What is this behavior about?

fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
Someone close to me always answers my question with a question.

Here is an example:

Me: Is Jane bringing her children with her?
Cray Friend: Why would she bring her children?
Me: I mean...Jane is a mother, why wouldn't she?
Cray Friend: Umm....she's on vacation, right, why would she bring her kids??
Me: She's a mother, mothers take their children on vacation with them.
Cray Friend: But why would Jane bring her kids on a vacation when her husband can take care of them at home?
Me: Maybe she's bringing them to visit with their grandparents? I didn't know if her husband was coming or not...I was just thinking her kids might come with her! I don't know???

You guys, this happens all the time. It's this person's annoying way of communicating. Can anyone explain why someone uses this style of communication? It's a bit argumentative if you ask me.

Comments

  • PerriPPerriP Registered Users Posts: 6,613 Curl Neophyte
    My mom does this, not to that extent, though.

    Just the way they talk, I think. I wish I had a solution :)

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  • curlisue1curlisue1 Registered Users Posts: 494 Curl Novice
    I know people who do this also. I agree that it is a bit argumentative. I personally find it exhausting. I do not know why they do it.


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  • Curlista93Curlista93 Registered Users Posts: 411 Curl Novice
    That would get extremely annoying, especially if done all the time! To me, when people do that, they make it seem as if you're asking stupid questions.
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  • fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
    Curlista93 wrote: »
    That would get extremely annoying, especially if done all the time! To me, when people do that, they make it seem as if you're asking stupid questions.

    I guess that is the bottom line isn't it?
    I need to learn to diffuse this somehow.
  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    Probably stop talking to her or talk less.
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Registered Users Posts: 12,231 Curl Connoisseur
    What would happen if you pointed her behavior out to her? Is that something you can do with her or would it make you uncomfortable?

    I'm just curious because I haven't experienced this type of communication but I would have a very low tolerance for it and if I didn't want to confront her and ask why I'd avoid talking with her.
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Registered Users Posts: 17,898 Curl Virtuoso
    hmmm IDK if I could guess just based on the written words. It seems like the tone of voice would give the biggest clue. Is there hostility in her voice when she responds? Or is there genuine curiosity, like she's thinking out loud, trying to figure out the answer herself? Or is she acting like a stereotypical therapist, blankly mirroring/parroting everything back to you?

    It could be several different things imo.

    I am someone who asks a LOT of questions when conversing w/ ppl. And the questions are often misattributed to various other things - being combative, being nosey, lacking common sense, playing mindgames, etc. But for me, it's none of those things. IOW, I wouldn't assume a certain mindset. And yes, if I cared, I'd prbly ask.
  • claudine191claudine191 Registered Users Posts: 8,221 Curl Connoisseur
    Hi Frau!

    I don't know re: that person's questions. I would probably say, "Why do you always ask questions?" to which she would say, "Why shouldn't I ask questions?" and then I would have to drop my head and walk away.

    You look pretty in your avatar.
  • sew and sewsew and sew Registered Users Posts: 3,443
    In my experience with someone who often does this she seems to do it when there's some relation to insecurity complexes she has.

    In this more removed situation (asking about something that should be innocuous in regards to someone else) it might be resentment to her perception of societal expectations she's sensitive to for her own reasons. The idea that there's judgement against women who might go on vacation without their children, etc.

    Someone who is constantly plaguing themselves with reasons that they might get criticized...whether it applies to their present, past, or future doesn't really matter. With this person she has been brought very low by criticism (husband's family in particular) before, and in other situations in life, so she is intensely sensitive to anything where it remotely seems like criticism can come into play, even when it's theoretical.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  • sew and sewsew and sew Registered Users Posts: 3,443
    It's frustrating but I guess the way I see this person is like someone who's been in combat before and is literally jumpy or assumes an offensively defensive position when startled...it's a knee jerk response. It's such a deep part of their psyche that it's reflexive...they don't realize the cumbersome nature of it amidst what should be natural free flowing conversation. They don't feel bad for the inappropriateness of coming off combative, because should-be innocuous stuff strikes them negatively at their core.
    “It was only a sunny smile and little it cost in the giving but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3B ■ Medium/Course ■ High Porosity
  • LotsawavesLotsawaves Registered Users Posts: 9,777 Curl Virtuoso
    She may or may not be aware that she does this. If she isn't aware then it may be that she is just being cautious to not be judging. If she is aware then she may be manipulative. I'm a pretty straight forward person, so I would ask her about it in the next conversation with her. This will either make her aware of what she is doing or let her know you aren't going to be manipulated by her.
    From Michael Berg:

    Every person has a unique connection to the Creator that can never be extinguished, and every person has a great soul that can manifest important things in our world. To make a person feel less than they are because of something inside themselves, be it faith, race, or sexual orientation, is the greatest sin of all."
  • fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
    curlypearl wrote: »
    What would happen if you pointed her behavior out to her? Is that something you can do with her or would it make you uncomfortable?

