It is no secret that the art form of tattooing is a growing concept. More and more people are getting tattooed every day and it's starting to become a society "Norm". However, have you ever been hit with the question of "What does your tattoo mean?" "Why did you get it?" "Why would you place it there?" All valid questions, but none of your damn business.
I personally have two tattoos, one is a geometric wolf and the other is a NYC skyline. Both of these tattoos have some very deep meanings. They all tie back to an extremely dark time in my life and they are my "battle wounds" if you will. They remind me that things got better and that I have to keep fighting. These are extremely personal tattoos. After all, I got them for myself, not for others.
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That being said, should you have to explain your tattoo? I'd say no. You paid for it, you chose it, and you know the true meaning behind it. Just because someone asks you what it means, don't feel inclined to answer. It's your business and no one else's. Now, if you feel comfortable enough with these people and want to share their meanings, by all means, go right ahead!
I know most people don't mean harm when they say that sentence, but it's just not something I have to tell you. Working in retail I get a ton of compliments on my tattoos and I thank the person and move on. Other times, I get the questions of "What does it mean?" Etc. I am not comfortable with telling strangers what they mean since I have zero connection with them whatsoever. I try not to be rude, especially while working so I make up some bullshit meaning behind that tattoo to mask the truth of what the tattoo really stands for. Should I lie? No. However, should I tell strangers my deepest darkest secrets? The answer is no. Sometimes a white lie is the easiest way out.
You might be asking yourself, "What should I say to someone who has tattoos and I like them, but don't want to pry into their emotional and private life?" I'd say the most simplest answer to this question is just say you like their tattoo. You don't have to ask why they got it or where they placed it. If you truly liked the work and wanted one for yourself, feel free to ask where they got it done and by who. 90% of people will be perfectly fine with telling you everything you want to know on where and who did the tattoo.
I know most people don't mean harm, but just because you get a tattoo doesn't mean you don't deserve privacy. Respect other people's decisions and their privacy.