Be careful how you ask about preferences

When you ask people for their preferences before you volunteer to do something for them, implicitly they expect you to take all of their stated preferences into account. Anything short of that feels like a letdown. So, unless you think it's realistic to fully comply with their requests, refrain from satisfying your curiosity.

More concretely, this is the difference between asking people what they'd like to have you cook them for dinner versus asking whether what you've planned is going to be all right. If you ask an open-ended question and they answer with something specific, it's reasonable for them to expect that you'll take that into account. But, it's only reasonable because you asked.

Although the intention behind asking about people's preferences in more detail is to help you satisfy them better, you may inadvertently be doing the opposite.