Ask culture vs Guess culture

So this isn’t new, but came across me social feed this morning and really made a lot of sense.

Are you an asker or a guesser?

  • Asker
  • Guesser
  • Bit of both

0 voters

I have modes but reckon I grew up as a guesser for sure.

This is a classic case of Ask Culture meets Guess Culture.

In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.

In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won’t even have to make the request directly; you’ll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

All kinds of problems spring up around the edges. If you’re a Guess Culture person – and you obviously are – then unwelcome requests from Ask Culture people seem presumptuous and out of line, and you’re likely to feel angry, uncomfortable, and manipulated.

If you’re an Ask Culture person, Guess Culture behavior can seem incomprehensible, inconsistent, and rife with passive aggression.

Obviously she’s an Ask and you’re a Guess. (I’m a Guess too. Let me tell you, it’s great for, say, reading nuanced and subtle novels; not so great for, say, dating and getting raises.)

Thing is, Guess behaviors only work among a subset of other Guess people – ones who share a fairly specific set of expectations and signalling techniques. The farther you get from your own family and friends and subculture, the more you’ll have to embrace Ask behavior. Otherwise you’ll spend your life in a cloud of mild outrage at (pace Moomin fans) the Cluelessness of Everyone.

As you read through the responses to this question, you can easily see who the Guess and the Ask commenters are. It’s an interesting exercise.

1 Like

I LOVE it when people invite themselves over to ours, but I would never ask the same in return as it’s way too presumptuous.

1 Like

I am a unique snowflake

Be safe, be safe, be safe, be safe, be safe


What are you on about?

I think it’s fine to ask if i can try someone’s food or drink without being offered any first (but only after they’ve at least tried it themselves). Is this related?

Please read the OP

I read it three times and I’m still completely clueless.

really don’t like asking for stuff, sometimes think I would rather lose contact with everybody than ask them if they want to hang out

Please choose asker

1 Like

Where do you buy your jeans?

Possibly but then food sharing is in my wheelhouse - I know people who would be miffed at being asked

I have muted this thread.

As if any one on DiS is an asker

In a shop

What does this mean?

do you feel comfortable asking for stuff even if the answer is going to be no?

Or do you prefer to not get something for fear of getting a no if you asked

sake kallgeese

I’m not averse to food sharing

My guess is that all these things are nonsense that people use to justify their own behaviours