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In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise– fully realising the answer may be no.

In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid "putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

When an Asker meets a Guesser, unpleasantness results.
This column will change your life: The Guardian
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