What is the right way to respond to "I don't want to do it that way"?

It happens like this: OP asks a question to achieve X. I supply an answer to solve X within the boundaries stated in the question. Then OP states that he doesn't want to use my solution for a constraint not stated in the question.

For example this technical question: OP wants to put business logic in XAML. They are given an answer of how to do it in a property in code behind with binding but state - "Don't want to use code behind" with no reason stated.

When there is valid method to achieve the stated functional need but OP refuses to use it (with no stated reason) what is the proper way to handle it? Just ignore the question?

In the extreme you get questions that are a rant because it does not work the way they want it to work even when they know how to make it work.

  • 2
    What does a down vote mean? It is a question. Are questions not supposed to be on meta?
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:23
  • 1
    I would normally ask for justification - if an answer given is correct and uses standard/normal methods, one has to know why that's not good enough. That kind of constraint should be part of the question to begin with.
    – Oded
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:26
  • 1
    You're in a somewhat tough situation once this happens. It usually happens because the question wasn't specific enough, but now you can't (or shouldn't) edit the question to be more specific because it would invalidate the answer. Might be better to accept the answer and ask a new more specific question.
    – Kevin B
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:28
  • @KevinB I am not asking from that perspective. Respond to "I don't want to do it that way".
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:31
  • 2
    A downvote on a meta question could be interpreted as "why do you care about this? don't care about this" IMO. though I think you should care about this. Jan 6, 2016 at 17:42
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit OK - seems odd but I got an answer.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:47
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    @Frisbee: Meta is very odd. You'll get used to it. Maybe. Jan 6, 2016 at 17:49
  • (Read this though) Jan 6, 2016 at 17:49
  • 2
    What is the XY problem?
    – gnat
    Jan 6, 2016 at 20:37
  • In general, I would not consider down-votes on any “Meta” site to be a complete criticism. You should always feel free to post a question here. It might simply mean the person who down voted just doesn’t even understand what the core premise of the question is or why you would even care. Jan 6, 2016 at 20:50
  • 3
  • @IlmariKaronen It is related to chameleon question but kind of the reverse. For me it is easier to get away from a chameleon and I feel OK with voting to close if they change dramatically as question is a legit too broad (in my opinion). What really sucks is your answer can get down votes because it is not longer an answer to the current question.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 21:04

3 Answers 3


If you can, you might want to expand your answer to give a solution that fits within the new requirements. If you can't, or don't want to, just leave your answer as is.

Give it some time. The user asking the question isn't the only one that might benefit from your answer. Let the community vote and see if they find your solution the best or best available. Also, some other user might find a way to solve the question that includes the new requirements. Then the OP is helped, and future readers have an extra answer to choose from.

The user asking the question will realize that he needs to be more specific next time. If there isn't an answer posted that fulfills the new requirements, he might want to accept your answer and ask a new, more specific question, referencing to the current post. You can comment something along that way to let the user know this is the best way to get a more fitting answer.

  • It is a little late to change my question. I am more into they have been told how it works. They have been told why what they want to do does not work (or is not a feature). I do see leaving the answer may add value to other reasonable people that come later. They may learn and people know not to post the answer the OP rejected.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 19:24

If the original poster doesn’t accept the answer is an answer, and then they don’t even make an effort to better focus their question to explain why your stated answer was not an answer, the most you can do—past face palming the whole scenario—is to preface the answer you posted with something that reads like this:

While I believe this answer successfully tackles the issue described in the question as described by the original poster, the original poster doesn’t believe this is a solution. I am leaving this answer here as a reference since I do believe it’s an answer and can help someone else in the future.

The last part of the sentence should be your guiding light here: While the original poster doesn’t feel the answer is an answer, the audience for Stack Exchange content is typically not just the original poster or the “regulars” on Stack Exchange to answer and vote but most often it’s the “unseen masses” of people Googling the Inter-webs to solve an issue.

While your question might never get accepted as an answer by the original poster, at the end of the day is if it’s a valid answer and a useful answer, it will grow “legs of it’s own” over the days, weeks, months and years it stays on the site.

Stand by your answer and let time prove it’s value.


Correct way is to either:

  1. Ignore the answer.

  2. Leave a comment against the answer explaining why you don’t want to do it.

However, if you don't want to do something in a way suggested then that probably means you weren't explicit enough in the question in the first place.

  • 4
    I and not asking from the perspective of the person asking the question.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:30
  • @Frisbee whether you're the answer or the asker, it doesn't really change much. As the answerer, you would just have the option of changing your answer to fit the new requirement (or explaining why the requirement is a bad idea, etc), or moving on.
    – Kevin B
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:32
  • @KevinB Cool, comments are not for discussion. I don't consider "I don't want to do it that way with no reason a valid requirement". Still action is move on.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:34
  • I am not suggesting this. Is there any situation you would vote to close? They have been given reasons by multiple parties why the way they want to do it is not going to work.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:52
  • Nope, though i guess you could argue that it was unclear.
    – Kevin B
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:55

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