Sometimes, I become very nervous when I think about asking questions. Whether it’s “Can you make dinner tonight?” Or “Would you like to have your art featured on my blog?” asking a question can be nerve-wracking.
Is it because I don’t think I have permission to ask? Is it because the great, looming “no” is too hard to contemplate? Whatever the reason, asking questions leaves me in a cold sweat.
Yet, asking questions is really helpful and a skill that’s important to know. We gather information through questions, we get things done, we improve our lives and the lives of others through questions. For me, the way to get through the question is to make sure I’m asking politely, and also think about what “no” means and resolve that I can handle it.
It still takes practice. This week and weekend, I’ll be doing three author interviews. That’s a lot of questions! It’s good practice for asking them. I do it because it helps fellow authors. Every day in my job I have to ask questions. That’s good practice too.
If you’re like me and hate asking questions, it helps to plan out what the question will be, before you ask it. Make sure it makes sense and is reasonable. If you do get a “no,” try to see the other person’s side of it. They may have a good reason for that “no.” Be understanding. If you get a “yes,” be appreciative but relaxed about it. They may not think it’s as big a deal as you do.
Even knowing these things, some questions still give me the collywobbles. The hardest is “would you do something for me?” That’s hard because some little part of me thinks I don’t deserve anything. That’s the part that is truly poisonous, and needs to be starved away by robbing it of energy. So, I’ll keep asking questions. Even if I have to tense my gut like I’m about to take a punch, take a breath and push through fear, I’ll keep asking questions.
So, how are you?