The good samaritan in me says I shouldn't care. But sometimes I answer someone's question. Then they proceede to follow up over and over with comments and then continue into chat. "But what about..." "Can you explain this too..." Since I used to be a teacher I get sucked in, answering all of their questions and often (too often) they never even upvote, let alone accept my original answer.

This behavior has let me to avoid answering those with low scores, just because I think it may be that they've come here just to get help on the one problem. Then they'll be gone with out a thank you (upvote).

Is there something else I can do about this, rather than just grow jaded from the process?

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    $\begingroup$ When I find that I have been sucked into answering someone selfish or unpleasant in other ways, I mostly delete my answer. Reduces the amount of time I spend thinking about it. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Sep 27, 2014 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ You may be interested in this thread. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2014 at 1:49
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    $\begingroup$ Also related: Award ingrate badges? $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Sep 27, 2014 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ Sometimes it's not about that person. I may have a similar question and stumble upon it through a google search some day and really appreciate it. It seems outright rude to delete a legitimately well made answer just because this one person in time didn't appreciate it and because you felt like you didn't get the recognition you deserve. I'm not saying it's not frustrating because I understand where you're coming from and I've had this happen to me on other websites, and my response is just to put in only as much effort into an answer as they did into thinking and asking in the first place. $\endgroup$
    – Kainui
    Sep 30, 2014 at 1:15
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    $\begingroup$ As more of an anecdote, about one week ago I had an answer that I posted in Dec 2011 accepted and upvoted. Sometimes you just have to be patient. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 30, 2014 at 4:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Kainui that's why I try to upvote good answers if I see them, even if the OP didn't bother. $\endgroup$
    – amcalde
    Sep 30, 2014 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, if I am not satisfied that the answer has fully addressed my question(s), I ask follow up questions like these. I figure that it clarifies what I was asking and gives the answerer the opportunity to improve their answer so that I can upvote and/or accept it. $\endgroup$
    – Myridium
    Oct 1, 2014 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


Voting requires a registered account with $15$ reputation. If you want to increase the chances of your answer getting upvoted, check for these attributes of the question asker.

But I would suggest a different way to avoid growing jaded: adopt a selfish approach to answering. My typical reasons to answer:

  1. Question looks interesting
  2. Question may be routine, but I need more practice doing this sort of thing, or explaining it.

Either way, I am answering for my own sake, not for the sake of the asker. Also, remembering that I don't owe anything to the asker, I tend to ignore their follow-up comments. (If they get obnoxious with repeated comments, I delete the answer and leave with a Parthian downvote.)

Obviously, having taken this position, I should not expect any sort of gratitude -- and I don't.

  • $\begingroup$ I thought anyone could upvote answers to their own questions? $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2014 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ No, that is status-declined. They can comment on the answers to own questions, and accept them, but not upvote. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Sep 26, 2014 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ Ha ha. "Obviously, having taken this position, I should not expect any sort of gratitude -- and I don't." Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. That indeed is probably a better attitude to have. I think being more selfish will allow me to enjoy this site longer and perhaps help more people and so is the truly more philanthropic method. Ironic. $\endgroup$
    – amcalde
    Sep 27, 2014 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ Capitalism. He who most needs is least likely to get... $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2014 at 19:16

I'm a new user here who intend to use the forums a lot (for making questions, I do not feel at all on the level needed to answer questions here yet).

I'm not entirely sure about how everything works yet, but I do know that I need 15 in rep to vote up. I'm sure there is a very good reason behind it, plus, 15 isn't that much maybe, but it is frustrating for me as a new user not being able to thank the answerer, and it is scary to think about that this might lead to answerers not wanting to answer new users. It's a downward spiral (it'll be harder to reach the 15 rep required). Just some rambling from my perspective, of course I understand the frustration of the answerer.

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    $\begingroup$ The way to thank an answerer is by clicking in the check mark next to the answer, thereby signifying that you "accept" the answer. Also, answerers generally know that it takes 15 to upvote; also, upvotes (and downvotes) are anonymous, so answerers never know who has or who hasn't upvoted. Anyway, ask a couple of good questions, and you'll have 15 before you know it. $\endgroup$ Oct 7, 2014 at 11:59
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you, Myerson. I do use the accept button, it is good to know that the answerers are rewarded also when answering questions from new users. $\endgroup$
    – Akitirija
    Oct 7, 2014 at 14:49

Personnaly I don't like upvoting answers when my question isn't upvoted (or even worse downvoted). I just accept the best answer as the answer. The reason for that is that if I'm not upvoted this means that the answerer didn't upvote my post so I don't see why I would upvote his.

Maybe if you upvote the questions in threads and in comments they will upvote you back. I would.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ In my experience it is a less than 50% shot. I like the question -> I upvote it & spend a decent amount of effort into what I think is a good answer. And half the time the OP never acknowledges it. $\endgroup$
    – amcalde
    Oct 1, 2014 at 17:24
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    $\begingroup$ Voting shouldn't be a "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" game. Besides, who should start the game? "I'll upvote your question when you upvote (and accept?) my answer"? "I don't like upvoting questions when my answer isn't upvoted (or even worse downvoted)"? Just upvote good posts, downvote (when you have the privilege) terrible posts, and let the not-good-but-not-terrible-either posts go unvoted. $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2014 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ Good answers are don't necessarily stem from good questions. And vice versa, good questions don't necessarily yield good answers, so they should be judged and voted independently. $\endgroup$
    – roman
    Oct 6, 2014 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ Pardon my brusqueness, but--this is just stupid. You have no way to know if a question has been upvoted. You only see the net vote total. The answerer and 20 others could have upvoted, along with 21 downvotes, and you would see a total of zero. Besides, a question can be answered without being deemed an interesting question (if you look, I think you will find that's what upvotes are for, if I'm not mistaken). And I see your -25 net votes on this answer support my position :/ $\endgroup$
    – MPW
    Oct 7, 2014 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ @MPW Users are notified of reputation changes; each upvote-downvote pair results in $5-2=+3$ reputation points. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Oct 7, 2014 at 22:42

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