Saturday, 24 September 2011

Answering the Question.

If you ask somebody a question face to face, it puts them under great pressure to reply. There are very few people who can easily withstand that pressure, so you nearly always get a reply of one sort or another.

(Helen, my ex, is about the only person I’ve ever known who seems to find it easy to resist. She writes a response in her eyes, and they generally say one of three things:

a) That question is too stupid to warrant any time and effort on my part.

b) I don’t know the answer, so I’m not here. Go away.

c) I know the answer but I don’t want to give it to you, so you’ll have to do without.

Helen’s a real one-off.)

The point of the post, though, is to remark that no such pressure exists with internet communication. If somebody doesn’t want to answer a question posed in an e-mail or a blog comment, all they have to do is not click the ‘send’ button. I find that frustrating because not only am I denied the answer, I’m even denied the reason why the person is declining to answer. So then I start guessing, and we all know where guessing can lead. It’s why I always answer people’s questions.


Zz... said...

if you really wanna KNOW you just send another email with just the question- when peoplea re as wordy as us, one question gets LOST in it all!

also most people are so time poor they can't reply it all...

JJ Beazley said...

I think it goes deeper. I've noticed that it's always the women who don't answer questions, and I think it's all to do with the fact that women perceive, process and prioritise information differently than men. To a man, a question is simply a question that requires an answer. Men are relatively simple creatures who function on a more prosaic level. To a woman, a question is more likely to be part of the overall picture to be filtered through the faculty of intuition. It might require an answer, it might be best ignored, or it might be missed altogether because it's seen as inconsequential.

That's what I think.

Zz... said...

neh that's thinking too much lol, most of teh time people just can't be bothered typing as it is too long and complicated when yo could just tell someone much more effectively the answer

JJ Beazley said...

Tell them how?

Maria Sondule said...

I think you're right. I do this sometimes, when I'm embarrassed to give an answer or if I just don't feel like talking to someone. It's a bad habit that should be revised.

JJ Beazley said...

Don't lose too many bad habits, Maria. They're what make people human.