I was reading this morning about a new survey – rather bizarrely commissioned by an e-cigarette company – which looked at the habits men and women found most annoying. I was quite surprised to discover that for women, the second most annoying behaviour (and something which was considered “socially unacceptable”) was asking questions about when they were going to start a family. Almost 70% of women found it annoying, and only spitting in public was more irritating. Things like playing music too loudly on headphones, sniffing, chewing gum or eating smelly food in the office came way lower down the scale.
Interestingly, more than 50% of men were annoyed by questions about when they were going to start a family too – although they found sniffing, being asked how much they earn and being bumped into by someone on their mobile phone more annoying!
I know it’s easy to assume intrusive questions about when you’re planning to have children are upsetting because you’re trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant – but this survey suggests that questions about this are annoying to everyone, regardless of their fertility. So, next time someone asks you, you don’t need to feel you’re being prickly or rude if you don’t want to answer – remember, the majority would agree that it’s not a question people ought to be asking!