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Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?
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  1. #1
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    Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    Hi Fellow Travellers,

    Is it a Thai cultural thing to ignore a question if you think it's rude or inappropriate? Or maybe if it's simply one you don't want to answer?

    Have I just bumped into a couple of women who adopted that strategy or is there a cultural background to it as a social norm?

    I have not been sure, due to the possiblity of language problems as well, if some topics I've raised were not responded to because they were not understood or understood and politely ignored rather than telling me straight out it was none of my business. Not being a pushy guy I've usually not followed up those topics further.

    I'm thinking that as I want to develop and deepen my friendship with my Lady I am just going to have to keep raising an issue if it's important to me but not being responded to by her.

    Any experiences, knowledge, insights out there for me on this one?

    Peace,
    Mikel.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    Perhaps the person being asked the questions knows that you won't like the answer, so instead of lying to you outright, she chooses to ignore the question.

    I suppose this is better than straight out lying or telling you what they think you want to hear, but it can still be frustrating.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    Probably she just doesn't know what you're talking about. Bare in mind English is not their first language or even second language in Thailand. And they don't want to appear "stupid" asking you to repeat the question over and over again.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    HI

    My Thai wife ignores me al the time LOL

    either she doesn't understand the question and doesn't want to answer
    or she understands the question but doesn't want to answer.
    or sometimes she is mad at me for something I said which she took the wrong way.

    I like to joke and use puns and play with the english langauge she doesn't understand
    then thinks I am saying bad things about her.

    I have learned to be very precise in what I say and how I joke. when talking with her.

    when we first meet she had no concept of the idea or word maybe. I have learned to never use that word, it is either yes or no.

    and I have learned if she ignores a question I do not harp on it. I let it be .
    but I usually can figure out the answer by watching her body language and in
    normal conversation. when it come's up

  5. #5
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    I wouldn't say that it's considered good manners, but it's definitely widespread behaviour here.
    of course Bucky and Khonrai are correct and it might be that that thai person doesn't understand the question. so first of all it's very important not to speak correct english as they will usually not understant that, but to speak english the way they do (for example most thais don't know what "went" mean. you have to say "go" and add the time "yesterday" for example).
    but assuming that they do understand thais tend to avoid addressing issues they don't want to deal with. for example although thais are known for giving good service they do it as long as everything works fine. if you have some complaint and they don't really have an answer for you they would rather avoid you than tell you that.
    so I would say that if you are sure you are understood, it's a good bet that they are not interested in discussing the issue. part of the whole non-confrontation approach.
    Last edited by kedbecker; 15-04-10 at 06:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    Westerners are more straight forward where as Thai are more beating around the bush.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    I agree with kedbecker... At the heart of it, I think it all boils down to Thai people avoiding conflict.

  8. #8
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    Well one of my female friends in Thailand when not wanting to answer a question would say, "That's not Polite" It must have been said to me 50 time.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    I think she might not understand you. Try easy words with no slang. Not a long sentence.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is Ignoring a Question Good Manners?

    Yes, often this happens due to the language problem.

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