I stumbled on this video on the Internet today. I loved it so much and would like to show my 13 year old little from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Youtube Link

This video also got me thinking about questions in general. They’re so powerful.

A friend of mine called recently because she was witnessing someone close to her do something very harmful. She told me she yelled at her friend and cannot believe that this person is so self-destructive. I reminded her that most people don’t like being told what to do. Especially if it’s something that is already inherently scary. Change is scary, even if it’s good change. Compound that with someone telling you what you should do, resistance to change will probably grow. She asked me how I would try to influence this person toward a healthier life style. I told her I would probably ask a lot of questions. When someone answers a tough question honestly, he or she has to actually be introspective. It’s hard to hide when you answer a question.

“Why are you doing this?” “Does it make you feel good?” “What are you scared of?” “Is this helping you?” “What’s keeping you from stopping a certain behavior?” “How would you feel if someone close to you were doing this?”

Questions is a form of therapy! Asking yourself really hard questions and then looking inward for the answers. Questions is also an essential step in knowledge. If you don’t understand something at work or in school, you ask questions. Questions is how you make friends. People like to feel like you’re interested in them and their lives. You show interest by asking questions. You gain a friend when people share parts of themselves.

I dig questions.

Questions: If you could ask anyone anything, whom would you ask and what would you ask?

  • Ashley Wilhite

    I love this post. I met this really interesting lady in one of my workshop sessions at my conference last week. We had an activity where we had to ask each other one question that, if answered honestly, would tell you what was important to that person. The lady I talked with asked me, “What do you think your purpose is in life?” and now it’s my favorite question to ask people. 

    • I’ve asked myself this question before and I’m still drawing a blank! I love that this is your favorite question to ask people. Tells me your line of work of therapy and life coaching is really your calling. 

      Yesterday I heard my boss start a meeting by asking people what was the best thing that happened to them in the last two week. I loved it.

  • DCD

    I love this post because I definitely agree!  When I met Bobby my sophomore year in college, I was not at all interested in a serious relationship.  But I was struck by the way he asked me lots of questions, and was genuinely interested in my answers.  At the time most of us were just so preoccupied with ourselves and the “moment.”  He made me pause…  I love to ask and answer questions.  I think it’s a really important component of sincere friendships, the asking of thoughtful (and frivolous!) questions and the listening to answers.  I so value the very few good girlfriends I do have, but I often envy you because you seem to have many people in your life that build you up and let you do the same for them.  I’m at a point where I wish I could cultivate more relationships like that, but the opportunities to do so seem much more limited than they used to be.         

    • DCD!
      I like Bobby even more now!

      You know I think this craving close friendships is a thing for our age bracket. Most of close friends now are no longer in Austin or I’ve met while blogging (have you considered blogging ;)) and when we carve out time to actually talk to each other, that is the most popular complaint I hear. I think being in your mid 20s to late 20s is really hard socially speaking. You’re graduated, your classmates and friends move away as they pursue jobs and friends are getting married and having children; it can be really easy to feel isolated. I’ve been really blessed with friends who don’t need to live in the same city. They are patient and not resentful if we only talk once a year or once a month. That said, I do miss the days where everyone is in the same city. The kind of friendships you see on Friends!

      P.S. I have had such a girl crush on you. Let’s do coffee one day when you find yourself in Austin. I would love to ask you ALL the questions. #notcreepy

      • DCD

        I would love to have a coffee date/question & answer session with you the next time I’m in Austin!  Also Alan gave Bobby a standing invitation to come down some weekend evening for dinner, so I hope we are able to make that happen soon.  It’s funny you mention blogging.  I actually do blog, but I have it set to private because I use it as more of a journal.  It’s more convenient to be able to access and update it at work when I have the time vs. using a traditional journal that I’d have to hand write.  I try to be really honest with myself on the blog which for me means I’m not super comfortable just having it “out there” for anyone to read.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on friendship in the late-20s!  Sometimes I think I’m alone in this feeling…it’s nice to know I may not be.  Have a great week!!

  • “You gain a friend when people share parts of themselves.” #TWSS