Another 10 Questions to Stop Asking…. Well, not really.
We just need to stop asking questions, because we can’t seem to ask anyone the right ones.
Lately I’ve noticed at least five or six blogs posted on different people’s Facebook feed that all struck me kind of funny. 10 THINGS TO NOT SAY TO (fill in the blank)….. At first I totally wanted to jump on the bandwagon and write a post of 10 things to not say to me. Number one would be to STOP asking me about children. The more of them I read, the more I realized, everyone is pretty offended, not just me, not just people without children, everyone. Single people are pissed, stay at home moms are mad and mom’s who work are angry when people act like they don’t love their children. Although I want people to be sensitive towards not asking me about children, I realized I could care less if I offended someone when I asked them when they were getting married. Turns out that is on the list of things to not ask single people.
But… about the children thing. You do realize, unlike questions like these questions:
When are you getting married?
When are you going to shave your beard? cut your hair?
When are going to get a job?
What are you waiting for?
When are you going to go back to school?
YOU ACTUALLY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER HAVING CHILDREN. It’s actually ONE of the only questions that is ACTUALLY ABSURD. You can do everything right to make a baby and YOU STILL HAVE NO CONTROL, yet people want to ask you when you’re going to have one like you can choose the date, like your wedding date or when you are going to close on your house. Anywho, that’s my rant on that.
So, obviously, we are all totally offending each other and making each other angry. Point blank, we all suck at communication and no one is helping. Most of the post are telling us what not to say. We all know what we don’t want people to ask us about, like me and children, yet I had NO CLUE that it was offensive to say, ‘It must be hard to work full time and have children.’ Well at least that is what that blog post led me to believe.
People compliment on my interaction with children. Hence why they also always ask me when I’m going to have them. It’s because I have a slew of questions that I ask them stored in my brain. Some flop with some kids, others light up when I ask them about their favorite book. Yet, I have a huge list in my mind for children. For some crazy reason, it never occurred to me to actually take the time to think of questions to hep me interact with adults. Although I am totally fine with only talking to children, adult interactions would be nice occasionally.
So here we go, here are TEN THINGS TO ACTUALLY ASK PEOPLE.
Instead of asking about about children or when someone is going to get married ask questions that let them talk about what their plans are. Asking when someone is going to have children or get married might imply to them that something is missing from their life because they don’t have children or they aren’t married and what they are currently doing isn’t good enough… My life still has purpose believe it or not without children. And single people are still valid adults without a partner. So instead of asking the cliche questions that come to mind so easily, here are few to try out:
#1. What are your plans for the next year?
#2. What are you hoping to achieve or do?
#3. Do you have anything fun or new on the horizon?
#4. What is going really good for you right now?
#5. What are looking forward to? Have a trip planned? A new job?
#6. How have you really been?
#7. What makes you tick?
#8. What do you love to do?
#9. What is something you want to change in the next year?
#10. How do you feel about that? How does that make you feel?
I know, it’s not a profound list. Yet, it’s a list that ask people how THEY feel. It gives them an opportunity to talk about themselves, not degrade or disprove of people through a question. Again, I’M GUILTY!
People want you to sympathize or to celebrate with them. So often people will ask about California and say, wow, it must be so awesome, it must be nice, I would give anything to live there. Yet, they have no idea how I feel and totally discount how I actually feel about it. They just assume. Well, the weather is great and it is Southern California. But most people have Southern California so built up in their mind because of the movies and tv shoes, that is doesn’t really matter what I say. I live in one of the most expensive places in the country (top ten to be exact). The beach and weather is great, but not being able to afford groceries doesn’t make the beach that awesome when you can’t afford the $5 parking. (But, I do totally love it here. It’s just not as glamorous as everyone thinks.)
So in other words, you can ask all the right questions in the book, but if you aren’t listening and actually waiting for THEIR RESPONSE and how THEY FEEL, you might as well stop talking. Seriously, just stop. I’m kidding. But for real! I remember when a little girl I was baby sitting told me children at school told her she was chubby. Being a person who has struggled with my weight, I immediately was heartbroken. I started to tell her how absolutely beautiful she was and how amazing I thought she was and how she wasn’t chubby. Which was all true. She is one of the greatest kids. But it didn’t occur to me to actually ask, ‘How does that make you feel?’ She could have told me, I know I’m not chubby, I don’t care or it hurts my feelings. But I actually have no idea how it made her feel, but I just knew HOW I WOULD FEEL. But this wasn’t about me, yet I made it about me. But I think so many times, we view conversations, me included, as how can I give you advice on your life. I know many moms look at me and think, man, if she had children, she would understand why she needs them. But if you asked me why I don’t have them, then you wouldn’t think that. Yet, most people have never considered why I don’t have children yet. The Lord will tell me when it’s time for me to have children and plain and simple, it’s not time for me yet. I have some stuff to do first.
So instead of a list of 10 things to not ask, there are 10 things to ask people.