Asking curious questions are essential to getting in touch with our thoughts, feelings and needs, fostering empathy and more effective communication. Getting curious helps you better understand your needs and the needs of others.
Asking questions sends the message you want to know more, that you are open to new and different perspectives. It’s how you learn and understand what’s needed of you so unrealistic expectations aren’t set.
Questions build confidence and test assumptions. The more we understand something, the more confident we are. The more questions you ask, the clearer you will be on the next step you want to take and the more attune you will be to your emotions, internal rhythms and needs.
Let’s look at some different types of questions.
With curious *open questions, you acknowledge you don’t have an answer and don’t intend to judge or blame. The intention is to learn more and understand, so you can behave differently.
Curious questions promote inductive reasoning and begin with who, what, where, when and how. Leading questions begin with the same words as curious questions— who, what, where, when, and how — but they are not curious because the person asking the question already knows the answer.
Eg: What were the reasons you decided this was a good idea? Parents do this a lot to "wait to negate" the response with the main goal to reaffirm lessons they have taught children beforehand, but it does not allow for curiosity because there is an inherent right and wrong implied already.
Sometimes we think we are asking a curious open question because we don’t know the answer. We start the question with how, who, what, where, when, or why. However, when the question contains negative words that convey judging, blaming, and shaming, we are asking a judging question.
This approach results in pushing emotional buttons, triggering an outcome that does not generate curiosity or learning. Eg: How could you think this was a good idea? What is going on with you?
Eg: I notice I have ordered take-out a lot this week. Is my fridge stocked with what I need to satisfy my hunger? Are there enough or too many options? Do the items in the fridge take a lot of prep to make meals, and if so, do I have the time needed to prep? Am I feeling stressed lately and prone to higher caloric foods, salty, sweet, savory to satiate my feelings? What else could I try? If I am using food to soothe myself emotionally, what other ways could I fulfill these needs? Who might I engage for support as I make some changes in this area of life?
Getting curious is the precursor to problem-solving. In our example, knowing the answer to the above, helps generate actions.
Have healthy snacks readily available to try first before I pick up the phone to order takeout.
Set an alarm to snack every 3 hours so I don't go past my hunger limit before I search for food.
Create self-soothe cheat sheets to display so you can go to them quickly to get ideas and be reminded that you need to attend to your needs also.
Read more on this topic at https://medium.com/live-your-life-on-purpose/why-stay-curious-cf1812990040.