Do you think its rude asking people about their past?

@cyclopz (199)
Philippines
February 12, 2012 10:58am CST
I think this is quite common especially for those who just met new friends and would like to know more about them not just for the sake of curiosity but also to be aware of who they really are and what their backgound is. I think there are people who find it quite easy just asking about anything about another person's past but i think there are also some who are quite sensitive who find it hard to ask other people about their past eventhough how curious they really are because they are thinking that it might be rude asking someone about it unless the person personally would initiate sharing about his or her past may it be a good or bad experience. What do you think about this? Do you think its rude asking other people about their past? Do you find it easy asking other people about their past?
1 person likes this
27 responses
@bingskee (5237)
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
it definitely is rude. i wouldn't ask anyone even a friend about her or his past. it is something that the person has to freely talk about. if he or she is not willing then we do not have to ask.
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
I would have to argue with this. How do you know they are not willing? And it usually depends on the question you're actually asking. If it is offensive, or in a way bad in timing, then it is obviously rude. However, if you know well enough that you are at a certain comfort-level with the person you want to ask, then why not? There's tons that could help both the person who asks and the person being asked by simply opening up a healthy conversation.
@bingskee (5237)
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
i am looking at a perspective where someone will suddenly ask about my past. that would be entirely awkward. it would be different if the matter will be touched in a conversation. sometimes, the person unconsciously say something about it, and it is inevitable to say something about it. as to the question, on how i know they're not willing. if a person is willing to share his or her past, one doesn't have to ask about it.
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
12 Feb 12
It depends how you ask it. It can also be seen as being interested in a person. But if you ask about the past you should not judge but also not be angry if someone refuses to talk about it. There is no need for everyone to share what has been.
• United States
14 Feb 12
Agreed..its all about how u ask. i usually don't Mind as long as i dont feel interrigated...lol an i have no issues sayin if i dont wana talk about that sayin that. then u just leave it alone
@jd107nette (1456)
• Philippines
20 Mar 12
well, if you immediately jump to the past without getting to know each other, it might seem rude. but if the two of you are already getting along quite well, it would be very nice to ask about something in the past. it portrays the message that you are interested with the person you are talking to and his/her personality and history interests you
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
I think the only factors to consider here is the comfort level between the two who is part of the conversation, and the gravity of the question about the past. Sensitivity on the part of the person who is asking is required, as he is the one initiating the conversation. The only instanc eit can be considered rude is when the timing is off, or the question is too personal. But then again, it actually depends on whether the person being asked is comfortable to answer the question. The key here is the way the question is asked. There are many difficult questions, however, there is always at least one best way to ask it.
@jenzai (390)
• Philippines
16 Feb 12
It may sound rude if you were not that close or you haven't been known the person for a long time. Human nature would dictate that we don't want to reveal our past to our friends even to our family. So for some it takes lot of trust to share a past experiences if it the story is a bit sensitive. But if it is not that sensitive people easily share and it is less offensive. Sometimes i can say it is a gift that people will share easily all their past, in my experience with friends i can say that i have that gift, they can easily confide to me anything in their past and the present life in their life. Even if i don't ask they normally share, so i can say it does depend on who is asking and when they are comfortable to share.
@megamatt (14326)
• United States
14 Feb 12
It is fine to an extent. However, you really should pay attention to how they react to your questions. There are going to be many people who will be mostly fine with answering your questions. However there are going to really be a lot of people out there who will be rather uncomfortable to really answer a lot of inquiries right out of the box, especially if they don't know you. It is really not necessarily something that is really bad. It is just really just going to be a lot of times where a lot of uncomfortable things are just going to really occur right in the past. A lot of the times, tact is just going to be a rather wonderful thing. Looking at their reactions and their comfort level really is something. There are going to be times where you must abandon that level of questioning.
• United States
13 Feb 12
I think some people are very nosy, and you can usually tell by their body language. I don't care for those. As far as asking cause of other reasons, that's okay, and I think if you want to sit and talk to someone, you can feel your way through at first and will be able to tell whether or not they want to tell more or not. Some are just waiting for an opportunity to open up. Others won't. You just have to read them. I normally don't feel anyone in on everything until we have become acquainted in a way you trust to open up.
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
Most people don't want to share past experiences if that past is a really bad and until now it is nightmare to them. It is not rude to ask people about their past if you are not forcing them to share with you. There are few people can share their pasts even it is bad or not to other because they are already accept those facts and they keep to themselves as a sort of a lesson to be used as guide to their lives.
