Dodging questions is one of the most frequently used tricks of people who either don’t know the answer or want to avoid embarrassment. Knowing how to do this competently, you can quickly get out of an uncomfortable situation, retaining your face and switching attention to the opponent who asked the question.
Question dodging may seem unethical at first glance, but it can help you to cope with a lot of obstacles in business and private life. Pay attention to politicians who skillfully avoid answering unpleasant questions and even use them to their benefit!
Let’s dig deeper along with Lucy Adams, an outsourcer from best essay.
Why Dodging Unpleasant Questions?
Any communication implies questions, including provocative ones. Although questions can be simple and inoffensive and imply plain answers, sometimes communication has a slightly different character: questions are very specific and straight, and the answers greatly affect not only the results of the conversation but also the person’s reputation and the attitude of other people towards him.
Also, questions can impose a specific role. For example, “Which option do you choose, the first or the second one?” As the question suggests only two alternatives, it’s rather an imposition of a specific choice to the interlocutor than the true interest in his opinion. Another example: “Are you stupid?” That the opinion about the person, not a question!
Whether you want it or not, you will be asked a lot of unpleasant questions from your employees, friends, strangers, and even family members. Although some of these questions are really important and do need answers, most of them are better to dodge to save your time and psychological health.
How to Avoid Answering Questions
#1 Indifference to the Question
This technique is most effective when there is a provocation or aggression towards you, i.e. when the opponent tries to embarrass you or put at a disadvantage. In this case, you shouldn’t show any emotions, even if you’re burning inside. To answer, either use general phrases or just keep silence. The point is not to go into specifics. Key to dodging unpleasant questions is don’t show you’re hooked!
If you do it right, the opponent will feel a complete failure because he expected a totally different reaction. Neither the question nor the interlocutor himself has significance for you!
#2 Ignoring the Main Question
If the opponent asks you many questions, just choose the simplest and the most innocuous one and reply in a very emotional manner, going into details. The point is to select the question by which you can shift the attention focus from the question that really disturbs you.
If you do it right, the main question will go in the background and will likely cease to be the main goal of the opponent.
#3 Questioning the Question
This method works well when the opponent provokes you or asks uncomfortable questions, as well as when you need to learn more information about the interviewer.
However, by questioning the question, you’re risking to cause irritation in surrounding people, and sometimes even a feeling of disgust and some dread. So be careful if you need to maintain good relations with the person or he is important for you. Maybe, it’s better to answer his question in the neutral form before questioning it.
#4 Changing the Subject
Changing the subject is one of the smartest tricks you can use to cope with the best opponents. No matter what was the question, your answer should be the reflection of your line, that is, the chosen strategy for communication. It’s all about the substitution of concepts.
Changing the subject works great for a complex question when you can take the most comfortable subquestion and answer it. Try to transform the situation so that the interlocutor understands that it is not you who do not understand what he is asking, but he asks questions in an incomprehensible form. That’s the top of your game!
#5 Bringing the Interlocutor to the Target Question
This technique requires high communication skills because it implies a complete manipulation of the person asking questions. Your task here is to push the opponent to ask the right question, constantly returning to the topic of interest and linking it to everything that the interlocutor says.
To do this, you need to select a specific topic for the conversation and answer some simple questions of the interlocutor, thereby disposing him to yourself, and then continue the conversation on the subject you are interested in. When the opponent joins the conversation, all answers will be ready and will work for you.
#6 Tell the Interlocutor What He Wants to Hear
If you need to convince somebody of something, you need to get his support by providing him with what he wants to get. Feel free to tell lies; it’s doesn’t matter at this stage. After all, this is only an indulgence to a person in his desire to be deceived. Support the illusion with which it’s easier to live for the opponent, and you’ll quickly get support from his side.
Determining the right answer is always reduced to analyzing the question: most often, the question itself contains the answer, and all you have to do is to choose between a few options depending on what effect you want to cause.
All these methods are fairly simple to use, but not that practice makes perfect. Unobtrusively apply a new skill to the practice of your communication, and as you progress, there will be fewer and fewer questions you can’t answer!
Be attentive to people with whom you communicate, especially unfamiliar. If you have to answer too many questions or the conversation always comes down to the same topic, most likely, the opponent manifests latent aggression towards you. Stay away from such people if possible. Those who know a lot about you are potentially dangerous. It’s not about being a paranoiac – just be attentive to what is happening around!