Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Questions

As Teflon has been thinking about thinking, I have been questioning questions. Here are a few I find most interesting:

1. Aly, our wonderful 8 year old daughter loves to ask "mommy, can you help me pick out my clothes for school?" My response is always, "I would love to!" As we skip along to her room and I begin enthusiatically suggesting options she says no to absolutely everything until she creates her own recommendation that she is totally in love with. Why is this?

2. Dave my incredibly patient and loving husband loves to ask his q
uestions like this: "You do know that blah, blah, blah right?" An example, "you do know that Aly has school tomorrow right?" In this example, his real question is "why have you not tucked Aly into bed
yet?". Now that question would have a simple answer like "oh, I lost track of time" verses my response to his first question which sounds something like" of course I do, I'm not a comp
lete moron."

3. David, our incredibly briliant son with autism doesn't ask questions using words but his expressions are priceless. As we train new people to work with him, I am always amazed at how many questions people ask him and the variey of expressions he shares. Everything from, "interesting idea" to "are you out of your mind?" Now there is an interesting one... what exactly does "out of your mind" really mean?

Why do people ask questions they don't really want an answer to? Why do people use questions to make statements? Why don't people ask questions they want the answers to but may fear the answers? Why do some people always answer a question with a question? Why do some people only ask questions they already know the answers to?

I ask lots of questions mostly because I am intellectually curious about lots of things, love to learn, and know very little about most things. I was once given feedback that I ask too many questions and "make other people feel inferior" because they believe I already know the answer and am trying to demonstrate that they don't or that I am simply being "difficult" because I answer lots of questions with the phrase "it depends". My response was a quick chuckle and then sharing the fact that I ask lots of questions because I tend to need a lot of context to feel comfortable with the decisions I am making because most of my decisions require judgement (hence the "it depends"). I then sincerely stated that perhaps I wasn't as smart as others who require less context for their decision making. My boss at the time responded "see, smart a.. now you are being difficult". I laugh out loud every time I think of this conversation. If we all asked more questions about stuff we didn't already know the answers to and that we really wanted to know about perhaps we would all be smarter

Love to all,



  1. Kathy: don't you just hate it when people ask rhetorical questions?

  2. Kathy, I was thinking about Ally and how she seems to be quite observant. Perhaps she's noticed that her mom asks a lot of questions and is employing questions as a method of joining her?


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