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7 Questions to Never Ask a New Acquaintance

7 Questions to Never Ask a New Acquaintance

Annie Tucker Morgan | Divine Caroline

When we’re just getting to know someone—a friend, a business associate, a romantic partner—being inquisitive about the other person’s background and interests is a healthy and inevitable part of the process.

But that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to fire off just any question that pops into your mind, no matter how burning your desire to know the answer is. In the case of these seven topics, your curiosity will get you nowhere fast.

1. How much money do you make?

The only times it’s acceptable to ask this question are when you’re an employer interviewing a prospective employee and need that person’s salary history, and when you have a domestic partner with whom you’ve merged your finances. Otherwise, it’s strictly off-limits. Even if you share every other detail of your life with your friends and family members—and even if you choose to be open about how much you make—that doesn’t mean anyone is required to disclose his or her earnings to you. Nor are you entitled, just because a friend may have revealed her salary in past positions, to know that information about subsequent jobs she takes. When it comes to money, mum’s the word.

2. Are you pregnant?

Many females lowball how much they weigh, even on their driver’s license, so you shouldn’t even have to ask why it’s not a good idea to ask a woman any pointed weight-related questions. But just to make things crystal clear:

1) A woman who is not pregnant but is simply overweight may already be struggling with low self-esteem or poor health, so to mistakenly ascribe her heaviness to pregnancy is to add insult to injury.

2) Worse, if a woman has visible abdominal bloating, it could be symptomatic of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (a complication from certain fertility drugs) or the result of undergoing in vitro fertilization—meaning not only is that woman not pregnant, but she also can’t conceive a child without medical intervention, in which case inquiring whether she’s pregnant will only draw attention to her already difficult emotional and physical circumstances.

3) If a woman looks pregnant, she might actually be. But that doesn’t mean she’s ready to tell people yet, let alone a complete stranger.

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