Something hit me hard this past weekend. I have a friend that I felt I knew pretty well, but apparently doesn’t feel very close to myself or any of our other friends. She said she has a really hard time opening up to people.
When I got to thinking about it, she did recently reveal something pretty huge about herself. But not wanting to appear nosy, I didn’t ask any questions. I thought I was being polite by not inquiring any further about it and letting her reveal at her own pace, but in actuality, I was probably making her feel more isolated.
This floored me, because I happen to admire this person quite a bit. She’s young, but has a great job and owns her own home. To have that much admiration for someone and then learn that you may be making them feel like you don’t care enough to learn more about them was eye opening.
I realize that I have this misconception about asking people questions about themselves. To me, I think it appears nosy and rude. Wonder when or who or what happened to make me think that way?
Because here’s the thing, people like to talk about themselves. Asking questions makes a person feel like you are really interested.
I should know this. One of my biggest turn offs when online dating, is it always seems like I ask all the questions and the other person never asks me anything.
But my friend made me realize I do the same thing. Maybe not in the space of online dating, but I do it.
I need to reframe my thinking on this one. If I’m interested in people, I should be asking them questions. I will trust that if I cross a line or if there is something they don’t want to answer, they will tell me that.
If you get right down to it, you don’t learn ANYTHING unless you ask. I mean, how many examples do I have to experience in my life that making assumptions is the absolute wrong course of action.
So I have two things I want to start practicing regularly from this experience.
- Ask more questions. Instead of holding back, like I feel like I’m being nosy, I’m going to ask whatever questions come to mind. I can always give a disclaimer to let that person know they can just tell me if they prefer not to answer.
- Tell people what I admire about them. I want to make even more of an effort to let people know what I like, enjoy, or admire about them.
The world can definitely use some more positivity in it. And if there are ways that I can make others feel better about themselves or give them one little bright spot in their day, I want to do it.
Learning and spreading the love,