions because it's something that you shouldn't need to ask. If your partner loves you, he will tell you when he's ready. Asking the question puts him on the spot – and you may get an answer that you don't want to hear.
For anyone in a long-term relationship, hearing this question usually makes their heart sink. The logistics and politics of working out Christmas arrangements can be a nightmare, as whatever you do, you're bound to offend someone. So if you're asked this question, the simplest answer may be “Here – just us!”
There are so many awkward questions that we wish we'd never asked, and all of us put our foot in it at some point. However, do try to memorise the above classics and at least try to avoid those ones! Have you ever come out with a question that made you want to die on the spot, or have your kids ever asked you any awkward questions, as they're prone to do?
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