The Importance of Asking Questions
When we really start to feel connected to another person, we can split off parts of ourselves, so that we can maintain the connection. With increased connection comes increased risk of let-downs, hurt, and a feeling of disconnection. What many of us start to do is keep our questions and opinions quietly hidden. We use this method to fool ourselves into thinking that we can stand back, while connecting at the same time.
This is all an illusion. The truth is that we can’t connect without stepping into these uncomfortable spaces. If the other person isn’t clear on how you feel or what you think, then you aren’t going to walk away feeling important to that person.
The irony is that we often keep ourselves from even stepping into the place where we can feel seen and heard. We have a question that sits on our minds, but we just don’t ask it. We have something about ourselves that is really important, but we just don’t share it. And it’s in our questions and stories that we really can feel bonded to another person. We know that they appreciate us for what is truly going on in our thoughts and in our lives.
Asking Questions is Exposure
Whether it’s with our friends or partners, we often will avoid asking questions. This is because asking a question can expose an opinion or thought that you’re having. Remember that your thoughts and opinions are all worth hearing. They might be uncomfortable for you to share, or even uncomfortable for the other person to hear. Yet, they’re not going to go away by ignoring them either.
Our fear of emotional and personal exposure is based in our fear of vulnerability. We all have painful stories from times where we practiced vulnerability and it didn’t work out. Many of these situations, we remember feeling ashamed. This is why it’s understandable to avoid this territory. However, when you do ask others questions about their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, you gain more opportunities to share your part. This creates a window to build your relationship.
Questions Show that You’re Interested
Asking questions also shows that you want to know more about the other person. There is an authentic interest in their inner story. This helps to crack into mystery, which is one of the ways that we connect. We gain an appreciation for two separate people who trust each other enough to share their stories. It also helps us feel more drawn to the other person. When we learn that there is still a lot of mystery in someone else, we tend to build enough intrigue that makes us want to know more.
Not Sure What to Ask?
Sometimes people can get frozen by not knowing what to ask. Remember this is not a competition where the trophy is perfection. If your friend or partner doesn’t want to answer a question, they’ll likely tell you. Even if they decline answering, it still shows that you have an interest in connecting. In other words, you can still validate how important the other person is to you, even if they don’t feel comfortable heading into this vulnerable space.
So don’t stay on the sidelines of your personal relationships. Take risks and ask the questions that you need to ask. This will keep the information from festering in your mind as well. Asking personal questions will facilitate a space for personal connection.