Do you hate it when people don't answer your questions?

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27 Jul 2008, 2:26 am

I find it real frustrating when they don't so it leaves me skeptical of them. I am thinking they are hiding something or I caught them in something.


Like the other day, I ask someone a question in a thread, she didn't answer it so I thought she ignored me and bam I got skeptical of her and figured she is just being paranoid and I caught her in it so she avoided my question. But I was also hoping maybe she forgot to answer it or she didn't see it but I was afraid to ask it again. But she eventually answered it in one of her posts. I was paranoid over nothing.


So does anyone get paranoid or find it frustrating when someone doesn't answer your questions or do you get skeptical when they don't?



nekowafer
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27 Jul 2008, 3:07 am

I hate when people don't listen to me - it pisses me off, because it's so close to being ignored, which is the quickest way to make me hate you, in person anyway. With my boyfriend I always assume he's hiding something if he doesn't answer, because he used to do that to me ALL the time.. I didn't even know he lived with his mom until 6 months into the relationship!

I can also start to get a little skeptical.. it's hard for me to listen to everything they say if they either ignore what I say or won't answer it. But I'm not always so paranoid about it.



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27 Jul 2008, 3:26 am

I feel paranoid of every silence in a conversation.
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27 Jul 2008, 4:46 am

I feel guilty whenever I can't immediately answer a question in the forum and I take it as a personal crusade to answer all emails regardless.

These ethics seem fine but they're not.

One good example was when my wife and one of her friends stopped talking. I got an email from her friend. I knew that they'd already stopped talking but I felt that I couldn't be the "thread killer" and thus replied. My wife was annoyed with me.... then it happened again - a new message - and that means I have to reply.

I knew she'd be annoyed so I didn't say anything... but I've never kept my email private from her. I didn't expect that she'd start reading through it but she did. It was a very difficult time for me - loyalty versus personal ethics...

Of course, if everyone else followed the same ethics, we'd never stop talking. So maybe it's best that they don't.



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27 Jul 2008, 6:12 pm

am can answer from the opposite side,as one who doesn't answer questions/posts/emails/PMs etc for some time,
maybe some might have the same problems.


it's not because am try to be nasty/ignore anyone but because am find direct communication very difficult and need a lot of time to work up awareness of the comment,and once ready it's putting together the right words.
as am struggle with the language side as well,and can be sat all day [light till dark] trying to put together a message, the thought of writing a message can actually put am off doing it also-as am have varying levels of weakness from daily meltdowns and overload.
am never not answer others-if am able to help it,and when not able-am work towards being able to.



would it be a good idea for those that dont mean to affect others badly to put in signature that may not answer posts/pm for some time because of a difficulty with answering/whatever want to put?


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27 Jul 2008, 6:20 pm

I often leave questions made to me unanswered on threads, because I don't know the answer, forget to answer, am too tired to answer, or don't want to explain the whole story. Sometimes because I think the explanation is pointless, beside the point, or a waste of everyone's time, or the question was just rhetoric to help me answer it to myself. So if it was me by chance, apologies Spokane. :)


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27 Jul 2008, 6:40 pm

I will often times not reply to questions that have been posed to me in a thread. It mainly has to do with the "understood" flow of conversation. I don't like to back track in a conversation. I think it's a learned thing. I don't want to obsess over a subject. My husband actually says that I'll apologize for talking about a subject before anyone is bored of hearing it. So I'm extra careful on boards because I'm much more aware of what goes where.



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27 Jul 2008, 6:50 pm

I'm also pretty awkward at returning messages.

I probably appear very able like the average person at written communication, but I find it quite hard to get in touch with people. Writing itself is extremely easy to me personally, but writing to someone is crazy. When I am expected to do that, my bloody mind just stops working.

Then there's also the case that I have no idea what someone's post is about. Despite a high verbal IQ score and that some of the posts are made by the nicest people, I have zero idea what they're about.
Personal components in posts makes it hard for me somehow. I rarely ever visit the Random Discussion for that reason.

I wrote and returned, like, <10 messages in all the time I'm registered here. And when I get back to a topic, it's usually to respond to some specific people that I find responding to a lot easier compared to other people.


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27 Jul 2008, 6:51 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
am can answer from the opposite side,as one who doesn't answer questions/posts/emails/PMs etc for some time,
maybe some might have the same problems.


it's not because am try to be nasty/ignore anyone but because am find direct communication very difficult and need a lot of time to work up awareness of the comment,and once ready it's putting together the right words.
as am struggle with the language side as well,and can be sat all day [light till dark] trying to put together a message, the thought of writing a message can actually put am off doing it also-as am have varying levels of weakness from daily meltdowns and overload.
am never not answer others-if am able to help it,and when not able-am work towards being able to.



would it be a good idea for those that dont mean to affect others badly to put in signature that may not answer posts/pm for some time because of a difficulty with answering/whatever want to put?


Similar things can happen with me.

Also, some questions are just innately hard to answer. I don't access knowledge the same way most other people do, so I can't give an answer right away, maybe never depending on whether something triggers the knowledge.

I wrote a post once called How (not) to ask me questions, too.

Anyway, because of this, I don't like when people insist that I have to give an answer. To me that comes across like, "I don't care whether what you say is true, as long as you say something." Because I am able, often, to come up with a response that 'sounds right', but may have nothing to do with what I'm thinking. It's how I compensated as a kid for having receptive language trouble combined with trouble retrieving responses, and it's a habit I have deliberately broken myself of.

So except in rare occasions, I just refuse to answer anything I'm unable to answer accurately at the time.

I did used to know someone who was super-suspicious of people who didn't answer questions. I considered that person to be the paranoid one, because every time I didn't answer they thought it had colossal significance, and every time I came up with an answer in a delayed fashion, they insisted that the timing of my answer must have even more colossal significance.

