What is a question not worth asking

People who don't ask questions

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A few months ago a reader wrote to us that he recognized himself in many of our texts and was delighted that we were also from Leipzig. He asked for a meeting and since he seemed personable, I agreed. After all, I like to get to know people with whom I have a lot in common.

Shortly afterwards we met in a café. After a few minutes I regretted my acceptance, because the conversation turned out very different from what I expected. Instead of being interested in me and what we had in common, he kept talking about himself. He must have told me his whole life story. I just can't remember them, because the longer he talked, the less interested I was in what he said. Soon I was just feeding him a few more questions to pass the time.

He didn't learn anything from me that afternoon because he was only a Asked a question and I didn't feel like talking about myself without being asked. Fascinated and irritated, I went home. To this day I don't understand why he wanted to meet me.

Something similar happened to me on a date a few weeks ago. We met through a partner search. As soon as we wrote to each other, it was difficult to keep a conversation going. Nevertheless, we met promptly for breakfast. This conversation was also very one-sided. She answered each of my questions - partly briefly, partly in detail. Except for me, she didn't ask anything for the first hour and a half. Not a single question. On a date! Towards the end she let herself be carried away to ask a counter question here and there, but by then the date was long gone.

It is completely normal for me to speak less than the person I am speaking to in a conversation. It's in my nature as an introverted person. That's why I'm even more comfortable listening a little more than talking. However, my desire to listen has its limits. If my interlocutor only talks about himself and doesn't want to know anything about me, I lose my interest in him. I get tired, my thoughts wander and can't remember anything.

I know it's not just me. I discussed this phenomenon with friends who all know such people. People who just don't ask questions - even if you have known each other for a long time. I can only speculate as to why they behave this way. Maybe they think they seem more interesting when they talk about their life, maybe they find themselves exciting, maybe no one else is listening to them, maybe they don't trust themselves, but maybe they are simply inattentive. I would like to know because it may all be just a big misunderstanding.

Good conversation is a give and take. Everyone should tell something about themselves, but also give the other space and then ask with interest. This is the only way to approach each other. If I am interested in someone, they will automatically like me more. That's human. In this way, good relationships develop - regardless of whether they are friendly, romantic or professional.

If you are one of those people who ask few questions and the next time you find yourself besieging a likable person with endless monologues, pause and show your interest by asking a question. Let the answer work on you for a moment and ask more deeply. It's going to be worth it.

More on this:How to listen correctly and how we (k) st.


Photo: Two men talking from Shutterstock

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