Do you ever wonder what your partner or child is really thinking about? Who they really are and what they truly feel about their life? It’s amazing what you can learn when you stop to ask a few open ended questions.
Communication is such a hot topic, particularly as more people research what makes for a healthy marriage. But the truth is, every successful relationship, whether child, parent, partner or friend, tends to be premised on a foundation of meaningful conversation that truly goes deep.
In today’s busy world, it rarely seems that we go beyond the basic question of “How was your day?” Today I encourage you to take some time to ask a few new questions of the people you love. Truly think about what their answers might say about who they are and what they might truly value in this life. That information, not only interesting, will also help you know and love them just a little bit more. There are so many things you could ask, but here are a few to start:
Question # 1: “If you could wave a magic wand and have everything in your life become exactly as you wished, what three things might be different?”
Question # 2: “Who do you admire most in this world? Why? What 3 traits do you admire most about them?”
Question # 3: “What was the best compliment you ever received?”
Question # 4: “If you could be anyone else in the world for 24 hours, who would you choose to be?” “Why?”
Question # 5: “What was the best thing that ever happened to you?”
Question # 6: “What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?”
Question # 7: “What is the one criticism you received that you have never forgotten?”
Question # 8: “If you could change one characteristic about yourself, what would it be and why?
Question # 9: “What do you feel are your greatest gifts?”
It’s really amazing what you learn about the people you love. The cutest response I think I have ever heard in asking these questions was from my son. On question number 4 he said, “Mom, if I could be anyone else in this world for 24 hours, I would choose to be…” He thought for a long moment, and then finished with, “Me! I would want to be me.” I had imagined he might have uttered persons like “The President” or a “World famous soccer player.” I guess I must have looked a little surprised, so he said, “What mom? What’s wrong? I just like being me. What’s wrong with wanting to be me?”
Of course, being in awe of his humble confidence and simple satisfaction with exactly who he already was, I said “Absolutely nothing, that is just a beautiful answer.”
What a gift from God our children are. In their innocence, they speak such wisdom by saying something so simple. Today, I know just a little bit more about my son than I did the day before, and what a true joy it is to know him and to love him.