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  1. #21
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who hates evasive answers?
    I don't think I hate it all that much. I guess it is not ideal. I dunno.

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  2. #22
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    Some people are evading the question rather than evading giving an answer. This sounds like what's going on, to me.

    I do this too, some times. In a way it kind of means "I'm not cool with this question." or "Don't pry" or "Please step back behind the yellow line."
    Basically this happens with a question that I think is not your business to be asking, but rather than being totally rude and calling you on it, I kind of give a half answer as a sort of gentle warning to keep your interests within certain boundaries.

    Persistence on something like this usually backfires and might even piss off the person being questioned.

  3. #23
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    "Evasive" seems to imply that the person is trying to hide something. Example in the OP sounds like a jealous boyfriend/ girlfriend, otherwise the interaction would be really silly. Someone mentioned politicians, I always find it fascinating how many of them can use so many words and virtually say nothing at all. That's evading the answer to something potentially affecting a large group of people, and that is very annoying. Obviously if I suspect someone is cheating on me and they are like 'oh I was out with some people" I may want to know more. There is definitely a difference between "evasive" and "vague", (an answer can be both at the same time of course.) The former is undesirable in many cases. (Unless you find out someone was being kind of weird because they were off decorating for your suprise party or something.) Or, as people mentioned, the question was invasive to begin with. There are always exceptions to the rules.


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  4. #24
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Hmm, evasive answers are peculiar things that - in my experience - usually result from cultural norms. Or deception, of course.

    If you are too blunt concerning certain matters, many cultures consider this level of directness to be distasteful. In other words, you need to choose how to word certain things. In other cultures, lack of directness is perceived as an attempt to deceive or manipulate. When I use the word "culture" here, I mean anything from a certain social milieu to different nation-states or different ethnic groups within a single nation-state.

    So when trying to determine how direct to be, it is not always simple. Americans, who tend to be rather direct, are far less so than Germans, and far more so than, say the British or some Asian cultures.

    In addition, personal preferences about how direct one is and how much information one reveals is actually quite common. I might have no problem being an open book for anyone, but someone else might not want to divulge much of anything regarding preferences, lifestyle, or even where they were or how long they were there. Now, to me, that seems silly. If I have nothing to hide, what's the problem? You're making conversation, and so am I. But of course, some are more protective of their privacy and get themselves all in a tither if you ask them even general questions. So....yeah....

  5. #25
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    First we have to define evasive in its context.

    1) When do you think people owe you an answer

    2) would you be satisfied if they simply didn't answer

    3) would you assume that lack of answer means "something to hide/ means a specific type of answer if one was given

    4) did you take into account their information processibg style

    5) did you take their culture into account ( try to get an east asian to give you a straight no in a negociation)

    6) do you apply the same rules to yourself

    I know that sometimes people would ask me a question, when i say its not their business they assume "the worst" when to me its just that i dont want to establish a precedent when people think an answer is owed or that i only answer when "the answer is positive" (refusal would then be taken as "an admission of guilt".

    Im pretty straightforward and open about most things, to me its not really an issue of hidding info, it just irks me when people expect answers as a give. Now if i had established a clear framework when it cones to sharing info or if its absolutly necessary for me to proceed i will say so.

    I rarely force prople into giving me answers. I just, if i think its justifiable based on what i want and what people want from me, appreciate when i am given the consideration to share information and get my input when it concerns me or my work.

    I ve often been at the other end of ppl makibg crazy assumptions about me. Its unpleasant, it seems, wasteful not to simply communicate.

    Now the thing is, i ll try to apply what i expect from ppl to myself. For example i will NEVER spy on ppl, listen to conversations im not a part of, even if i hear people say my name. I expect they re grown up enough to just tell me if its required.

    Then again i value communication in all things. Im a data whore.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    First we have to define evasive in its context.

    1) When do you think people owe you an answer
    I think people owe me an answer when they start out with leading statements such as in the OP. I also think, in the context of a romantic relationship, that someone withholding information is inappropriate as it can affect trust.

