Each of us has a unique personality style, based upon many factors. We have a genetic code, a family of origin, a social and economic culture in which we were raised, and our education – to name just a few of the many factors that affect our personality and view of the world. So, if we have had so many different influences upon our thinking process, why is it that we expect our partners and friends to just understand us? Why don’t we realize that their minds are filled with thoughts and memories, emotional triggers and mental images? And – we have no idea what is going on in someone else’s mind at any given moment – unless we ask and find out.
What questions do you ask other people, either directly and out loud or indirectly and in your own mind? Do you tend to ask, and expect to get the answer, about what the other person can do to help you and make your life more comfortable? Of do you often ask what You can do to make the other person’s life easier? Whichever of these questions you ask will have a profound effect upon the outcome of your interactions.
When you ask how you can help another person, you start to pay attention and learn how the other person thinks and feels and behaves. You learn how you can alter your own thoughts and behaviors to accommodate the requests. It is important to not forget yourself but to also reveal your own needs and desires – without demand. That type of caring communication leads to greater and greater communication, understanding and empathy. And, if the other person just cannot reciprocate after you have listened and cared and given your best, then you have a new decision to make based upon greater and greater clarity.
However, if you are like so many of us, asking what you can get and receive from another person or how they can help you to get what you want, then you are missing out on a key piece of building relationships. Each time you ask what another person can do for you, your focus is on YOU – not on the other person. It becomes much more about how YOU think, how YOU feel and how the other person is affecting YOUR behavior. In thinking about you, the learning process is stifled. You have given up an opportunity to learn life lessons from another person’s perspective. You have given up a chance to strengthen your own loving nature.
What you focus on grows and builds. If you focus on yourself and your needs, your needs and desires just continue to grow. When you focus on the needs and desires of others, your own needs take a back seat and your are able to see more clearly. Yes, there are some people who will thrive on your giving and have difficulty reciprocating. But if you have been giving value to all the people in your life, your good will be returned to you, maybe not from this person but from many others.
Which question do you ask most often? Please share in the comments below and if you like, please spread the word to others to start asking the right question.
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