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Centerpointe Research

Down on Put Downs

Are you so lacking in self-confidence that you second guess or question everything you do.  It is more likely if you are a woman or one of those persons who is always having their actions questioned.  Asking a person a question when you really need to know why something happened or what is happening, may be important, but asking it in such a way that the person already feels that he or she done something wrong can be unreasonable.  It may even have become a habit that leads to the person being questioned not wanting to tell you anything.  The person may not stop doing what they want to do; but they may not feel secure enough to be open about it.  He or she also may not develop confidence in the actions they take or in opinions they hold.

Questions in the form of put downs may be disguised as humor and that leaves the person being questioned as lacking a sense of humor if he or she takes offense when this happens.  It certainly short circuits communication.  Questions can be fielded with the response,”Why? Don’t you trust me?”  Answering a question with a question is a good way of getting away with not answering the question initially asked.  This response is  frequently used by people who often ask questions in an accusatory fashion of others.  When a person becomes skilled at this “game,” a person with whom this person interacts this way often winds up not getting their questions answered  and having their answers to the other person’s questions not being accepted.

"Question War"

"Question War" (Photo credit: Toban B.)

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