The Importance of Asking Questions
“He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever.”
Question asking tends to get a bad reputation. The story we often tell ourselves about asking a question is that it makes us appear lazy, naive, or just plain stupid. Why is it often easier to let the fear of what others may think of us replace our God-given sense of curiosity? Perhaps it’s time for us to take down the wall of appearing to know and be vulnerable enough to be curious.
Here are a few things question-asking can do for us:
10 reasons to ask questions
To not assume
Gain empathy through better understanding another’s view
To strengthen a relationship
Stimulate creativity and idea generation
Solve a problem
To cultivate an open mindset
To inspire action
Questioning forms new patterns in the brain.
In 2013, in Britain, a study was done that found the average 4-year-old asks 390 questions a day. As a parent, you probably don’t need a study to tell you your kid asks LOTS of questions. While those questions can be exhausting, they actually serve a huge purpose. The questions are allowing new pathways to form in their growing brains. More pathways lead to more flexibility. It works the same for us as adults. Questions allow our brains to access new information and stop reverting to old responses or assumptions.
Questions combat fear and invite relationship.
On the first day of school, our children are often full of questions: Will I like my teacher? Will I have friends? When do I get to eat? And the list goes on. If we look below the surface, we see that our children are inviting us to help them feel safe and connected in a new environment. What if we took a cue from their natural curiosity? What if when the doctor said something that feels confusing, scary, or complicated we asked them to tell us more? What if when we got into an argument with our spouse instead of assuming what they’re thinking, we asked? Getting comfortable with asking questions will likely alleviate unnecessary stress. The more we can channel the "child-like curiosity”, the more we can move towards a peaceful way of being.
It’s 100% okay not to have all the answers. Taking a step back and giving yourself permission to learn and ask questions takes the pressure off of feeling like you need to have it all together!
Where are some places in your life you want to be brave and ask more questions? (i.e. with your spouse, doctor’s office, with your children, etc.)
If we don’t ask, we’ll never know.