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Do I look at others with curiosity?

February 6, 2007

Sometimes I feel like I ask way too many questions. Last night I was reading a book that brought me some new insight to questions.

“The ability to ask good questions is a skill which is often untapped. In our society it is more common to hear people talking about themselves than asking questions of others. Self-absorbed people do not ask questions. If you are out of practice, if your capacity to ask loving questions has atrophied, here are some reminders: good questions are honest, appropriate and open-ended.” (Disciplemakers Handbook by Alice Fryling)

The chapter was about being a friend. It has caused me to realize that I ask a lot of questions, but it caused me to stop and take a look at whether I ask them only of me, or do I ask questions of others. Do I use questions to get to know others? When was the last time I asked someone good, open-ended questions in an attempt to build relationship with them?

Other good points from the chapter:

  • “Reaching out to others includes allowing them to speak about their experiences in their own words.”
  • “Learning to look at life through another’s eyes requires curiosity.”
  • “One of our jobs in loving others is to find out what they like to talk about and then engage them in conversation on that topic.”
  • “The wonderful thing about questions is that they give you the opportunity to focus on a topic that is of genuine interest to you. And they give your friends the opportunity to respond on the level they choose.”
  • “Questions can be manipulative. But they will be only if your intention is to manipulate.”
  • “Asking why can be threatening.”
  • Ask questions with your eyes as well as your mouth.”

Will you see someone today you can ask an open-ended and honest question to with the intention of getting to know them better?

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