Children may not know their intentions when asking questions; they do so to satisfy their hunger of knowing. Curiosity, among children, is understandably a pointless effort.
There is a beauty in it: children asks questions without hesitation, moderation let alone fear; until adults told them not to.
Until they become us, adults, who are too busy filtering, validating and shaping our questions that it might no longer reflect our true intentions.
Asking questions is not easy but it shouldn’t keep you from doing so
Most of the times, our internal process brutally made some of our most important questions to never actually spelled out. Or, when they do, they are overtly polished and presented in the form of prescribed answers, wrongful assumptions or awkward questions.
The best way to avoid over-filtering, validating and shaping your questions? Ask the person in the mirror. Daily.
Ask him/her the most difficult, the most challenging but, most importantly, the most honest questions you never dare to ask others.
Ask questions such as, “If I have a true free will, what do I want out of this relationship?” or “If I die tomorrow, is it worth doing what I am about doing today?”
Receiving questions is equally not easy
Asking questions is only halfway; it is receiving them that can be somewhat tricky.
Even with the most positive intentions, the receiver of our questions will never receive with the same perception as our intentions, the giver. The more we sugarcoat our questions, the more difficult for the receiver to grasp our intentions.
As in questioning skill, there are practices to help you receiving questions. I won’t go there. But I want to focus on the positive aspect of receiving good questions.
Receiving questions is a blessing
Good questions takes effort to make. When you receive questions, regardless the substance or the delivery, they are a form of care from the giver.
Note that I focus on good questions; debatable, but for this post, let me describe it as questions that enable the receiver to grow. Such questions could only be build if:
- the giver knows the receiver well enough,
- the giver knows what the receiver needs to help them grow, and
- the giver is willing to invest on their time, energy and risks.
On the contrary, good questions are NOT those that satisfy your ego, validate your views, or distract you from the essentials.
Imagine one morning your partner wakes you up in bed with questions such as, “What do you most look forward today?” It might be a reminder to help you plan your day or an invitation to venture out together or a potential romantic evening at the end of the day.
But, alas. I can see that many of us would probably respond with, “I don’t know” or even “Why do you ask that?” These are conversation killers.
It is not easy being at the receiver end. But with an assumption that questions – good questions – enable you to grow, your initial reaction should be equally positive; at the very least, “Thank you for the mindful question.”
That, unless you prefer to receive imperatives, instructions or, worst, ignorance.
Questions are gifts. Both to the giver and especially to the receiver. Be grateful if you can still make one. Be most grateful if you still receive one.