Ever found yourself answering questions you later wish you hadn’t? It happens to the best of us until we stop it!
Certain people ask probing questions and we give them the information! Mad eh? What goes on?
They can look you in the eye and ask you the most personal of questions, opinions you would like to keep to yourself, agreement to something you may prefer to think about, invites to an event etc. We can’t blame these people, it’s what they do. They have a program to ask and to receive!
We hear in the media of intelligent single people giving thousands of pounds to dates they haven’t even met! In the workplace saying yes to tasks you should say no to, volunteer roles you haven’t time for, timeshare you don’t want, charity raffle tickets that afterwards seem dodgy – it happens a lot!
Well simply, many of us are conditioned in childhood to answer questions. You may, like I was have been told repeatedly:
“Answer me when I ask a question!”
If an adult ask you a question you must answer immediately – that was for teachers, doctors, priests, the police, dentists, lollypop ladies/gents, all adults. So we, through repetition become programmed to answer a question which becomes a fantastic advantage to those either too nosey or others wanting your information for gain.
Let me tell you! YOU ARE GROWN UP NOW!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER!
That’s right! It can STOP NOW!
The habit or program can stop.
So make a choice now and give yourself the instruction that I now wait when I am asked a question. You can repeat this to yourself until it becomes an unconscious habit. For many, the realisation of this choice is enough to make a profound difference.
As well as the instruction, this is a useful strategy:
When asked a question, take a deep breath and ask do I want to answer this question now?
If it is no and you are uncomfortable saying no, you may need some practice saying no to people or try a method from the world of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to dissolve the discomfort.
If it’s no, then you may need to say something else too. Depending on the asker of the question, the context, you will need to decide on the most useful reply.
We want to avoid telling fibs, as there is always a risk of being found out. However sometimes it works to tell a fib. Here are some examples:
“How much do you earn?” “That’s not a question I ever answer”
“Can I have…” “That wouldn’t be good for me, so no”
“Will you do …” “That doesn’t work for me, so no”
“Come to dinner on Saturday” “That’s kind of you, and Saturday is not possible for me”
“Come to us on Christmas day” “Its tradition that I stay home on Christmas day”
"You pay for dinner and I will get it next time" "I can only pay for me and haven't my credit card with me"
“Where shall we go on our next date?” “To be honest this isn’t the match to go to a next date, positively it means you are free to find your best match and a better relationship”
Set the intention that you will only answer what you want to answer
In the moment when put on the spot, take a deep breath, smile, you can
Say "That’s interesting you should ask that"
Repeat their question back
This will give you valuable thinking time so that you can thing what you want to say and find the words to respond.
Recommend you invest in NLP and the structure of influencing language, as this is not even the tip of the iceberg! There are so many ways we can deal with questions comfortably and even have fun withholding our data or not agreeing to things we don't want to.
Your data is yours! No more sharing without your considered consent!