Which made me not want to answer them at all, ever. Because I could never keep up with the speed of their questions, and some of their questions were personal and not things I wanted to tell them about. Plus the person was forcing me into a situation where I had three choices -- lie (and be more trusted because I lied, which made zero sense), answer in a delayed fashion and get grilled for the time it took me to answer, or not answer at all and get asked the question repetitively (which I noticed also happened when I gave answers that were truthful, but that the person didn't want to hear) with a lot of verbal abuse thrown in between the question. Oh and I could also say "that's private," which just made the person extra-suspicious, they appeared not to believe in anyone having a right to privacy, even a total stranger that they were asking extremely personal questions of, and any assertion of privacy around them prompted attack.

Because of that experience, I am even more disturbed by people who attach too much meaning to a non-answer or late answer of questions.

Also I just in fact had an interaction with someone who apparently asked me a question five or six years ago, I didn't answer, I forgot the question even existed if it ever did, and the person is now treating me like there's something wrong that I didn't answer in all this time even though it was just an informal discussion.

And the thing is, with that question, I will probably never be able to answer, because the question expects me to remember what I was thinking when I said something, and I can't remember at all, nor do I even agree with a lot of what I said anymore.

But this person actually appears to keep a mental archive of every single conversation, and if a question or even a statement is not answered, will often repetitively post things like "On (this date), at (this time), you wrote (this), and I said (this), and you haven't replied yet." All of which makes me afraid of interacting with them for fear that the moment I don't answer something it'll start another cascade of posts along those lines.

And I would say, just please be aware, if you're asking someone a question, of everything I just said, and everything KingdomofRats just said. And also one other thing which is this:

Other people don't necessarily keep track of every thread we post in, or every question we're asked. You see them as extremely important and obvious because you're the one who asked them. Other people might forget them or not notice them at all.

Also that not everyone has the same definition of what is personal and what is not. I often have no trouble answering many questions that most people would consider personal, and yet many questions that most people don't consider personal, I do consider personal and feel violated when people demand answers to them. I don't expect other people to know what I consider personal, because it's so idiosyncratic.

But I do expect people to respect what I consider personal and invasive once I tell them, and not to ascribe other qualities to me or to continually pester me to answer if I have not answered already, or even said I don't want to answer. (This actually can border on harassment if the person is persistent enough.)

I also would hope that people respect the fact that people can have all the other troubles described in answering questions, and that they not ascribe various traits (paranoia, criminality, being a 'suspicious character', whatever) to people who don't answer something. That's not fair to the other person.

It's also not really fair to act as if you're entitled to information from people. You're not. People are however entitled to answer or not answer as they see fit, and for a huge number of reasons that may not have even occurred to you. (And apparently haven't, since you seem to attribute exactly one reason to that behavior, when there are so many others.)


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27 Jul 2008, 7:28 pm

Spokane_Girl wrote:
I find it real frustrating when they don't so it leaves me skeptical of them. I am thinking they are hiding something or I caught them in something.


Like the other day, I ask someone a question in a thread, she didn't answer it so I thought she ignored me and bam I got skeptical of her and figured she is just being paranoid and I caught her in it so she avoided my question. But I was also hoping maybe she forgot to answer it or she didn't see it but I was afraid to ask it again. But she eventually answered it in one of her posts. I was paranoid over nothing.


So does anyone get paranoid or find it frustrating when someone doesn't answer your questions or do you get skeptical when they don't?


I only find it suspicious if it's I think someone's said something nasty about me, or if someone has made a judgment on my behavior and then I ask them to specify or clarify and they don't and sometimes even instead go on and on about all these things I did that pissed them off but they have have chose not to bring up until now. This makes me think umm you are being spiteful because you didn't seriously answer my question and got all defensive instead. lol

I do find it annoying when people don't answer questions of mine but I at the same time I understand that they aren't doing it to piss me off. They just might have something else on their minds or whatever. So yes I do get annoyed. I don't think there's anything wrong with being annoyed that someone doesn't answer you, it's only wrong if you assume things about the person or attack the person because they didn't answer you.



27 Jul 2008, 8:36 pm

Greentea wrote:
I often leave questions made to me unanswered on threads, because I don't know the answer, forget to answer, am too tired to answer, or don't want to explain the whole story. Sometimes because I think the explanation is pointless, beside the point, or a waste of everyone's time, or the question was just rhetoric to help me answer it to myself. So if it was me by chance, apologies Spokane. :)



Nope wasn't you. :D I don't remember asking you a question.



27 Jul 2008, 8:48 pm

Wow thank for the answers everyone. I had no idea people can leave mine unanswered because they don't know what to say, etc. when I think about it, I realize I have done the same because I didn't understand someone's question or I forgot to answer it but then by the time I remembered, I figured it was too late because I think it would look suspicious if I answered it few weeks late and the thread had already been dead. Now I feel like a hypocrite. :(



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27 Jul 2008, 10:25 pm

See, I'll gladly accept that someone doesn't know what to say, or doesn't have an answer, or wants to keep it private, or anything like that.. I just NEED to know this. I know some people won't put up with that but like I've told my boyfriend, if you don't have an answer just say so, and there won't be any problems at all.

Doesn't work with everyone but it makes me feel better about whatever question goes unanswered. I just hate being ignored!



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27 Jul 2008, 11:10 pm

I don't think it's fair of you to expect so much from people and to suspect someone just because they don't want to answer a question you ask.

The last thing I would do is interrogate someone I just met or barely know. I don't even do it to people I know really well. It's just rude! People first, interrogation last!



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27 Jul 2008, 11:28 pm

It's not necessarily interrogation. I know for me I care a good deal more if it's someone I'm close to.. if I don't know them well I don't give a crap.