    Actually, I did tell her back in November and she apologized. We don't see each other often so when it happened again I didn't even remember to mention it. It was only in hindsight after feeling irritated that that I was able to recall that she answers questions this way.
  • fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
    In my experience with someone who often does this she seems to do it when there's some relation to insecurity complexes she has.

    In this more removed situation (asking about something that should be innocuous in regards to someone else) it might be resentment to her perception of societal expectations she's sensitive to for her own reasons.

    Someone who is constantly plaguing themselves with reasons that they might get criticized...whether it applies to their present, past, or future doesn't really matter...

    ...so she is intensely sensitive to anything where it remotely seems like criticism can come into play, even when it's theoretical. It's frustrating but I guess the way I see this person is like someone who's been in combat before and is literally jumpy or assumes an offensively defensive position when startled...it's a knee jerk response.

    It's such a deep part of their psyche that it's reflexive...they don't realize the cumbersome nature of it amidst what should be natural free flowing conversation. They don't feel bad for the inappropriateness of coming off combative, because should-be innocuous stuff strikes them negatively at their core.

    Omg!! Sew and sew, you are a genius! Great post!!
  • fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
    hmmm IDK if I could guess just based on the written words. It seems like the tone of voice would give the biggest clue. Is there hostility in her voice when she responds? Or is there genuine curiosity, like she's thinking out loud, trying to figure out the answer herself? Or is she acting like a stereotypical therapist, blankly mirroring/parroting everything back to you?

    And yes, if I cared, I'd prbly ask.

    Not questioning or wondering, it's slightly argumentative. Almost like, "Why would you ask me such a dumb question? Can't you use your brain? Does that even make sense?"

    I did ask her why she always questioned me in this way and with an apology she said that even her ex-husband had mentioned it. He told her that he always felt badgered or something like that.

    The thing is, I forgot about our prior conversation last year. I just thought, gee this is why I don't like hanging out with her much.

    I'll remember next time to point it out should it happen again.

    Thanks CurlyTherapists!!
  • DedachanDedachan Registered Users Posts: 1,644 Curl Neophyte
    I have a close friend who will sometimes respond a bit weirdly to really trivial questions like that, he's definitely got a passive-agressive streak in him sometimes, which I have pointed out to him, but we end up laughing it off, since we don't really take ourselves that seriously. This is a guy who's in his 30's and has not yet come out to has family as gay (or bi), he has never told them about his boyfriend, and he doesn't seem interested in ever coming out (he tells me it's not their business, that it's a private matter). I also know he lost a brother to a car accident when he was younger. So I figure his defensiveness might be tied to those experiences and try not to let it bother me.
  • JosephineJosephine Registered Users Posts: 14,408 Curl Connoisseur
    frau wrote: »
    hmmm IDK if I could guess just based on the written words. It seems like the tone of voice would give the biggest clue. Is there hostility in her voice when she responds? Or is there genuine curiosity, like she's thinking out loud, trying to figure out the answer herself? Or is she acting like a stereotypical therapist, blankly mirroring/parroting everything back to you?

    And yes, if I cared, I'd prbly ask.

    Not questioning or wondering, it's slightly argumentative. Almost like, "Why would you ask me such a dumb question? Can't you use your brain? Does that even make sense?"

    I did ask her why she always questioned me in this way and with an apology she said that even her ex-husband had mentioned it. He told her that he always felt badgered or something like that.

    The thing is, I forgot about our prior conversation last year. I just thought, gee this is why I don't like hanging out with her much.

    I'll remember next time to point it out should it happen again.

    Thanks CurlyTherapists!!


    I find that it's hard for people to change their habits or the way they are even if they know they have issues. It's possible to change over time(as in years) when they realize it's deeply affecting their lives which includes relationships with people. In my experience, I have to adjust my expectations and/pr communication/friendship with the person.

    I'm having a similar issue with a friend who I've known for 10 years. I distanced myself from her over the last 5 years but she also unexpectedly moved to ny at the same time I did. So I tried hanging out with her again naturally. Oh boy. I told her what issues I had with her (I had to because she kept calling me several times a day to the point it was bothersome) and she had huge meltdown and said she would change and she has problems which I understand. She was good for a few days but that was it lol.
  • fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
    Josephine wrote: »

    I find that it's hard for people to change their habits or the way they are even if they know they have issues. It's possible to change over time(as in years) when they realize it's deeply affecting their lives which includes relationships with people. In my experience, I have to adjust my expectations and/pr communication/friendship with the person.

    Yes, great point. Heck, I can't even change myself that much.

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