My client walked in, excited about dating a woman, he had recently met.
I asked him what he liked about her; he filled me in on her physical attributes and her love of fun. She loved a good time!
A few weeks later, this new woman comes up again in one of our sessions. I asked him, if they have shared their life goals, as in, does she know you are interested in a relationship that leads to marriage and children?
He said, it’s not in his formula to ask that until they had been going out a six months. I asked, “What if she doesn’t share your goals at that point? Won’t that be more painful at a later date if she doesn’t?”
And when he returned to his next session, he told me they stopped dating; she didn’t share his enthusiasm for marriage and children.
Many of us worry as to when or if to ask questions.
When you start dating someone new, and you really, really dig em’, it may stop you from asking crucial questions. I know I have been in those shoes, as many of my friends have and clients too.
It’s caused by a fear of loss, appearing needy, demanding or some other unflattering look, which may make “new” guy or gal run for the hills.
Other times, the fear of asking is related to getting that person into bed.
Sometimes we wait for that intimate time to ask the revealing questions like,
“So what is your relationship like with your husband?”
“Do you still love your ex?”
“What do you mean you have a venereal disease?”
“Are you seeing anyone else?”
“Do you like me enough to want to see me when we put our clothes back on?”
“Are you interested in commitment or just hooking up?”
You may be swallowing what you want or what is important to you to keep this person around. It can be hard to overcome your own obstacles to communicate, but if you don’t give the other person a chance by asking these types of questions, you are in the dark, anxious and unaware of what is the real deal.
How about the questions we fear asking at work? Depending on your angle, whether you are a team player who never asks questions or someone paving their own road to success. What questions are avoided?
Relationships of all types reveal many unsaid words.
Whether we are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, being the bearer of bad news…
“Hey Jane, I saw Bob down at the car wash with a blue Pinto, I didn’t know he got a new car?”
“He didn’t get a new car! Who’s car was he having washed?”
Questions can save us a lot of trouble, even the ones we’re unprepared to deal with receiving the true answers.
Remember, ask questions, whenever your intuitive antennas are raised. Take a deep breath and follow up that sick feeling in your gut by inquiring into what you need to know. It could change the course of your relationship and your life; it gives you the information you need to then make choices.
Without information, we are just poking around in the dark, assuming, calling someone like me the psychic for answers. “What’s he thinking, feeling, wanting, etc…”
There is nothing wrong with asking questions.
It’s all in the delivery.
It’s the why behind your request.
When you discuss your personal goals with confidence and nonattachment to someone new in your life, it’s just an exchange of information. It doesn’t reflect on who you are in terms of neediness or some other negative label. And if the person gives you a hard time, it’s an opportunity to see how they would treat you in the future. Is that what you want?
Even when you ask your spouse a dreaded question—one of those that makes you prefer fire ants in your lunch, it doesn’t have to be so painful. Maybe it’s their anticipated response that has you in a knot, so try to re-think how you convey that appeal to them.
Take the time to ask yourself what it is you’re looking for in the answer.
Sometimes we ask something that pisses off our partner because we need reassurance or affirmation. In that instance, it may be better to say how you actually feel and ask for reassurance.
Most people tend to respond better to the truth of emotion, rather than beating around the bush.
If the question for your partner is just plain tough to ask because you fear the answer, remind yourself that something painful in the short term is much better than living a destructive lie for years.
Asking questions opens communication.
Don’t we want to create the best fertilizer for growing our relationships personally and professionally?
When I was in sales, my first question to a potential client was along the lines of “What do you need?” Then I’d listen carefully. It gave the client an opportunity to share their needs and allow me to possibly fulfill or at least understand them.
Questions can open the door not only to understanding, but can help us to getting closer to someone. If a question is asked from a place of authenticity and what is important to you, a new respect can be gained. Listening to the answer creates a bond of more trust, allowing intimacy and the relationship to grow.
It’s much better than crawling around in the dark fearing for your life. Take a chance and be bold. Ask that question you’ve been dying to ask… and then listen.
As I like to say, “You don’t ask, you don’t get,” and “Ask and you shall receive.”
Editor: Brianna Bemel