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Thread: Analyze This!

  1. #1
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Default Analyze This!

    It's been pointed out to me that my siblings and I have a habit of answering "I guess" to some yes or no questions.
    For example:
    "Do you want an omelet for breakfast?"
    "I guess."

    My initial guess is that, when we were little, to answer "no" would get us chastised or criticized, so instead we would reluctantly agree by being noncommittal, then it became a habit.


    I'm interested in other takes on this, though, so what would cause the children in a family to often answer noncommittally to innocuous questions?
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    I interpret I guess as yes, spasmodic joy need not be displayed on all positives. No different then OK, yup or ya depending on where you may live.

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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I would guess that it's something kids pick up from either older kids or adults- that the kids aren't doing it from some inner sense of ambivalence so much as just copying it as the 'right' answer to give in that situation. Who established it as the 'right' answer in the first place would probably indicate the original core of the ambivalence (which might help pinpoint why it's there).

    It is a sort of funny answer though. My son and I actually have a running joke about it- we'll drop an intentionally funky sounding "I guess" at suggestions of a compromise, or in a situation where things don't go completely our way (to make fun of possibly having the expectation for everything to go our way, or as a way to acknowledge we realize we've already got the better end of some deal).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    It's been pointed out to me that my siblings and I have a habit of answering "I guess" to some yes or no questions.
    For example:
    "Do you want an omelet for breakfast?"
    "I guess."

    My initial guess is that, when we were little, to answer "no" would get us chastised or criticized, so instead we would reluctantly agree by being noncommittal, then it became a habit.


    I'm interested in other takes on this, though, so what would cause the children in a family to often answer noncommittally to innocuous questions?
    Theory 1: You don't have strong preferences, so the options you're presented with don't get you excited. If you got excited about other questions and possibilities (BJ, free analysis, BJ analysis) then I'd say this might be the case.
    Theory 2: You're not used to asserting yourself. You're more comfortable being kind of invisible as opposed to having a clear, defined presence to you.
    Theory 3: You like guessing.

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    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy22 View Post
    I interpret I guess as yes, spasmodic joy need not be displayed on all positives. No different then OK, yup or ya depending on where you may live.
    At first I thought it might be a location thing. It still might be. However, I asked some of the people I went to school with whether they answered that way often and all of them said "no".
    BTW, I got a chuckle from the bolded.


    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I would guess that it's something kids pick up from either older kids or adults- that the kids aren't doing it from some inner sense of ambivalence so much as just copying it as the 'right' answer to give in that situation. Who established it as the 'right' answer in the first place would probably indicate the original core of the ambivalence (which might help pinpoint why it's there).
    It's not something I ever heard my mom say. She was always very certain in her answers. Of course, she could have said it in French and I never would have known. Just like I never knew she cursed until we went to Belgium and someone there said "nom de Dieu" and I remembered mom saying that a lot when I was little, so I asked what it meant.

    I don't know if my dad answered that way or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Theory 1: You don't have strong preferences, so the options you're presented with don't get you excited. If you got excited about other questions and possibilities (BJ, free analysis, BJ analysis) then I'd say this might be the case.
    Theory 2: You're not used to asserting yourself. You're more comfortable being kind of invisible as opposed to having a clear, defined presence to you.
    Theory 3: You like guessing.
    Good theories. Thanks!
    Number 3 is best...I guess.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    I do that when no answer stands out and I really don't care to think about it. Either because I've got other things on my mind or because nothing pops out and it doesn't seem worthwhile to dig for a legitimate answer.

    I don't think it's necessary to have an opinion on everything.

    Also funnily enough this is one reason I don't like ordering at Subway. They ask what you want on it. Usually I really don't care what I want on it. I want to tell them "I want sustenance to stuff into my face. I don't care. Throw random crap on it. Put everything on it. I really don't care so long as it is shaped like a sandwich and won't kill me."

    Edit:
    Also I think it my case it was rare to have any choice of food items when growing up. It was sort of 'you get what you get or starve'.

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    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Thanks, @sprinkles.

    So, it looks to me like the consensus is that it's about having no strong preference or opinion, which may have stemmed out of early experiences.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    You know, I'd say that if it *feels* (to you) like there's some significance to it, then there's probably something worth thinking about. I've noticed that I can latch onto some small thing myself and it'll seem indicative of some bigger underlying problem, it's like a symbol that stands out 'as a clue'. While "I guess" in itself seems rather innocuous, that doesn't mean there isn't something going on that agitates you (on some level) that might be worth trying to figure out.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

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    I agree with the concensus; I suppose you have no opinion.


    PS. Gazzaniga rocks.

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    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    My initial guess is that, when we were little, to answer "no" would get us chastised or criticized, so instead we would reluctantly agree by being noncommittal, then it became a habit.
    If you want to roll with that, like other people said it's because you don't have strong opinions/preferences. Maybe you restrain yourself from creating more solidified opinions because that would create tension and/or conflict with others? This would mean you dislike conflict or criticism so you would subconsciously stop yourself from becoming too set on an idea so that when someone tries to sway it, it doesn't affect you as much.

    This is all just pure speculation, though.
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