Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I Wish You Would Not Ask...
I can identify with that kind.
This huge debate is on – spurred by a web posting by Andrea Donderi and subsequently an article by Burkeman that appeared in The Guardian – which I shall quote from liberally.
Whether you Ask or Guess, they say depends a lot on your upbringing. In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it's OK to ask for anything at all, but you got to realize you might get no for an answer. This is the Ask Culture. People who ask for just about anything. For a favour, for a raise. They believe they can ask for something, even if the answer may be No. But they will try anyway.
The Guess Culture on the other hand– are people, who will only request ( not ask) if they think the answer is yes. They will debate within themselves and send out feelers till they are sure, and in most cases may receive an offer even before they can pose the question.
Both seem right in their own way. But the problem is when an Asker meets a Guesser. An Asker might ask to borrow your favourite book; invite himself home to stay. And as a Guesser, you would think he is rude to ask and be put to a lot of agony by giving in, or through more pain having to refuse.
Among nationalities, the Japanese are said to belong to the Guess Culture. While the Russians are classified as Askers and sometimes thought to be rude persons to deal with.
I think (GUESS?) it is good to have a healthy mix of both. I personally feel I am more of a Guess person, but there are times I will not hesitate to Ask, but that is only with people I am comfortable with and may take a little advantage of. And having to say NO is tough. But I am learning.... . And sometimes the agony of having said No, can really weigh you down. At times, I secretly admire the nerve of those who ask unabashedly. I could never do it most times. Is it a virtue? I don't know.
There are others like Jonathan Chait who think it is perfectly right to Ask, and that Guessing culture is a recipe for frustration. He writes: Guessers, who are usually trying to be nice and are holding themselves to a higher level of politeness, ruin things for the rest of us. I feel that this is being pretty harsh on Guessers
What do you classify as? An Asker or a Guesser?
(Image - http://www.vosibilities.com/)