Consider a few examples.
Say you’re in a position you’ve never been in before.
The area is unfamiliar. You don’t know the territory. In this situation, you could draw from a knapsack of answers that have worked in other areas of your life, but the odds of this strategy working well for you are not very good.
Instead, what if you turned to a question? When you don’t have a map, you need a way of making sense of the landscape in front of you. You can only carry so many answers with you. But questions are unlimited. You will never lose the ability to come up with a new question. And this is how you will create a path forward when you don’t know where you are.
Focus on the questions today. Dream up new questions. Ask yourself questions like:
What am I doing here?
Do I enjoy this?
What happens next?
Could there be another way?
Now consider this: You’re being accused of something you didn’t do.
I’m not talking about criminal activity here. I’m talking about run-of-the-mill, daily life. That’s where everyday knowledge of mental health comes into handy, in your daily, walking existence.
When someone accuses you of something that is not true, answers aren’t always the way to go. Sure, you might have the perfect response that explains to the other person that they have it all wrong. But someone who already has something fixed in their mind isn’t likely to let go of it so easily. In this case, you’ll be better off with a question.
Try these on for size:
Why do you think I did that? What evidence do you have? Could you tell me more about that?
Questions keep the conversation going. They spark curiosity and open up the space. Asking a question shows the other person that you aren’t going to jump to conclusions. Even if you feel that that’s exactly what they’re doing to you.