Why Don’t You Ask Me Any Questions?
Talking to you on a balmy Lagos night is kind of dreamy. You know the kind of night where the moisture on your face is balanced by a well-spaced breeze. That particular night, the waistline of my skirt wasn’t too tight, I felt perfectly relaxed in my skin. I had worked hard to engineer that exact moment. So imagine my excitement when it came to pass. It would’ve been perfect but you left out two important things. In the last few months of speaking to you, I can count on one hand the number of questions you’ve asked me and I certainly can’t ever remember a compliment. Do you remember how good it felt when you carried on with your soliloquy? Do you remember how good it felt when i told you I admired your joy. You were beaming. Well I’d like to feel all those things too.
You are pretty interesting, I admit, but you are not the most interesting person I’ve ever met, and I would give you a pretty good run for your money on the interesting scale, if I had been given the chance. Here is the way I interpret it, She is not asking me any questions about my life whatsoever therefore she either thinks she is the most interesting person in the world or does not care enough about me to even bother to inquire about important parts of my life. It’s also possible that you do care, but you don’t know where to begin.
if you don’t know how to ask questions here are a few places to start
And what about you?
When I ask you why you moved back to Nigeria, after you tell me of your passionate dreams of entrepreneurship, please turn the question around. Simple enough to do. Of course don’t do this repeatedly, it will sound patronising. But it’s a low burn way of getting to know me better.
How are you today?
Ask me this when you first meet me, ask me this in the morning, ask me when the sky is a dark velvet cloak. People have become scared of this question for some reason, but if you mean it when you ask it, it is the truest window into my soul (I’m a talker).
What are you working on these days that excites you?
This will give me an opportunity to come alive. And I so much want to come alive in front of you. When I am done sharing, I will have been so grateful for the question and the opportunity that I will ask you the same.
If you don’t know how to give compliments here is where to start
Take a deep breath, this is easier than you think. The key is to be truthful and candid. Flattery is not what I’m after. I simply want proof that you’re paying attention and feeling connected to me as a human being.
Appearance and other Sensory Things
Think about how I walked in the room. Am I graceful? When you make me laugh, what do you think of my smile? Appropriate commentary on what I’m wearing, or the way I smell like vanilla on showered-skin or how soft my hands are, also has its place.
Actions that might inform Character
If I bought you a gift, what might that tell you of my character? I might be kind, or thoughtful. If I started speaking to you out of the blue, might I be outgoing? Or friendly? What do you admire about me? There are many things you’ll be able to deduce if you pay attention to the things I do.
More Personal Traits
You know a bit about the work that I do. When I speak about it, do you admire my passion? You’ve seen me interact with colleagues, does my confidence put a grin on your face? You have to tell me these things, I love to blush!
This is a big deal okay? I want our friendship, to mean something. However if I feel you are uninterested, I will run, far away. It is a mark of incivility to be uninterested in someone who shares a common humanity. You can do this work, I’m sure. There are so many things both of us missed out on because you didn’t ask me questions or tell me one positive thing about myself. We missed an important avenue for connection, like when you realise how small the world is or the fact that you are not alone in some peculiar experience. I want to share that with you and I hope we meet again.