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I’ve made some content before talking about why you shouldn’t ask questions if you want to connect deeply with people.
In short, questions are manipulative (they force the person to feel like they must respond), they limit the conversation (the other person must answer the question rather than speak whatever is on their mind), and they prevent balanced investment (you’re taking information from them without giving any about yourself).
Whenever I make this claim, I get a fair bit of disagreement and confusion (i.e. people don’t know how to hold a conversation without asking questions).
So for those of you who found that hard to digest, let me give you a tactic you can use to prevent questions from killing your connection. And that is after you ask someone a question, follow that with:
“The reason I ask is… ” and tell them the truth.
Try to show them why you’re asking, your intention, your motivation. Every question has a motive (usually hidden), that explains it’s purpose. And that motive is more revealing about who you are than your question is.
Whether it’s genuine curiosity, or you’re trying to lead them towards something, or you’re looking for something that benefits you, it doesn’t matter. Nobody’s going to be that mad at you for your reasons. The fact that you show your reasons is how you connect with people.
When you show what’s behind the mask, people feel a lot more connected to you. If you just ask questions, the first thing that most people think in their mind is, “Why are you asking?”
If you answer that, they’ll feel safe with you and you’ve balanced the investment by providing information rather than just taking.