A couple of years ago, I had a most disturbing revelation: a great number of people think that certain questions are in and of themselves rude.
A lot of people will tell you that this is obvious. Everyone knows that questions about people's religion or political views or how much money they make, are rude.
But that's not what I mean. I've worked out that people find it rude when you ask them "How" questions and "Why" questions. It doesn't matter what the topic is. Actually, it's worse than rude. It's brutal.
And that which has been said cannot be unsaid. Once you've been pegged as a person who asks How and Why questions--which would be instantaneously upon asking one or the other--that's it. You are the enemy.