@goodkat (63)
• Romania
13 Feb 12
Hi there! I'm really going to answer to this shortly: I don't think it's rude to ask people about their past if they are really good friends, but I myself never ask about it unless people start sharing without me asking. It's just that I am not even remotely curious
@myzhian (586)
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
I guess it depends on the proper place,right time and the manner of approach to the person. Past has a great essence to every individual's life, and it is very private and sensitive to know about it. Sometimes people just voluntarily open up a conversation regarding their past when they have actually move on and accepted it. Wherein he/she is ready to bear anything to you because you already gain his closeness and trust!
@digidogo (446)
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
I never have difficulty throwing questions regarding a person. It usually is what people like, the talk revolving them. Though, I tend to ask if it would be alright with them talking about what we were talking about. Individuals are different and we have to respect that. You would know too by the way a person responds whether they are comfortable with the topic. If I find they are replying poorly then it is when I would ask if the topic would be fine with them. It could sometimes break the ice if they were uncomfortable with the topic.
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
it depends on your group of friends. But personally, I think it's rude if you just met the person. That would be something that a tactless person would do. It's fine if you knew the person for a few weeks and you're already close friends, but if you've met yesterday and ask the person about his/her past, it's just awkward.
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
I guess this depends on various factors. First, it's awkward to ask someone about their past for the sake of one's curiosity. I think that if we want to really get to know someone, we assess them on who they are as the moment and the sharing of life experiences will just come next in the course of time. Sometimes, people might find it rude or insensitive of someone to ask them about their past especially if they have some issues or they're just not that kind of person who shares such details about them especially from the past. It's best to let the other person initiate the sharing about their past. If it's just about some family background or basic knowledge about a person, that's fine, I think.
• Malaysia
13 Feb 12
hi friend, it just depend on the person, how he or she feel when you asking for their past. some people will feel that it is rude, since just knowing each other and starting to ask for their past. most wonder they wont tell you and will try to change to other topic. but not everyone also like that, some people they like to talk, whatever topic they also can talk to you. so it is totally depend on the personality. if you meet with those sanguine, i think they will not mind if you asking for their past. but it is also not easy to ask for other people past, before you ask, you will consider first is it ok for you to ask the question, and how will they feel? all of this you will count on it automatically.
@dabieO (120)
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
it depend how you ask.. and what ur intensions are..
@yanzalong (10171)
• Indonesia
13 Feb 12
If I were you I would not ever ask them about their past, unless it is a very good one. Talking or asking about a very good experience that one underwent is okay since this is going to motivate him/her and make them happy. But, beware. Don't ever touch on their bad past.
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
Well for me its a case to case basis depending on how you ask & in a certain level that you know your not asking too intriguing questions. Asking a newly met person about their past like where they were born or go to school was not bad at all. Some can even ask about past relationships, work & other personal matters without being too rude. We should consider the feeling of the person we are asking with specially that we dont know them that much. A simple question of getting to know them might not hurt but we still need to be careful.
@tipay26 (873)
• Philippines
13 Feb 12
I don't think it's rude to ask about their past.It's a person's way of asking about their past matters.What I mean by that is if you only know a person for quite sometime it will be awkward to just come to that person and ask about his/her past right?Being close to a person needs trust.And if an acquaintance tells you his past without you asking for it it only means that he/she is trusting you with her past :)I don't mind about other persons past besides it's in the past meaning it happened already what matters to me about the person is what he/she is now.
@hannah75 (30)
• United States
13 Feb 12
I find it easy to ask others about their lives, but I judge how much I ask by the flow of the conversation and the demeanor of the person. You have to have the ability to judge these things before delving into a person's history. The way you ask is also important. Tact is a must. Begin with, "If you don't mind me asking," or "I hope I'm not being too nosey, I'm just really curious. If I get too personal just smack me in the head." Adding a bit of humor, like the smacking line, helps them realize you don't want to make them feel uncomfortable.
@bjc66bjc (6745)
• United States
13 Feb 12
I don't think there is any issue asking another person about themselves...After all if you want to know, why not ask..I truly believe if you ask something that another dosen't want to ask they will one way or another let you know....I would think... I have no problem asking anybody anything if I want to know. Its up to the person to answer or just let me know "its none of my business", at which point I will apologize and keep it moving.... If there is something you want to know and don't ask...then are you always wondering...