Wednesday, 30 January 2013 – the need behind your questions
I’ve been thinking a lot about questions.
We ask questions all the time, especially of those close to us, but we rarely stop and think about the answers we’re hoping for.
When you ask someone “Do you love me?”, does “Yes” ever fully satisfy you? Are you really just wanting an answer to your question or is there something more you are seeking?
In my training when we asked questions, the trainer would often ask “And what is the statement behind that question?” This invariably confused me and often made me panic. What did she mean? I had no idea what the statement might be or even if one existed. A few days ago, it suddenly struck me what she meant.
I used to ask my partner “Do you love me?”
I now realise that what I was actually saying was “I want a hug. I’m feeling insecure. I’m feeling anxious about where our relationship is going. I don’t love me and so I’m scared you don’t love me either. I don’t feel good enough for you. Or – I’m feeling a bit vulnerable and I need some reassurance from you that everything is going to be okay.”
Somehow we expect people to respond to our questions with what we really want and when they don’t, we can become angry or disappointed. We also feel even worse than we did before, only we’re not sure why.
My challenge to you is that, next time you want to ask this kind of question, just stop and think about what you really want. Think about how you’re feeling and what you need. If you can, ask for that instead. Instead of saying “Do you love me?” say, “I need you to give me a hug. Or – I need you to stop what you’re doing and spend some time with me. Or – I’d really like it if you could give me some space right now.”
Our greatest gift is communication, but the hardest thing we can do is to communicate properly – with ourselves and with others. This is just one little step towards starting to communicate better.