5 Questions Intelligent People Don’t Ask

Have you ever asked a question that just made everyone feel awkward and uncomfortable? Sometimes, you might not be aware of what you say and end up overstepping or offending the people around you. There are questions you may ask others or even yourself that don’t really help your situation and may even worsen it. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the things you say. To look more into this topic, here are 5 questions intelligent people don’t ask. 

Number One: Don’t you think we should …

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Don’t you think we should do this instead of that, or eat here instead of there? When you ask questions like these, you’re not really allowing others to give their thoughts and input on the matter. Rather, you are already assuming that your idea or plan is the way to go and just want someone to agree and nod along to what you have to say. Because of this, people who are intelligent tend to avoid phrasing their questions like this since it doesn’t allow people to contribute, discuss, and come up with different types of solutions to a problem. It limits creativity and variety. So the next time you catch yourself asking yes or no questions like this, try to come up with more open-ended ones that allow people to really give their thoughts.

Number Two: Why Aren’t you…

Why aren’t you in college, in a relationship, or working a job right now? These questions often create a lot of tension because they can make the other person uncomfortable, offended and defensive very quickly. By phrasing your question like this, you are implying that they aren’t following the same timeline as everyone else and so are not doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to be doing. For this reason, when said, it can come off as judgemental, patronizing, and insulting to that person. During moments like this, it’s important to remember that not everyone does everything the same way. People come from different backgrounds, have different circumstances, preferences, and priorities, and so will have different timelines.  

Number Three: Why are your eyebags so big? 

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Any question related to someone’s appearance is usually not something you should ask. Whether it’s large eyebags, pimples on the face or a change in weight, a person’s physical appearance can be a sensitive topic for some, and therefore questions and comments about it can come off as insensitive and hurtful. Even if your intention is good and you’re just worried and concerned for their health, you never know what they’re going through and/or experiencing. They may be struggling with their mental health or are having a hard time at work or at home, which caused their change in appearance. So try to avoid questions related to someone’s physical characteristics, and go for topics that are more interesting. 

Number Four: What can I give to this person? 

Is there someone you’re interested in? Do you ask yourself this whenever you like someone? Wondering what you can give to another person and doubting whether it is enough assumes that you have to have something to offer to be worthy of friendship or love. This is just not true. A good and healthy relationship is not like a business agreement where you calculate what you give and take from each other or about how you can earn their attention or affection. It’s not all about the job, the looks, or the money. Instead, what really matters are the qualities and quirks that make you who you are. Be yourself and they’ll come to appreciate and love the person that you are. Remember that you are and will always be enough. 

Number Five: Shouldn’t you know what I need and want?

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Is this something you say to your friend or partner? Sometimes when you’ve known someone for a really long time or have spent a lot of time with them, you may find yourself feeling very in tune with them. However, even though it may feel like you can read each other’s minds, it doesn’t mean that you really can. As a result, you may find yourself getting more irritated and angry when your loved ones don’t know when something is bothering you or aren’t helping you when you need them to. So instead of asking them this and getting frustrated when they don’t, try to remind yourself to communicate your needs to them so that they can help you in the way you want them to. 

Closing Thoughts

Did you relate to any of the points we’ve mentioned? Everyone has made the mistake of asking the wrong question or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, so don’t worry if you’ve done these a few times yourself. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and to become more aware of avoiding topics or questions that aren’t helpful or beneficial for you and for those around you. try to be aware and avoid topics that can come off as insensitive, hurtful, and maybe even offensive to others.


Haden, Jeff. “3 Types Of Questions Smart People Never Ask (And 5 They Do)”. Inc.Com, 2016, https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/3-kinds-of-questions-smart-people-never-ask-and-5-they-do.html.

Harris, Marina. “5 Questions Emotionally Intelligent People Don’t Ask”. Psychology Today, 2022, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/letters-your-therapist/202111/5-questions-emotionally-intelligent-people-dont-ask.

Harris, Marina. “8 Interpersonal Myths Ruining Your Relationships”. Psychology Today, 2021, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/letters-your-therapist/202109/8-interpersonal-myths-ruining-your-relationships.

White, Mark D. “Why You Shouldn’T Ask Yourself What You Have To “Offer””. Psychology Today, 2018, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/maybe-its-just-me/201803/why-you-shouldn-t-ask-yourself-what-you-have-offer.

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