Anyone else have trouble answering "-est" questions?

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Ettina
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05 Nov 2021, 8:34 pm

Whenever someone asks me what's the best, worst, my favorite, most whatever, any kind of question that takes subjective experiences and asks me to place one at the top, I tend to fall into indecision paralysis when trying to answer. I can list off things I feel that way about pretty easily, but to pick one I feel that way the most seems pretty much impossible for me.

Anyone else?



Mountain Goat
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05 Nov 2021, 8:54 pm

It is a bit like when one is asked to say on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain one is in when one is in trouble and one dare not say 10 because one thinks that it is possible that pain could get even worse then one can imagine... But as one has not said 10, the health service does not respond where other people would have said 10...



TaylorGrace
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05 Nov 2021, 8:56 pm

100%! I freeze!



funeralxempire
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05 Nov 2021, 9:02 pm

I generally give fuzzy answers to questions like this unless there's an obvious definitive answer.

I struggle a lot with giving answers where I need to consider things relative to other people's experiences, like what Mountain Goat alludes to in regards to pain.


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Nov 2021, 11:41 pm

I usually give multiple answers whenever I'm asked to pick superlatives or favourites.

I don't have singular favourite anythings.



DeepHour
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05 Nov 2021, 11:47 pm

Same here, except when asked to choose the worst number one song in the British charts from the mid-1980s.


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Dear_one
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05 Nov 2021, 11:53 pm

I'd just throw in a qualifier, such as"off the top of my head" or "well Today my favourite is" or "in this field/these circumstances/as regards the ____ of it."



ThisTimelessMoment
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06 Nov 2021, 1:15 am

I simply cannot answer questions like that.


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naturalplastic
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06 Nov 2021, 2:24 am

The "fault" is with person asking. Not with you for not being able to answer. Except...sometimes the fault is with you for....taking the question too literally. It depends. But in either case you dont need to rack your brain to come up with that one superlative answer. And youre always free to say just that. "Gee i cant pick a single favorite."

I am thinking of two people who would ask "what your favorite" questions in which (it seemed to me) no sane person could pick a single favorite of the thing in question. One person was a funny struggling person - who really just needed to be reassured that "the whole thing was fine".

But the other was a quite different more normal person. The topic would be oldies rock music. She would ask "whats your favorite song from the oldies era?". Trying to pick a single favorite song from 1954 to 1970 is absurd ( or that was my opinon). But it was just her way to prolong the conversation, and get you to think about it. I could have responded with "gosh you cant pick a single favorite song. You could break it down by category. And even then it would be impossible...like your favorite dance song...or your favorite tear jerking song...or your favorite protest song...or your favorite trippy song....story telling song...etc. And even then you would have to settle for a top five list for each category." And that would have kept the conversation going...on the topic ...which was of common interest to both of us. :D



Benjamin the Donkey
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07 Nov 2021, 7:39 am

I've also never been able to answer those questions.


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Double Retired
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07 Nov 2021, 1:00 pm

What is the best? My mind immediately gets into thinking the best for what?! Only in the simplest circumstances is it a simple question.

And regarding the pain scale...I'm old enough that I am seeing doctors more and more often. And I am absolutely unable to easily answer the question of what my pain level is on a scale from 0 to 10. I want to give the correct answer but I DON'T HAVE A GAUGE!! I now take copies of the Comparative Pain Scale with me when I am am likely to be asked the question.


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Edna3362
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07 Nov 2021, 1:20 pm

Yes. :lol:

Because how I describe experience isn't the most linear of methods.
My most intense does not necessarily mean the most meaningful, the most frequent, and not even the most acknowledged.

... I could've had any best/worst of things and not realize nor acknowledge or even aware it IS at any moment.
It also doesn't help with my own habits towards emotions.

And sometimes... There's only rock papers scissors like comparison than the extremes of two and what precedes what.


It never helps that my baseline is screwed in some way.
There's this moving constant in the background, and that constant interferences with how I translate preferences at a given moment.


The best way I can give answer is in descending order: consistency, "frequency" (of feeling, action done, or of feedback), most recent of acknowledgement...

If any of those aren't firm enough...
My answers may change next year or next month. :lol:


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SharonB
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07 Nov 2021, 2:37 pm

Yep, problematic. I usually have an answer, but I cringe on the inside. I try to frame it for myself as one of the best rather than the best.

Favorite movie? I have two I answer with depending on my mood. I have not reevaluated these in decades.
Favorite color? I answer with the one I had two decades ago; I think it changed recently and I haven't adjusted my answer. Maybe I will now, as a result of this post.
Favorite number? I have one answer which gives me mixed feelings.
Favorite restaurant (or cuisine)? I answer this with a 4-5 point list.

Mountain Goat, LOL. We've talked about this before. Recap: I had a medical emergency and the first responder did not like that I answered "9" to his scale-of-1-to-10 question. He further questioned me "this isn't the worst pain in your life?" and I replied "I haven't lived my whole life yet." (and thanks to a life-saving surgery a few hours later that remained true).

This is on the order of "How are you today?" "Tell me about..." Just yesterday I had a "how are you..." fiasco (really it was mild, but ---you know).



Dandansson
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09 Nov 2021, 3:20 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
It is a bit like when one is asked to say on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain one is in when one is in trouble and one dare not say 10 because one thinks that it is possible that pain could get even worse then one can imagine... But as one has not said 10, the health service does not respond where other people would have said 10...

I just can't stand the scale thing at all! It's so subjective!
Eg "rate your experience you had in this store today from 1-10". One person could chose five and mean that it was kinda good whereas another person could mean that it wasn't really that good. What I see in some grocery stores are emojis (or you see them outide). They want you too push a button and rate your experience. I think it's five different emojis. This is obviously a better system in many ways, I guess.



Dear_one
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09 Nov 2021, 4:12 am

Dandansson wrote:
I just can't stand the scale thing at all! It's so subjective!
Eg "rate your experience you had in this store today from 1-10". One person could chose five and mean that it was kinda good whereas another person could mean that it wasn't really that good. What I see in some grocery stores are emojis (or you see them outide). They want you too push a button and rate your experience. I think it's five different emojis. This is obviously a better system in many ways, I guess.


If I have to try to understand emojis, I'll always pick the angry one.



y6q
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09 Nov 2021, 4:52 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
It is a bit like when one is asked to say on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain one is in when one is in trouble and one dare not say 10 because one thinks that it is possible that pain could get even worse then one can imagine... But as one has not said 10, the health service does not respond where other people would have said 10...

I was thinking about this recently when I was ill. Quantifying pain from 1-10 raises a lot of questions. What's a 10? Is that the most pain you can possibly be in? That has to be an awful lot of pain. So does a 3/10 mean 30 percent of the worst pain possible? That's still very serious. Yet in practice, 3/10 is used to mean a relatively small amount of pain. Is the scale nonlinear?

And the subjective factor is perhaps the biggest problem. I was in the hospital and I heard a man say his pain was 7/10. Seven? That's no joke! I'm sure most people would agree that a seven is severe pain. And yet he sounded perfectly calm as he said this. The numbers are always going to mean different things to different people.