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How Good Are You with Questions?

June 28, 2010

Have you ever noted the way people avoid answering questions? It seems to me that asking questions may have gone by the wayside partly because we cannot get a direct answer, so why bother. How often do you ask a question that needs simply a yes or no response, only to hear excuses? It seems that if someone cannot commit to a response that he or she somehow feels the need to justify the answer in advance. Sometimes the person thinks they have replied to the question, even though they evaded it. Inquiries are such a huge part of life. If we are in the habit of evading them with others, we may avoid solving helpful questions that we ask of ourselves.

I remember as a youngster, asking endless questions, of myself and other people. This is the way we explore life and gain an understanding about the world in which we live. I stopped asking questions as I grew into teen years for various reasons. I received answers that were vague, at best, or cliché. Often my mother told me why I was not permitted do something when a simple answer would have been adequate. In a sense, I began to shy away from asking questions because I failed to get a straight answer. I think that the authority figures in my life thought I was too young to understand or unable to accept their answers.

Questions cannot help us if we hesitate to ask them, or if we evade the answers. We wonder about diverse issues in life, and so, we always search for solutions. Do you search for clarification? Are you hesitant to look for answers for fear of what you may learn? Do you believe that asking another person something is a form of attack on them? How often have you asked an honest question and been treated as though the answer was none of your affair? Do you find yourself wanting to ask a question and hold back, because of doubt? We wonder about something each day, but it seems the inquiries come in and right back out going unsettled.


I Leave You with Something to Consider

Questions begin with questioning words. “I get to go to grandma’s house this week?” Statements like this are dubious.

A thought: Have you ever asked a youngster if their room is clean? The child strolls away to complete the task. This is an example of someone evading a yes or no inquiry. Are you looking for action or for a reply? Why did you ask, and was it a passive–aggressive approach (manipulation)? Do you behave this way at times when someone asks a simple question?


4 Comments to “How Good Are You with Questions?”

  1. Dia says:

    I think many times we evade answering the question directly and give a diplomatic answer instead is because we don’t want to offend people especially with controversial topics such as politics and religion. Sometimes, it is needed that we evade answering the question directly for many various reasons. At the same time, we shouldn’t ask people something that they believe is too personal. In short, it depends on the question that is asked. Thanks Sandra for sharing

    .-= Dia´s last blog ..How to control your emotions and overcome negative thoughts =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Dia for adding your voice of reason here. I agree we do need to refrain from asking selective questions. As you pointed out, we do avoid talking because of our beliefs. What are our beliefs if other than personal and private? I wonder if holding back our beliefs affects our friendships in an adverse and biased way. I mean connection is the key when it comes to all relations, and trust is the underlying issue, to me. Often I think we take questions too personally and react when we can just as readily talk.

  2. This post is so true Sandra. Thanks for this great insight…

    I’ll just let my thoughts after reading this… :)

    There is a term “Psychological manipulation” it is type of impact on the others, using deceptive methods… Manipulators want something, and they will use all possible ways to dominate. One of the ways is the questions with one answer…

    How to deal with it?

    1. Be aware. Recognize manipulators.

    2. Learn to recognize the questions that have only one answer.

    3. When someone ask such a question, keep the freedom not to answer, or point out to him that you will not do it.

    And what if you manipulate others?

    Realize that everyone is entitled to their choices. Understand what is manipulative behavior and avoid it. One of the important conditions for a happy life is understanding and removing of manipulation.

    I moved to another topic, sorry for that, your post linked my thoughts in that direction. :)

    Take care… Marko

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Marko,

      “Mind Games” is a huge topic and people will stop playing if they fail in their efforts. This is why learning to ask good questions and being assertive is essential! The hardest place to recognize and stop manipulation is within ourselves, we all do it, and it may be something we never fully recover from doing. The one thing I want to affix to your list is number four. (4) If someone asks something that you KNOW they already know the answer to, they are trying to manipulate.