Advitica

Well-being and prosperity

One of the most effective techniques in controlling a conversation is the ability to ask a question from a question. Adults use this technique often to discretely avoid answering a question in a number of ways. Girls tend to learn this tactic much earlier that boys and some moms don???t even consciously know that they do it. I have started a separate thread to this on ???The Question Game??? so you can get some practice and have some fun. I teach this technique to my children because I think it is a valuable tool.

A Typical Scenario
Let???s look at a typical scenario where a teenager wants something from her parent. This could apply to a wide variety of things and of course I am talking about situations that would be acceptable within the family???s culture and age groups.
[Daughter] Mom, can I go out tonight?
[Mother] What time will you be home?
At this stage we don???t know why the mother has asked the question. Is mom ???asking a question from a question??? to discretely avoid answering the question or does she really want to know the answer.
If the daughter answers ???I should be home by midnight???, then I think that there is a bigger chance of a no than a yes. 
If my daughter asks her mom to go out, what might mom (or dad) be thinking at the time? Let???s just go through some of the possibilities
A) Mom will have to stay up or it will inconvenience her
B) Mom or dad will have to pick her up after
C) Mom doesn???t know the people her daughter is going with
D) Mom doesn???t trust her daughter???s friends
E) Mom knows what mischief she got up to as a teenager and doesn???t want her daughter doing the same (but would never admit to this)
F) Mom knows for sure that they are going out to get up to mischief
G) Mom knows where the daughter is going, likes and trusts her daughters friends, accepts that her daughter is trustworthy, is willing to put herself out to wait up or pick up the teenager(s) and actually wants to know the time that the event finishes.
H) Mom just hates her daughter and just wants to be nasty.

How might mom use a question to answer a question?
There are a number of ways that mom could use this tactic. Let???s go through a few
1) Avoid answering the question
2) Change the subject
3) Make it personal (intimidation)
4) Make it dismissive
5) Tell something without making a statement

I could probably write a whole book on this subject so let???s just pull it up here for the moment. You can probably see that I can expand quite a bit on each of the topics above. At the end of the day, as a teenager you need to be able to respond to a question from a question instinctively. If your parent is experienced at this type of tactic then they will ???smell a rat??? the first time that you use it, so you will need to practice it with your friends and with your parents until it comes naturally. Of course I can tell when my children are using this tactic and I do encourage them to master it.
Let???s reframe the response:
[Daughter] Mom, can I go out tonight?
[Mother] What time will you be home?
[Daughter] How about half past midnight?
It would be quite difficult for mom to just say no, without giving any reason or explanation since it has been phrased as a question. Mom will then start to reveal the underlying reasons. Let???s have a look at mom using response styles 1-5
1) Why do you want to go?
2) Why do you always ask me at the last minute?
3) If I get a headache tonight it will be your fault
4) That???s not a very good move anyway, the reviews said it was bad
5) Do you know how hard I work to make money and you spend it like water?

Okay, there are probably a lot of responses you could use but clearly your mom might want to give u a little emotional jab to see if it upsets you, so the return questions must be fast but not emotionally charged, otherwise you will lose big time.
Once again to get agreement, it???s good to know the love language of the parent so that she can relate to what you are saying
1) Don???t you think I should spend quality time with my friends?
Don???t you think I should do something with my friends? (acts of service)
Don???t you think it???s a great opportunity to [show off a skill] (affirmations)
Jessie gave me this ticket, wouldn???t it be a waste not to use it? (gift giving)
2) Why do you always change the subject when I ask you something that is important?
3) So is that a yes then?
4) Would you like to go with me to another movie next weekend?
5) How would you like me to show that I really do appreciate you?

So by asking questions, it allows you to help control the flow of the conversation. Hey, this isn???t going to work all the time and if you have a professional manipulator as a parent then they may well see this tactic coming from a mile off so it???s not a silver bullet and I???m not encouraging you to use this style of conversation as a weapon. Also if you have been up to mischief in the past then I have no sympathy for you. Lol.

In more general terms it can be a great tool to direct a conversation when someone is being hostile to you, including diffusing potential harm so practice the game until you can respond naturally to a question with a question.