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How to Avoid Answering a Question

Updated on January 29, 2013

Avoiding a question occurs daily, of course, you can simply refuse in some manner. That is the easiest way to defer it. But there are other ways to avoid it that require more skills obstruction. One method is to respond with another question to deflect the focus and attention. This works well during an interview if there is a question you seek to dodge. Make sure the question does pertain to the same subject matter. Another way is to respond but talking about something not really related to the what was asked, again, to deflect the focus. For instance, a question is asked you wish to avoid, your response would be compliment them and ask them about it. You can also respond to a question with a response indicating that the question itself is unclear or is faulty in being unclear. Sometimes, a short curt answer will suffice to see if there will be a follow up question. Answering a simple Yes or No, usually leaves "dead air" hanging and if the followup question is also not wanted, one can ask them a question. Employers love to always leave vague answers about job security or potentialities. They always indicate that the possibilities are endless depending on needs etc. Well, you can use the same tactic to many questions, leaving the response "open ended" by being vague or words like, "maybe", "some", "probably". If you are not sure about an answer, toss the question back like, " I'm not sure, what do you think?"

All of the tactics about answering a question can be used in the same conversation, just be creative if you really wish to avoid answering some of them.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Throat punching also works.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      5 years ago from now on

      Really? I'd just come back with "Why not ask it? Unless you afraid to answer it?"

      Then he has to answer it whereas there are many other ways to dodge it (like mentioned in this hub) without risking being put on the spot. The whole idea is to totally avoid being put on the spot, which inviting the questioner to come back does not do.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      If someone asks you a question that you would prefer not to answer, simply say, pleasantly, "Why do you ask?" It usually stops the questioner cold.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      5 years ago from now on

      What are you doing, giving away all of the politicians' secrets? They wrote the book on How to Avoid Answering a Question.


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