All over the internet you will see some etiquette on how to behave at a reunion but there is a topic people tend to forget. “What do I discuss?”. “What questions DON’T I ask?”. The part people dread are possibly the awkward questions from people who aren’t up to date in your social networking life or lack of. Everyone has a topic or more they would like to avoid all together such as: loss of a family member, divorce, illness, careers and much more. To help avoid the awkward mingling this is a list of a few questions to just not ask.
“What have your parents been up to?”
As we get older people will lose a parent or are battling an illness. Rather than asking what their parents are up to, just simply ask “How is the family?” This will let the person stay vague on answers and not make them feel uncomfortable.
“Do you have children? Are you wanting children?”
If they have kids you will definitely know. People tend to tell people about that in the first bit of conversation. Reasons to avoid this topic is people will personal reasons for not wanting kids and may be hard to talk about. You don’t know if they have experienced a loss, miscarriage or are possibly infertile.
“You have a kid(s)? Are you married?”
In this day and age there are a decent amount of people that are having children out of wedlock. There are so many reasons why they are in this position. This could be a hard topic to discuss and a class reunion isn’t really an appropriate setting.
“You have that many children?! Are you planning on stopping soon? Isn’t that a lot?”
People have big families and pointing out they have a lot of kids and indirectly telling them that’s too much will make them feel bad and alienate them. Don’t make assumptions on their personal lives. Be kind and congratulate their achievements as a family.
“Where are you working? What do you do for a living now?
This seems like a normal topic, but for some people this can be sensitive. You don’t know if they have experienced a job loss. A better question to ask is “What have you been up to?” If they are working then they will tell you all about it.
“Are you dating anyone?”
This is another topic people will openly share on their own. It’s better to have them talk about it than making them feel awkward. You don’t know in their personal life if they have recently broken up with someone or haven’t had any luck on the dating scene.
“Are you getting married?”
This is another topic just to avoid. If they are planning on a wedding, they will definitely let you know all about it. This could potentially put pressure on them and make the conversation go south.
Avoid traumatizing events of their childhood
“Do you remember when you got your head stuck in the bike racks during recess and we left you there?””Remember when you peed your pants in class?” People never forget embarrassing events in the past and they certainly don’t want to have that memory come back. It’s better to avoid it all together and remember better times in their past.
“You look so different!”
Of course people look different than they do since high school. Everyone is aging. For most people it’s common for outer appearances to have changed since high school. Some people gained weight, lost weight, had a few kids, had a hard few years or whatever. The last thing you want someone to feel is self-conscious and insecure. Just avoid this topic all together.
High school reunions are mostly reserved for reminiscing with old classmates. This really is good to just keep it like and don’t grill your peers. Asking a series of personal questions will only make them feel uncomfortable and not want to go to another reunion event again to avoid the same questions. Really this is a time to have some fun!