My mother recently pointed this trait of mine out to me. If you asked me if I want steak for dinner, I might respond that I had sweet potatoes for dinner the night before. If you asked me if I like the shirt you're holding up in a store, I would likely make a comment about what color dominates my closet. I am apparently completely incapable of answering a yes or no question with a simple "yes" or "no." The closest I come is, "I don't know."
Since it was pointed out, I've started noticing this trait for myself…usually after the fact. I have to laugh at myself, really. It should not be that hard, yet for some reason for me it is. A few times I've caught myself beforehand, or even during my answer, and try to simply answer with "yes" or "no." I can barely manage to do it. It's liked brain resists anything that appears too simple.
Since becoming aware of it, I have noticed a pattern in my responses to these kinda of questions. I tend to attempt to give the person asking the information they would need to come up with my answer themselves. Unfortunately, my mind will take things off on a tangent, and that somehow does not get translated when I attempt communicating verbally. In my mind, sweet potatoes are related to steak; I almost always order them together at a restaurant. However, unless you already knew this, you would need more information to understand what I was trying to say.
Or it's possible that I'm trying to be too honest. I refuse to commit to something if I cannot account for extenuating circumstances. I know people are understanding when something comes up that you have no control over, but the fact that this is a remote possibility somehow keeps me from simply saying "yes."
I'm going to have to address this issue when my children are old enough to ask me questions. I doubt I'll have a problem saying, "No," when my child asks for a candy bar at the check-out line, but what about other questions? Now that I am aware of it, I know I need wisdom to learn to deal with this in a way that will not frustrate my children every time they ask me a question.
Does anyone else have this problem? Or do you find yourself identifying with it? How do you make yourself answer simply when your brain is demanding complexity?