People love to make declarative statements, like these: “White people suck,” “Men are rapists,” “Beck deserved the Album of the Year Grammy.” While saying these things makes it easy for you to share your thoughts, they’re kind of useless if you want to have a discussion that goes somewhere other than into a shouting match.
Asking questions instead of making statements is one major way to avoid arguments, spend less time dealing with stupid problems and make yourself much more likable. Here’s a few reasons why.
You’re not a psychic
Not even Miss Cleo could read people’s minds. Yet we damn sure will tell someone, “You think (insert thought),” like we’re starring in “That’s So Raven.”
When you ask questions, you can get the reality of their feelings instead of playing clairvoyant. Usually, you’re just putting your insecurities on them. You assume they’re mad because you’re mad, would be mad, etc.
You won’t seem like a know-it-all
Most people like to feel as if they’ve got their shit together and know a little something about the world; that’s part of why we make statements so often. Asking questions makes people see you as interested in them and what they’ve got going on. It’s also an admission that you don’t know some things that they do. When you make people feel smarter, they’ll feel better about themselves and you.
You might learn ya’ self something
I like to tell people who argue a lot to shut the fuck up and listen. It’s amazing how much information we learn when we admit that we don’t know things. Asking questions is that admission, and it puts you in the headspace to learn. This will help in love, life and within yourself – you probably don’t really know as much as you think you do about yourself, either.
Keeps you from putting your foot in your mouth
The only thing more embarrassing than not knowing something is thinking you know, answering with confidence and then finding out you’re wrong. If you ask before you speak, you’ll be able to make an educated statement as opposed to just spouting crap.
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