Thread: tips please!
View Single Post
Old 12-08-2001, 10:34 PM   #8
Aelia Jusa
Iron Throne Cult
Tetris Champion
Join Date: August 23, 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Age: 37
Posts: 4,867
Originally posted by 250:
so what are the skills in asking questions?

say I want to ask "is it because people give you too much advice so that you hate getting online and emails?"

If I want to ask this question, what way would be the best?
also, how do I ask a question properly?

now, Gina is not telling me what troubles she has, and she is not using online to chat... so I dont know what to do... I am hoping I can do something (after she feels better, of course, not now)

Well, I think you have to try not to be confrontational. Phrase in a way that shows you want to know how she feels, but that you're not demanding the answer. Try not to ask questions in a way that shows you already know the answer. For example, in your question "is it because people give you too much advice so that you hate getting online and emails?" not only is this just a yes or no question, which doesn't facilitate further discussion very well, but you're presupposing and judging her actions in a way that might make her feel defensive and unwilling to talk to you. Maybe a better way would be something like "I've missed you lately online, why haven't you been contacting me" - something that shows that you're concerned, but will make her feel more comfortable in telling you why.

Plus when she tells you something about how she feels, or what she's thinking, ask questions that show you really want to know exactly how she's feeling. Like if she says "I've been really depressed lately and I feel like life's pulling me all different ways"; you might say something like "so do you feel like you're out of control?" - this shows her that you're trying to understand how she's feeling, and if that's not how she's feeling she can say so and try to explain better.

I think just try to show her you want to help her, and you want to understand how she's feeling, in a way that is least confrontational and judging, and most likely to make her feel more comfortable in telling you more.

Actually giving advice can really stop effectively listening, since you're not really hearing how she's feeling, but suggesting how she could feel differently. In a way, you're telling her her feelings aren't appropriate, and here are ways to feel the 'correct' way. And often, advice you might give they already know - say a friend has lost their job and are telling you how depressed and worthless they feel - you advising them to buck up and look for another job is obvious - of course this is what they should be doing, and they know they should do it as well - they don't want advice, they want empathy and understanding, which comes about by listening to what they're saying.
Aelia Jusa is offline