To ask someone whether they are working or not or if they even have a job may or may not be considered to be rude as it entirely depends on the perception of the person that is being asked.
Although, asking someone about their job with the knowledge that they don’t have a job may be considered extremely rude and offensive.
The way someone asked this question also affects the overall judgment of whether they are considered to be rude.
However, if someone asked these types of questions for formal use such as to gather data for the application of the client’s loan from the bank, then it should not be considered offensive or rude in any way as the person that asked this question only asked them intending to make the process of the application to be smooth.
How to deal with the question about your job
One of the things that you can do when being asked whether you do have a job or not is to analyze the whole question posed by the other person.
Do they ask that because they genuinely care about your health and overall well-being or do, they ask that question because they just want to know more about you?
It’s a sad reality that most people would judge you based on the type of job that you have so you have to be careful with these types of questions. If they do care about you then you could always tell them the truth otherwise you should also tell them the truth because if you lied about it then in most cases you will end up being judged by people that will label you as an untrustworthy person.
If you had to tell them the truth then it’s better to beautify the reality of your job by saying things like…
“I do enjoy doing it and I think it’s just my passion that drives me every day to work”
…so that they would have a better perception of you.
To ask someone if they work with a tone that is full of doubt by simply looking at their appearance is considered to be rude.
The facial expression of the person that asks these types of questions also plays an important role when it determining whether they are being rude or otherwise.
Next, you might also want to try to predict the reason why they ask you these types of questions. If they ask these questions because as parents that would like to protect the future of their daughter from being ruined by some random guy cannot be considered rude. The reason for this is that your action might have an impact on somebody’s life and therefore if you want to proceed with your action, you will have to be prepared to bear some responsibilities and know the serious consequences that come with your action.
Always stay calm and try to suppress yourself from showing any kind of odd behavior that could tend to make people judge you based on your physical appearance. Doing this could be easier said than done but you will have to try your best to answer the question with full confidence to boost your self-confidence and not impress anyone. The main aim of doing all this is to make sure that you believe in your potential.
Most people tend to have a misunderstanding when it comes to dealing with these types of situations as they thought that they must impress everyone so that everyone would be happy with them and therefore they will be able to lead a happy life while in reality, it is completely the other way around.
The next step is to ignore the responses that you received from other people except for the people that truly love you the most such as your wife or husband, provided that you can trust them. Wise men used to say that your best friend is a good mirror which means that the people that are the closest to you can be used to look at your reflection of yourself.
However, while most of the time what they said is true, there is also that 1% of the time where only you can decide as there’s no one that could understand you completely except for yourself. Always keep in mind that whatever it is that you decide to do, make sure it brings goodness to yourself despite what society says about it.
Examples: When it is rude to ask about the job
Scenario 1 (Not rude):
In the first case, you and your girlfriend (or boyfriend) have been together for such a long time and both of you love each other and made an oath to never be apart despite what happens.
The day to meet her parents finally comes and you have never felt this kind of nervous before in your life. Then, you finally get to meet her parents and the first question that comes out of their mouths is about your job.
As stated earlier in our discussion, you should always be truthful to people. If you think deeply about it, what kind of people would you prefer to have as a family members?
The one that has a good career but always lies about things or the one that tells the truth but has a decent job? Wise people would prefer the second type as these types of people will make your life easier by telling you a painful truth instead of sweet lies so that you will be able to plan well for the future.
In this case, the parents cannot be considered rude as they are concerned with the future of their son or daughter.
Scenario 2 (Rude):
In the second situation, you have just made a new friend and decided to have a cup of coffee with her at your local nearby restaurant. Both of you enjoy each other company and engage in a meaningful conversation together.
At some point in the conversation, she looked at you and asked whether you do have a job or not. In this case, it’s better to try not to disclose any private information and reply to the question by saying things like:
“I’m sorry but I’m not comfortable in sharing any private information with you as we barely knew each other”
You never knew who she might be so it’s highly recommended for you take the safe path instead.
In this situation, your new friend can be considered rude by some people (though not everyone finds it rude) for asking such a question because it shows that during the first time, she met you, the only thing that she has in mind is how much money you might have.
Negative reactions to a job
After you have conveyed the truth to them, take a look at their reaction, especially their facial expression.
Some people tend to suppress their emotions and try to control their facial expressions to prevent reading what’s inside their minds. If this happens to you then, listen very carefully to their words and try to look directly into their eyes.
If they show a disgusted face and say things that are inappropriate to you or in any way make fun of you then try to save your self-confidence from being killed by these sharp words by leaving them altogether.
Some people may disagree and state that you will need to be patient and accept the things that are said about you. This is true but at the same time, you will find those words haunting your life in your mind, and then you will start to develop doubts about your abilities to achieve success.
This may seem trivial but without realizing it, you are letting your inner self be corroded by these toxic words that will shatter your life and cause your mental health to be unstable. This is one of the reasons why people are often found to be depressed and have fewer motivations to do the things that they want in their life.
Always keep in mind that sometimes people said mean things to you because of their envy of your success. People did that to feel good about themselves and most often if you feel that you have done enough and need a rest then feel free to do so. Ignore the negative things that society tells you because, at the end of the day, you don’t need to fit into society as they are the ones that need to have a better understanding of gifted people such as yourself.
Is it rude to ask someone what they do for a living?
Asking what someone does for a living is rude, as it is intended to either imply someone has a shady lifestyle or to create a basis for categorizing a person based on that answer. Keep in mind that many people also don’t like their job at all!
It is better to ask about the hobbies or interests of people you want to learn more about. If the interest overlaps with the career choice, you will have that information as well.
Otherwise, you will learn a lot about a person’s true interests and create a pleasant conversational atmosphere.
Asking what someone does for a living is also often aimed at an invisible social hierarchy (see “Is It Rude To Call Someone A Peasant?”) and can be perceived as asking whether a conversation with the other person would be worth your time at all. Therefore, refrain from asking this question.
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.