The Power of Question
The Power of Question..
…make it a valuable one!
I had a short break from writing. Maybe it was an artist block. Although, I am not really sure, if I can call myself an artist. Am I a writer yet? It’s all down to self-confidence, and after all, I promised myself to be more confident and believe in myself. So, whatever I am, I am fine with it.
I have many ideas for further pieces, and wrote few different topics to explore, in my magic notepad. But the one topic that made me switch laptop on this Sunday afternoon, was the power of question. Let me explain. I have read an article last night, that inspired further thought. An article about relationships, meeting each other, staying interested. In the article Dr Arthur Aron from New York State University, was talking about the experiment, they performed on number of people. People who never met each other were paired up, with a list of questions to ask each other, and finally, also made to stare at each other for the full 4 minutes. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Try it with your partner, friend or anyone, that maybe sitting just next to you. Let see how long you can last, by just deeply staring into each other’s eyes.
What was interesting, is from the first time they carried this experiment, one pair formed that got married only 6 months later. What made me intrigued, was how powerful connection can be formed by asking right questions and simply giving each other full attention by keeping an eye contact.
I realised how weak (I would risk saying shallow) our interactions are nowadays. Even at work I hear often to pick up the phone, or get up and talk to a person, rather than send a numerous email. Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and numerous new apps) and focus on friends and family “lives in pictures”. Occasional “like”. Less likely now - a message. If this is what life has become, what happened to good old conversation? Face to face contact? Sitting in bar, restaurant, on a train, or doctors waiting area. No matter where, I catch myself on reaching for my phone. I am as guilty.
Sometimes it is a laziness. A social laziness, of not wanting to engage in conversation, because I am “busy”, because I am in “rush”, because you don’t seem “likeminded”, because I can’t be “bothered”.
How refreshing was an interaction with a small girl at the airport last week, when my flight was delayed. A girl who is growing up, 6 maybe 7 years old, curious of life and people. She would not let me alone and just kept asking questions – about the need for the lift, why is the plane delayed, why people are on wheelchairs, where am I going, what are tattoos on my arm…and on and on and on. She would not be satisfied with a simple “I don’t know”.
Most exciting about this interaction, was it was pure, it was true, it was so human. Trophy to her wonderful parents, who clearly made this little “creature” absorbed by life and people. Hungry for interaction. She made those few hours at the airport, so much more enjoyable. She showed me, a grown-up woman, what I am missing so much.
At what point in life, do we lose the ability to ask questions. Or even the right questions. Those, that we actually want to know the answer too. It feels, like in dating world, conversations are purely turning into small interviews, rather than a truthful willingness, to get to know the other side. Same in relationships. Once the initial excitement runs out, we turn to day to day running of households and questions about bills, TV programme and what to make for dinner. It could be so much different.
Going back to the article, it provided the numerous questions, that I found were a fantastic tool. For those in the relationships, those looking for one, but also great to be used with family members or friends. Anyone for that matter, you feel you would like to build a greater bond with or expand on existing one. I feel so excited about this idea, I am thinking about printing those and carrying with me. If I end up on a date in near future, or maybe just meet a new person, I could be prepared. Not just falling for the old questioning about work, siblings and favourite movie.
If you think your relationship has become stagnant, or maybe your friendship needs a lift too have a look at those questions. Start by asking them to yourself – how well in fact do you know yourself? Don’t we change at all times, or maybe at least every few years. Our values, mindset, world view it is a journey. Maybe it would be a good idea to search through your own soul and mind, so that when someone else asks you, you know what the answer is.
I personally find, that I am most and best stimulated by an interesting conversation. Someone who keeps me focused, and wanting to hear more but also can’t wait to say what I think on the topic. Flowing conversations, hunger for more information about the other person, talking to early hours of the night. That is the perfect stimulation. That is what I find sexy. Not a one word, or if I’m lucky, one sentence replies via WhatsApp or Messenger.
Questions are taken from an article in Pani, May 2019 – “30 Rozmow o Milosci” by Magdalena Jankowska. Some might seem strange at first, but the idea is that that what makes them interesting. Questions you never thought you could even ask.
1. Let say, you could choose anyone in the world, who would you invite for dinner and why?
2. How would you like to spend a day, to be able to say it was perfect?
3. Try to imagine, you live to 90 years old and you get a chance, to keep one of the following – the mind of your 30-year-old self or the body of 30-year-old self. What would you choose?
4. Do you ever get a feeling, you know how you’ll die?
5. I feel, there are three things we have in common… (list those things). What do you think?
6. What are you most grateful for in life?
7. If you could change anything in your childhood, what would it be?
8. If you could wake up tomorrow, with a chosen ability or talent, what would it be?
9. If you had a magic crystal ball and you could read anything from it about your life, future – what would you like to know?
10. Have you ever dreamt of doing something for a long time, but something kept stopping you? What was it and why?
11. From time perspective, what do you find as your biggest life achievement?
12. What do you value the most in friendship?
13. What are your most valuable memories?
14. What is one of the most painful memory?
15. If you found out, that you were going to die in a year, would you change anything about your life?
16. Do you think friendship is important and why?
17. Do you look at love and affection in the same way, as few years ago?
18. I believe you are … (list 5 positive things about your partner/friend).
19. Do you believe you had happier childhood than others?
20. From time perspective, how do you look at your relationships with mother/father?
21. State three sentences beginning with “we” (meaning you and your partner). For example “We are…”, “We feel…”, “We have…”
22. Is there anything you don’t know about me, but you would like to know?
23. Tell your partner, what you like about him/her. But this time, be completely honest – say it even, if you feel uncomfortable and never said it before.
24. Share some embarrassing memory with your partner.
25. When was the last time you cried alone?
26. Tell your partner what you like about them in that moment.
27. What matters you find to serious, to be able to laugh/joke about them?
28. If you were to die tonight, without the ability to say goodbye to anyone, would you regret that you haven’t said something to someone? Why?
29. Try to imagine your house on fire. You have already rescued your loved ones, animals and you have a chance to salvage one more thing from the house. What would it be and why?
30. Tell your partner about one difficult thing, that has been on your mind for a while and ask for the advice. Ask how would they behave in your place?