Author Topic: Why is it rude to ask about age?  (Read 2112 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2014, 09:27:40 AM »
I am horrible at guessing people's ages so most of the time, I don't worry about it.  I don't care if I have friends that are 20 years younger or older than me, as long as we are interested in the same things.  I play ball on two different teams; I'm the oldest player on both teams and the youngest members are young enough to be my kids.

I will ask someone's age when there is a reason for it, like dating situations.  I'm not hugely hung up on it but I don't want to end up dating someone 10-15 years my junior (I look young for my age) without knowing that information up front.  I wouldn't want to get involved and then find out we weren't on the same page.  If they didn't know my age, they might not realize children would be out of the question, for example.
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Dindrane

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2014, 10:14:38 AM »
I think a person's age falls under the category of personal information that a lot of people use for judgmental purposes, and which typically doesn't have any direct relevance to others (at least in social situations).

For that reason, I think it's rude to ask for a person's age (or any other similar personal information) without a real need to know.

That's especially true because legitimately close relationships often have topics like that come up naturally. I don't need to actually ask how old most of my friends are, because they've either told me or I've figured out a pretty close estimate based on other things we've talked about. So essentially, without some outside reason to need my exact age, if a person has to ask me what it is, they probably don't know me well enough that I feel they are entitled to that information.

I also don't personally bother to remember the exact ages of all of my friends, even if they have told me. I only remember how old my high school and college friends are because they are all the same age as me. I used to know my siblings' and parents' ages off the top of my head, but I've gotten to the point where I have to do the math (since I do still remember offhand what years they were born and how many years separate them from me). There are times when I have to really think about how old I am, and I'm not even that old!


GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2014, 12:49:42 PM »
I don't really care if anyone knows how old I am. It's not a big deal. I'm older today then I was yesterday, but younger then I'll be tomorrow and that's pretty much how life works.

However, if someone just flat out asks me how old I am, I wonder why. Why is that necessary information. It's a bit like asking how much I weigh. I'm not ashamed of my weight, but it's not relevant to most topics of discussion. And, like age, it's something people will pass judgement on.

I get told that I'm too young to be getting married. I also get that I waited too long to get married (someone called me an older bride...I'm 27). And then some people seem to think I'm a good age to get married. When I meet new clients I get a lot of "You don't look old enough to do this job" because there's an age requirement? I don't think so. I've learned to not discuss my age. I'm capable of doing my job and I'm old enough to get married, and that's really all they need to know.

ladyknight1

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2014, 12:54:24 PM »
I was 27 when I got married. I think that people have some unique time frames that they expect others' major life achievements to meet.

What an interesting assumption always works.

TootsNYC

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2014, 03:30:57 PM »

However, if someone just flat out asks me how old I am, I wonder why. Why is that necessary information. It's a bit like asking how much I weigh. I'm not ashamed of my weight, but it's not relevant to most topics of discussion. And, like age, it's something people will pass judgement on.


I think that our society has defined age as "something you don't ask," so when people are willing to bust that taboo--or if they don't know about it--then I wonder about them.

How out of touch about societally defined acceptable boundaries are they? If they don't know about this one, what else will I ahve to worry about them not knowing?

If they know about it but refuse to observe it, what other boundaries do I have to worry about them rejecting?

Vall

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2014, 05:14:28 PM »
I had an awkward moment a few months ago concerning someone asking my age.  I was working an odd shift that I would never work again, so I knew that I'd probably never see any of those employees again.  Out of the blue, one of them asked me how old I was.  I was stunned.  After standing there for a second, I stammered out, "A lady doesn't tell her age" and bean dipped.  She pressed it again insisting that I tell her my age since she thought we were probably around the same age.  It was awkward and I bean dipped again successfully.

Yes, we were probably around the same age and I'm not ashamed of my age at all.  I didn't answer because it was really none of her business.  We weren't going to become friends and the information did not help either of us to do our jobs better.

If someone wants their age to be known, they will usually offer the information.  I don't try to pull that information from people.  When people try to pull that information out of me (especially when it's out of the blue) I get uncomfortable.  I think it's especially rude when a person tries to pull that information from me more than once.

Rockie

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Re: Why is it rude to ask about age?
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2014, 06:19:41 PM »
I admit I'm a little touchy about my age because I've had it used against me in an attempt to invalidate my opinions or feelings (e.g. "I'm older, I know better", "You just don't understand, you'll understand when you get older", "You don't know what crushed is" in reply to me saying I was crushed at the prospect of losing a longtime close friend) or for assumptions to be made about my experiences. I try not to show it, though. If it's someone I'm not likely to see again or would only see in passing, I try not to give an exact number (at most, something like "Oh, in my 20s", though the responses in the other thread have given me ideas for other good answers). For people I'll have close and repeated contact with (e.g. relatives), I've just given the number. Though I had a cousin's wife (er...cousin-in-law?) say, upon hearing my age, "When I was your age, I was already married and had two children!" (I'm single and childless). People are always surprised when I do say how old I actually am.

Very rarely do I outright ask anyone theirs. If they're close friends they'll either tell me outright or I can guess from what I know about them. As others have said, I'd pretty much only ask if it's directly relevant to me (i.e. a dating prospect or if we're doing an activity that requires everyone be of a certain age).