I understand that people are curious creatures. Humans have a natural instinct to understand the world around them. It is fun to travel and see how other people live life. You could find yourself asking questions to help gain a better understanding of the settings around you. Friendly reminder- there is more than one way to gather information, especially when dealing with sensitive topics.
I find my financial details to be sensitive information and private. I am also willing to express my boundaries. I do not feel bad for standing by them either.
When two strangers meet, their respective boundaries are unknown. Maybe something will be said or done to reveal someone’s boundaries. When boundaries are expressed, it is important to respect them.
Whenever a guest arrives and proceeds to make conversation about what it must be like to be in the Airbnb business, what it must be like to be a host, what it is like to have strangers around, it seems the money question also comes up. What makes people think it is okay to ask a stranger about their financial situation? and make no mistake, you are asking about money and since I can only speak from my experience and I only know the intimate details of my situation and you are asking me- then yes, you are asking about my private business.
Do you know what it seems like. It seems like this……
Hi nice to meet you, how much money do you make?
- Is Airbnb lucrative?
- Are you able to cover the mortgage?
- Do you have to have a second job?
- How much do you get after Airbnb fees?
The answers to these questions are none of your business. When asked, I am put in the position of verbalizing my boundary, which sounds like….. Sorry, however we just met and I do not discuss my financial situation with strangers.
The gentlemen who asked me the lucrative question followed up my response with- Oh, I am not asking you about your money. We argued a little. Listen guy, yes, yes you are. Here is the definition of lucrative.
Some people feel bad after my boundary response, which puts me in the position of trying to smooth things out because they are guests in my home and I want them to feel comfortable. I have had to work really hard for this- a few times. My honest response brought an awkwardness to the situation that I felt fine about but I could tell my guest didn’t. They overstepped the bounds with their questions and now they feel bad because I responded honestly and shut down the conversation. Now I have to do the hard work to make it comfortable again.
In the future, think about what you’re asking, really think about it. If it requires divulging personal information then think twice asking a stranger about it.
The saying goes “Treat people how you want to be treated”. As much as I understand the lesson being conveyed, I think we should tweek it a bit to say- “Treat people how they would like to be treated.”