We’ve all been there (I know I have).
You’ve met someone for barely five minutes and they throw you a curveball.
They say something so leftfield, that it makes you feel super awkward and just ruins the vibe.
The uncomfortable silence is inevitably followed by an excuse to leave the conversation (a visit to the bathroom works well).
Why would anyone ever say that?
Well chances are, it’s because they lack social intelligence (or EQ).
In other words, they struggle to manage interpersonal relationships and understand the feelings of other people.
Let’s take a look at eight questions that someone with low EQ might ask.
1) “How much money do you make?”
Details about your personal finances are certainly a no-go area (even for your closest friends).
It’s considered taboo because discussing money can lead to comparisons and make people feel inadequate.
But low-EQ folks don’t get this.
Here’s the thing.
American culture and the capitalist system associates wealth with worth. It can affect your social status, opportunities, and well-being.
And even make you more attractive to potential partners!
Being put on the spot to declare your financial situation can be downright embarrassing for people (for both low-income individuals and top earners alike).
It’s incredibly socially insensitive.
The irony behind all of this is that true friends shouldn’t judge you on your net worth. There are so many more measures of success than the number in your bank account.
But this doesn’t make the question any less intrusive.
2) “Why are you still single at 40?”
You need to apply some context to this one.
If you’re reading the room correctly, this could be seen as harmless tongue-in-cheek fun.
After all, sarcasm can be hilarious when used appropriately.
But I was once at a party where the guy was clearly insecure about being single. Yet he was still asked this question in front of everyone.
It showed a complete lack of respect.
The fact of the matter was, the guy asking the question lacked social intelligence. He was unable to feel empathy and completely misread the situation. For him, it was a genuine question. He simply couldn’t understand why it was so inappropriate.
3) “Have you always been this big?”
You need to be very careful when broaching topics around personal appearance.
And if someone asks this question (especially after just meeting someone), chances are they seriously lack social intelligence.
The problem is, you don’t know what that person has been through.
They might seem happy on the outside but have some major insecurities hidden below the skin. Their weight gain (or weight loss) might be the result of a more serious underlying issue.
This kind of question will likely bring out all those doubts, fears, and negative emotions.
Low-EQ individuals don’t get this.
4) “Why do you believe in God?”
Challenging someone on their beliefs in a respectful manner is absolutely fine (and may actually lead to a fascinating discussion).
But gaslighting, behaving narrow-minded, and having a stubborn attitude can come across as rude and extremely offensive.
Think about it.
Just because someone doesn’t share your ideology doesn’t mean you should take it upon yourself to change their mind.
Not to mention, how boring would the world be if we all agreed on everything?!
5) “Can you lend me $10?” (repeatedly)
If someone constantly asks for favors it could be a sign that they lack social intelligence.
Especially if it’s one-sided and unreciprocated.
Here’s a classic.
We all have that one friend who conveniently disappears when it’s their turn to buy the round. Or they constantly borrow stuff (and never return it).
The fact of the matter is, they’re unaware of how inconsiderate they’re behaving.
Because (you guessed it), they probably have low EQ.
6) “Why do you cry so much?”
This kind of question could be seen as passive-aggressive and is a good example of insensitive timing.
If someone is clearly upset, the last thing you should be doing right now is asking them why they’re always upset! It’s much better to try and deal with the underlying reason behind the situation or simply just be there for them (and listen).
But unfortunately, people who lack social intelligence overlook this.
They’ll often put their foot in it, and come out with inappropriate questions at the very worst time.
7) “Why are you wearing that?”
Listen, people put a lot of time and effort into their appearance.
In fact, a study showed women spend over eight hours on average shopping, emailing friends, and planning what to wear in preparation for a girl’s night out.
I have friends who go through five or six outfits before finally deciding on their favorite.
You have to remember this.
It’s probably because they’re insecure about their appearance and are desperately trying to find something they feel comfortable in.
So if you ask someone this question (with a serious tone), you’re just being rude!
And chances are, you’re reinforcing their fears.
Anyone who asks this at a party or social gathering is either purposely being obnoxious or severely lacks social intelligence.
8) “Why do you still live with your parents?”
If you’re close to someone and honestly want to know the answer, this question isn’t so bad.
There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation, like they’re temporarily cutting on costs to set up a business, or they’re preparing to travel around the world.
On the other hand.
If you’ve just met someone and they let slip they’re still living under mommy’s roof, it’s probably inappropriate to dig too deep.
You run the risk of embarrassing them.
And it gets even worse if you’re seeking a romantic partner.
Studies show that homeownership makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.
So it makes sense why people might feel awkward (and ashamed) to talk about this in public.
If you have a high level of social intelligence, then this is pretty obvious to you (and you’d naturally stay away from these types of questions).