We spent 10 minutes talking about her job, her family and her hobbies. I asked questions and was genuinely interested in how she was doing. Then as I was walking away, she suddenly asked, “Oh yeah, how’s your daughter doing?”
I love being a mom. I love my daughter. But I get sick of being asked that same singular question as a new(er) parent. It’s always about the kid or parenting. What about the rest of life? I try to ask other people a variety of questions, but I am guilty of doing this too.
We’ve all been there—on the side of a one-sided conversation that won’t end. Where you feel like you’re asking all the questions while receiving none or just one half-hearted question. It’s frustrating isn’t it? Ideally, both people in a relationship (whether it’s a friend, family or significant other) need to communicate equally. But that doesn’t always happen.
We all need help making healthy conversations. I recently wrote an article for Her View From Home with some tips and tricks I’ve learned (and am continually trying to implement) for creating good conversations. Here’s the first tip: Start by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions.
“No one is inherently and forever bad at conversations. It’s a choice and it’s a skill. I’ve learned I have to keep making an effort. It’s about thinking outside yourself and asking questions about the other person’s life, interests, ideas, and world. Ask questions you would like to be asked.
Also, ask open-ended questions that allow the person responding to craft a longer response. Open-ended means they are questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Those are called closed questions. For example: “Did you drive to work today?” is a closed question. But “How did you choose your car?” is an open-ended question. (Tip: questions that start with, “why” “how” or “what do you think about” are always open-ended questions.)”