People love talking about themselves and it is a great experience with someone who is genuinely interested in what they have to say. Even the shy types and the ones who swear they don't like it can open up like a can of bubbly cold soda on a sunny day at the beach.
'Have you lost weight?' and other questions you need to stop asking
Stop putting people on the spot with these questions. They may be harmless to you, but they won't get you far in connecting with anyone. If you're wondering how else you're supposed to ask, well, we got you.
It all depends on the questions we ask each other. In fact, some of these questions are why most people don't enjoy talking about themselves and end up shutting down. The questions with this kind of effect tend to be surface questions about the appearance of things and people.
They draw a comparison that the person is already failing to win and they somehow have to explain why to the one who asks.
Have you lost/gained weight? is one of them.
We all know them or feel them when someone asks. We simply don't feel good and don't feel comfortable having the conversation. Moreover, we tend to answer them on autopilot or with a bit of annoyance.
But the worst part is that even the people who ask them tend to ask them on autopilot or reflex. It is rarely with malice, and when there's a bad motive behind the questions then there's no right way to ask.
Nonetheless, both instances have one thing in common, they kill an authentic conversation. The saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" also applies to conversation. If you are not interested, don't ask at all.
But even when you are interested, there are better questions to ask.
The comforting and healing potential of conversation is underrated. If there's a surface issue, there are always underlying factors that influence it. Try these questions instead and see the effect they have.
According to Nicole LePera, a Psychologist and Holistic healer, meaningful questions create deeper and better connections because they bring out the best in others.
- "What's something that you've been really interested in or thinking about a lot recently?"
- "How is (insert someone who is important to them) have you been able to spend much time with them?"
- "I remember last time we talked, you told me about (insert topic). How did that go?"
- "What are you most looking forward to?"
- "What are your thoughts on (insert topic you know they're interested in)"
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