A reader commented:
Re yes-or-no questions: maybe these work well for some people, but I think they’re frustrating for some people. Did you bring your lunch today – yes or no? Sounds like a demand for either “yes” or “no” and the person may feel intimidated and be silent, thinking maybe they’re not allowed to say “sort-of” (e.g. I brought a snack I intend to eat at lunchtime, or I brought a lunch but already ate it, or my friend brought an extra lunch for me, etc.) Maybe better to say “yes, no or something else?”.. … or “yes, no or sort-of?” or “yes, no, sort-of or I-don’t-know?” or “yes, no or mu?” and you can explain that “mu” means “any other answer when you don’t want to say yes or no right then.” See the section “unasking the question” in the Wikipedia article on “mu (negative)”.
That’s definitely true. “Yes or no” prompting can be very helpful for some people, but it’s actively anti-helpful for other people.
It’s mostly helpful for people who don’t understand about yes-or-no yet, or some people who need help remembering that they can say no, or some people who get overwhelmed by too many options expressively.
You have to communicate with the particular specific person you’re communicating with, and figure out what works for them.
If someone seems to hate the way you’re approaching communication, or if it seems to be making them less able to say what they mean, try something else.