When I am asked “can I ask you something personal,” I say yes but I also think/say that anything can be asked I just don’t always answer they way that is expected.
What defines a personal question if everything about me is personal?
People have different ideas or expectations. SSN, birth date, name as a few. Anything and everything about me is personal. Is my name any less a part of me than my address or who I dated last year? We each have our own threshold of what is “more personal.” For some maybe it is your sex life and you turn red in the face. Others may have no problems describing each episode and don’t mind the blushes from other people. To some, an address might seem innocuous, but to myself, if I don’t trust the person well enough, it could be used as a piece of information for identity theft. That goes along with a name, birthdate or childhood school.
Each and every part of my life is a part of me. I don’t so easily distinguish among the aspects of my life to be able to say something is more personal than something else. “I am what I am and that’s what I am.” – Popeye.
Ask to your heart’s content, just don’t expect that you’ll get the answer you want. I may share freely about much of my life when asked but any information that may belong to someone else (and not just things told in confidence) in general is off limits for repeating.
In another view try to flip the thinking of ‘personal.’ Again in my case I think I make a lot of societal/politically correct mistakes because I do have a problem knowing what someone thinks is ‘personal.’ I’ve been told this should be really simple and easy but it ain’t to someone like me. I’m just ask worried that asking someone about a diet or food or decision they made might send them into a spin. For example, how do I know that asking someone about their parents won’t remind them about the horrific train accident they were involved with and cause them to break down into tears. Maybe they hate their parents and are now pissed off that you brought them up. These types of ‘mistakes’ (or choices) are a common occurrence. Hopefully the other person knows me well enough to buffer their emotions before assuming I meant something I actually didn’t.
I wonder if someone has invited a mouth expander to help my foot fit better.
-Santa’s Fallen Angel