One of the many things that happened along the way for me on this journey is that I stopped asking or answering certain types of questions. Examples:
* Where did you grow up?
* Where did you go to school?
* What do you do for your day job?
* How old are you?
* Which neighborhood do you live in?
It’s a little humorous because for many people, their idea of conversation IS these questions. If you took these questions away from them, they would literally be speechless. They’d have no idea what to say. And THAT is the problem.
If I ask someone that entire series of interview-style questions, what have I really learned about them that I can connect with, AT AN EMOTIONAL LEVEL? Unless that person is skillful enough to translate dead questions into living answers, I have learned … Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I don’t ask these questions because the answers don’t tell me anything about the human being in front of me. I don’t answer these questions because they feel off-putting. When people ask questions like this, it feels like they are on auto-pilot, asleep at the wheel. It feels like I’m going to be categorized rather than connected with. I’m not interested in being put in a box. I’m not interested in filling silences with dead, polite words.
If you want your conversations to wake up, try shifting to an entirely different plane:
* How are you feeling right now? (better than “How are you?,” which if asked sincerely is a great question, but for most people is such a throwaway that it’s better to use different language)
* What is your life passion?
* Where do you want to travel that you’ve never been, and what intrigues you about that place?
* What would your life look like if you could design it any way you wanted?
* What is your biggest frustration right now?
* What motivated you to come here today/tonight? What intrigues you about this place/event?
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
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