As we enter the very last month of 2021, I can’t help but look back on how strange this year has been. While everyone sang about how amazing this year would be, I was one of the few singing the same song while hiding under a leaf. How could 2021 possibly be better than 2020 when the worst of the pandemic was yet to come? How could life magically revert to ignorant bliss once the clock struck 12 on December 31st? All of these were annoying questions that needed to be answered. But alas, the songs blared on.
Besides the curveballs that came this year, people have been the most irritating part. Well, not the people per se, but the questions that have come from said humans… You’ve probably asked these very questions as well, so I’m here to play devil’s advocate and show you the other side of the coin.
Are you ready for this? Here are the most annoying questions of 2021.
Are you vaccinated?
Goodness, this question has really driven me up the wall. Firstly, I completely understand that many people actually care about others’ well-being. However, when you have people who do not care if you’ve eaten breakfast inquiring about your vaccination choices, is it really justifiable?
For the longest time, my answer to this invasive question was no. No, I have not been vaccinated. No, I don’t plan on getting vaccinated any time soon. And no, I don’t care if I get COVID-19. Was any of it true? Of course note. But it was the rebel in me convinced that everyone who insisted that I had to do anything needed to be shown that they have no say in how I choose to live my life.
In case you’re wondering, I was indeed vaccinated. I just didn’t like being asked or told to vaccinate. You know what I mean? And yes, I have had COVID-19.
Are you going anywhere for the holidays?
This question is particularly irritating because of the constant changes in international travel. One day, people are no longer mandated to wear masks, and the next, you can’t leave your house for more than a few hours. Of course, I am exaggerating a tad, but when you put enough time and energy into planning a vacation only to have it canceled, you tread with caution.
Another particular reason why this question feels like a low blow is because of a recent family tragedy. It might be the irritable side of me that kicks in, but when people ask me what plans I have for Christmas, I generally say, nothing. The follow-up question is then, why? And in response, I could state with a straight face that my plans were to spend it with my father who passed away a few weeks ago. But knowing humans, they would continue to inquire if I have made alternative plans or ask how he died. I would then tell them that my little sister was meant to come over, but thanks to the pandemic, flights were canceled.
It may seem petty to be irritated by people asking about holiday plans. But until you’ve had every single plan tossed out the window, you will never realise how irritating it is.
How have your new year’s resolutions played out?
Are you the type to set new year’s resolutions each year and stick with them? If that’s you, kudos. I have never successfully stuck to any of mine, and don’t ever plan on setting any in the foreseeable future. Now with that bit of background to set the tone, here’s why I find this question to be very annoying.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”? Well, I’ve learnt the hard way that telling humans your plans is even worse.
People don’t really need to hear about how you managed to reach your $500k savings target. Or how you managed to get two promotions in one year. Your true friends will be happy for you, but they aren’t usually the ones who need to ask.
And to top it off, who is meeting their resolutions in such a messed-up environment? Survival should be the biggest achievement this year!
How did you gain/lose so much weight?
This question is better not asked, period. But ironically there are several people who still think it is appropriate to comment on everyone’s weight changes.
As a woman who struggles to keep my weight at bay, any talk of weight leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. However, something I learnt this year is that some men are equally – if not more – perturbed by such questions.
We’ve all gone through the same pandemic, so why don’t we normalise not being okay? We all got locked up at some point, so why not just accept that this disruption may have played out in over/under eating alongside the rustled routines? And why can’t we just normalise not caring about how big or small a person has become since you last saw them? Of course, the concern is a great thing to have. But maybe you’d get more sincere responses if you asked the question differently.
Let’s try ‘how have you been coping with everything going on’ instead.
Conclusion – How do we stop asking such annoying questions?
As you can tell, I am in a feisty mood as I write this. So putting my own emotions to the side, let’s get to the real point of this post. That is, it isn’t what you ask (the annoying questions) that matters, it’s how you ask them.
So let’s close this year on a high by using our emotional intelligence a tad bit more.
What are some other annoying questions you’ve heard on repeat this year?
Psst! Let’s hang on the socials!