If you interact with people who have different cultural influences to your own, you will probably find this model useful.
I grew up in Australia, but I’ve lived much of my adult life as a expat. I’m currently based in the US. In my circles back in Australia there is more of a guessing culture, whereas I’ve met a lot more Askers here. I’ll admit I’ve been unsettled at times by having big things asked of me! My assumption was that the ‘ask’ came bound with an expectation to say yes - but I’ve just realized that is not necessarily the case.
And on reflection, I think that being an Asker might be better for everyone. I begrudgingly admit that I find Jon Chait’s view
Guessers are wrong, and Askers are right. Asking is how you actually determine what the Asker wants and the giver is willing to receive. Guessing culture is a recipe for frustration.
What’s more, Guessers, who are usually trying to be nice and are holding themselves to a higher level of politeness, ruin things for the rest of us. I’m not a super hospitable guy, but I frequently find myself offering things to other people that I’d like them to take – say, leave their kids at my house to play with my kids – but they refuse to take because they think I’m a Guesser, offering hospitality I secretly hope will be turned down. Guessers are what forces people with poor social discernment, like me, to regard all kinds of interactions as a minefield of awkwardness.
What do you think?