Think about a situation where someone answered a direct question with a question. That’s an avoidance nonverbal behavior. There are different motivations for it, but often answering a direct question with a question signals an issue. For example:
“DID YOU TAKE THE CHOCOLATE?”
“Why would I take the chocolate?” is an interesting choice for an answer instead of saying a direct, “No.” In studying interviews with suspects later convicted of crimes, investigators found a pattern where some suspects consistently avoided telling lies by deflecting the question with another question or by answering indirectly instead of directly. There was an unconscious tendency to avoid telling a lie.
ANSWERING A QUESTION WITH A QUESTION IS NOT NECESSARILY AN ADMISSION OF GUILT
Someone may want to avoid answering because they don’t feel comfortable sharing the information. For example, they could have guilty knowledge of wrongdoing, but don’t want to “rat out” a friend or colleague.
A more positive motive could be shown by coaches, mentors and therapists, who might answer with a question because they want you to figure it out for yourself.
WHAT EXAMPLES CAN YOU SHARE OF MOTIVES FOR ANSWERING A QUESTION WITH A QUESTION?