Something concerning I’ve noticed the last few years or so is people in conversations who ask no questions whatsoever.
I’ve had convos with a few people who excel at the skill of never asking anybody anything about their life or well-being. I say “skill” because once you take notice of it, you realize that it actually seems to require great effort to take such little interest in someone with whom you’re conversing. It’s utterly draining to constantly be the receiver of information without an outlet for pouring anything out. And heck, I’ve taken a class on listening, and I’m still worn out by “Never-Ask-Any-Questions ‘conversationalist’ person.”*
Some people are awesome at question asking. You’re genuinely interested in others, and it shows through your thoughtful questions. There’s some of you who inspire me and I hope to be as good a question-asker as you someday.
This questionless conversation is something I’ve recently been able to name, and now I notice it all the time. Like when you’re shopping for a certain kind of car and all of the sudden you start seeing that kind of car all over the place, but mysteriously never saw many before.
Questions affirm people. They show that a person is interesting and worth knowing. They show you’ve been listening. You may not be a pro question-asker, but if you ask none, then you’re not interested in the other person. You’re that person in the picture up there. The great information disseminator of self. Admit it, if you never ask people anything about themselves, you’re just kinda weird.
Jesus asked a lot of questions.
I’m just sayin’. He did.
He asked 307 questions recorded in the gospel accounts. Of the 183 questions He was asked, He only directly answered three of them. Perhaps our bumper stickers should read “Jesus is the Question” instead of “Jesus is the Answer.”**
Questions cause people to think. More than answers do. We get the answer and then we stop thinking. Stop asking someone questions and you’ve probably stopped thinking about them.
So anyway, this is just kind of an outlet for me to get this stuff out of my head, but I do hope it may turn a light on for some or someone you know. Sometimes we just don’t notice these things in ourselves. “Visually-impaired places,” I believe they’re called. No wait, “blind spots.” Perhaps you could start noting how many questions you do ask in your next few conversations, and check to see if you are indeed interested or uninterested in other people. Make sure you’re not Mega Monologue Man, or…….I can’t think of any “W” words right now…
But hey, enough of me talking about myself, why don’t you talk about me for a while now?
*I’m referring here to informal conversations not spiritual direction or counseling, just to be clear.