Don’t ask — it’s rude!

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

People need to stop asking others every question under the sun about their personal lives.

Don’t they know it’s rude to ask very personal questions, in public, especially, about religion, politics and sex? I was taught not to do that.

It’s not just the big things. I was asked what color my hair dye was and if my color came from a box or a stylist.

This might seem small, but it feels intrusive to me.

This got so annoying that I decided to start writing down questions that I was asked.

Here’s a sample of what I wrote down for one day:

• What kind of bra do I wear?

• Where do I get my teeth whitened?

• Am I getting enough sleep? I “look tired.”

• Do I ever sleep in the nude?

• Am I a born-again Christian?

• Does my husband go to the bathroom in front of me?

My husband laughed when I showed him what I was writing. He wanted to know why I care. I care because it’s private information and I feel violated.

People are rude these days.


Not rude

Dear not rude,

Congratulations! You have manners!

Manners are a lost art in our culture of entitlement. Many feel it’s their right to know personal information about anyone because the values of respect and civility are missing in our society.

These values need to be taught, starting at a young age, if we expect to regain civility.

Civility means courtesy, consideration, caring about someone’s comfort and having manners.

Rude means being impolite, discourteous, bad-mannered, offensive, or being vulgar.

Most in our culture don’t consider the questions you mentioned to be rude.

Parents can help teach the basics:

• Say please and thank you

• Have table manners

• Don’t ask unsolicited personal questions

What are personal questions?

• Anything about money, sex, religion and politics … no one has a right to know. Curiosity isn’t a right, it’s an indulgence.

• A personal question is something that makes someone uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Our society has become accustomed to asking sensitive questions in order to judge or label.

Being gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, Muslim or Christian doesn’t mean you are good or bad.

Don’t feel obligated to answer these questions.

Don’t engage with anyone who demands personal information. Look them in the eye, and change the subject.

You deserve to be treated with civility.


Rhonda and Dr. Cheri