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    2) would you be satisfied if they simply didn't answer
    That would depend on why I was asking them the question, who it was, and what the situation involved in it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    3) would you assume that lack of answer means "something to hide/ means a specific type of answer if one was given
    Same as above answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    4) did you take into account their information processibg style
    In this instance no I did not but I can't help but feel that in this instance it was irrelevant

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    5) did you take their culture into account ( try to get an east asian to give you a straight no in a negociation)
    In this instance she's American, just like me, born in NY but raised around where I live so I don't think this really applies to this particular situation but in other instances, yes I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    6) do you apply the same rules to yourself
    I am probably more honest about myself and far more forth coming than anyone else I know. But that's my opinion and I know I'm biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    I know that sometimes people would ask me a question, when i say its not their business they assume "the worst" when to me its just that i dont want to establish a precedent when people think an answer is owed or that i only answer when "the answer is positive" (refusal would then be taken as "an admission of guilt".

    Im pretty straightforward and open about most things, to me its not really an issue of hidding info, it just irks me when people expect answers as a give. Now if i had established a clear framework when it cones to sharing info or if its absolutly necessary for me to proceed i will say so.

    I rarely force prople into giving me answers. I just, if i think its justifiable based on what i want and what people want from me, appreciate when i am given the consideration to share information and get my input when it concerns me or my work.

    I ve often been at the other end of ppl makibg crazy assumptions about me. Its unpleasant, it seems, wasteful not to simply communicate.

    Now the thing is, i ll try to apply what i expect from ppl to myself. For example i will NEVER spy on ppl, listen to conversations im not a part of, even if i hear people say my name. I expect they re grown up enough to just tell me if its required.

    Then again i value communication in all things. Im a data whore.
    You and I both on all accounts. I strongly dislike it when unfounded assumptions are made about me, which is why I try and be as forthcoming and honest about myself and my motives as I can. I can be deceptive when I need to be but I prefer not too, it's far simpler and easier to be honest. The only times I've ever withheld information is via the following:

    1) When I was asked by another party not to tell anyone about something (i.e. keep a secret). Then I will deflect, obfuscate, or speak half-truths to avoid breaking my promise.
    2) When it's incriminating about someone and it's really not my place or business to discuss it (i.e. discovering someone is having an affair). In this case I will usually redirect them to the appropriate parties
    3) If I do not want to discuss the matter with the particular individual because I feel they will use the information (either directly or indirectly) to harm me or someone else (i.e. finding out an embarrassing fact about myself or another and having a gossip queen demand the juicy details). This one is more about trust in the particular individual I'm talking too mor eso than the subject matter we're discussing.

    ETA: I forgot about this thread. She did eventually talk to me, she was in a hurry at the time of texting and slightly hung over which is why she answered me the way that she did. Sadly, nothing scandalous happened She just had a little too much to drink, fell asleep on the couch, and was taken home later that evening
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  7. #27
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    Default I, too, am not SJ but I Haz Si SO AMGS I IZ HEAR

    If I sense someone is giving me evasive answers, then I will respond loosely in one of three ways:

    1: I will ask myself if it's any of my business; if I am intruding or not, and I will usually back off. This is related to a "core value" of not wanting to bother people which if I am completely honest stems far more from a feeling of "I am not good enough" than the purity of not wanting to bother others.

    2: I will back off with further data mining in mind, and then I will spend the next days/weeks/however long I need to gather up the information to discover the truth by coming at it sideways.

    3: I will desire black and white, cut and dry, and I will push the issue directly.

    ---

    In the OP, that is a situation that would probably fall under 1 or 2 depending on my relationship with the person and the general trending pattern of our interactions.

  8. #28
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    I have a double standard here. I dislike receiving evasive answers, and will press until satisfied, or told that the topic is off-limits. I will, however, always respect a direct refusal to answer. On the other hand, I am very good at giving evasive answers that somehow satisfy or at least distract the questioner, and will do so when I think the answer is none of their business, or even something I just don't want to get into now. If someone detects the evasion and confronts me directly (this is rare), I will sometimes refuse directly. Or, depending on the topic, I might give them the answer as bluntly as possible, which always produces an entertaining reaction from them, causing them to regret asking in the first place.
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  9. #29
    Member Hecuba's Avatar
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    No, you are not the only one! I know exactly how you feel. I always end up pushing my boundaries and asking invasive questions and being pushy though I have been conscientious of this lately after what has happened.

  10. #30
    Member CheshireCat's Avatar
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    Hmm... It is unsatisfactory if I am expecting something more. Though if it is characteristic of the person to be evasive, I will adjust my expectations. If I am really trying to pry, I imagine I'd assert something like "Stop being evasive and give me some specifics! Paint a picture for me"
    "The unconscious mind should be called the super-conconsious mind."

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