How to answer a loaded question

“Why are millennials so lazy?”

“Have you stopped hitting your pet?”

“Will you still vote for this stupid politician?”

These are few examples of a loaded question. Such questions are ‘loaded’ with an unjustified presupposition and it tricks you into answering in favour of the person questioning.

The above questions assume that millennials are lazy, you hit your pet and the politician (in question) is stupid.

And that’s the trap to avoid.

You answer it by, either

  • not answering at all
  • questioning the question
  • or breaking it down in simpler questions

E.g. Are millennials lazy? (Yes/No/Not Sure)

If yes, then why are they lazy?

In everyday situations, such questions aren’t easy to detect. In fact, people around you might be using them regularly to manipulate your thoughts and behaviour.

Because we’re trained since childhood to simply answer questions, we rarely take a step back to question the question.
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Examples are abound.

Active conversations: Salesmen, politicians, employees, employers, investors etc.

Passive broadcast: News anchors, advertisements etc.

So the next time a salesman tries to push a sale by asking a loaded ‘card or cash?’ question even before you deciding to make the purchase,  a smart response in your head would be, ‘Beta, tu rehne de’

Photo by Kenny Luo

About Tonmoy Goswami

Founder, Storypick.
Read • Travel • Create • Experience⚡

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