June 9, 2016

ASK!

While doing a little reflecting recently, it came to my attention (again) that while many would call me a good friend, there's a particular habit that I think needs to change. As regular readers of my blog, it's fairly obvious that I'm a transparent person and it's not hard to air out my feelings or share my experiences. I have not always been so outspoken. In fact, I was painfully shy as a child. Even now, sometimes I get frozen in a corner if I'm in a room full of people I don't know. One of the ways I used to combat my shy nature was by being more outspoken. Being this way has its pros and cons.


The biggest con that I want to share today is that because I generally overshare, I assume that anyone who's close to me does the same. My close friends don't need to ask me what's going on in my life. I just volunteer information. In turn, I don't ask my friends what's going on because I believe that they will tell me of their own volition. I assume that if they haven't talked about any specific area of their life - relationship, work, family - then they just don't want me to know what's going on.

In retrospect though, I think I'm doing my friends a disservice. I'm not saying I intend to pry and be nosy about everything. But it doesn't hurt to ask, "So what's happening with this area of your life?" in the course of conversation.


Friendship is about asking AND telling. It's not one or the other. 
Tweet: Friendship is about asking AND telling. It's not one or the other.
I want to be a better friend, and I'll make it a point from now on to simply ASK.

20 comments:

  1. I can relate! That's one thing I learnt from Tuke and I was even going to write a post about it. Maybe I still will, but I have problems with asking questions majorly because I don't like feeling like I'm pokenosing or being a bother.

    www.cassiedaves.com

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    1. Exactly! The fear that you're intruding can hold you back. But if the person is someone you consider a friend, they wouldn't or shouldn't think that you're intruding.

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  2. I try to ask o but fear of being labelled a busy body will not let me ask. Like you I'm very transparent and still shy...so i don't ask anyone direct questions about their life. Just the general "How body"

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    1. I totally get it. I'm trying to be more specific with my questions now though... What's going in your life... how's work going... and just dig a little deeper.

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  3. Indeed, with a true friend there should be no holds barred. The small concern that might prevent some people from providing unsolicited information is the fear of judgment or criticism.

    Still, it's amazing how by simply asking we can provide comfort to our dear ones. As with all things balance is key, finding the right balance between asking and listening. :-)

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    1. You're right about the fear of judgement. I think though that people who know me know that I'm not judgemental. I may disagree with something but I try not to judge... hey, we all have sin so we may not cast stones.

      The balance is very key. Like I said, it's a two-way street.

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  4. Yep! I'm the same myself, feel like I'm being nosey! Especially as I feel I easily share information to my friends about my life without prompting (or better yet find out stuff on on my blog, lol!) , I assume others would do the same. I guess its about understanding your friends and seeing knowing which ones like to be 'questioned' and the ones that just spill it!

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    1. Lol, a few of my friends read my blog and find out info too!

      Yeah, some friends need more prompting and others, less.

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  5. I don't ask because, the kind of person I am, if I want you to know something, I'd tell you. If I don't, I won't. Which is why I can let gist go for weeks, months, like I'm here for you whenever you're ready. But the thing is, I realised that sometimes it's like you don't care when you don't ask. No harm in asking, really.

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    1. Yeah, the highest they'll say is that they don't want to talk about it, so it doesn't hurt to ask.

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  6. Ask?
    This seems to hit me. Both with my online and offline friends, i don't really do this. I feel if they're bothered with something, they should be able to tell me before i ask but here comes the truth from this post.
    Thanks Berry
    <a href="http://www.tuhamworld.com>TuhamWorld's Blog</a>

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    1. It's easy to just assume your friends will tell you when they have challenges, but a lot of times if we really pay attention, they say "I'm fine" to sweep things under the rug. We should be able to pry just a hint further

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  7. I think I ask too many questions.

    I tend to do this with mostly my close friends so I guess it doesn't weird them out. I ask normal questions though not about the past and/or personal stuff.

    But after a while, you realize you don't know anything about your friends other than day to day stuff.

    One day I had to ask, "How may siblings do you have?" "Where did you grow up?" Simple, basic things that I was shocked I didn't know.

    So yes, asking is good and relevant.

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    1. Do you know that half the time I don't know what anyone studies, how many siblings they have, sometimes their last names, etc? It's very bad if you consider that person your friend

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  8. I think the key is balance and how close that friend is. Also, if a friend has shared a particular issue with you, it shows that you care when you follow-up by asking how things are going on "that".
    I'm a private person, my close friends are more open and this helps me to be open with them too and I don't mind when they ask. However, if we're not close and you get to asking personal questions, I perceive it as nose-poking.
    Nice post Berry.
    ~ Suzan

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    1. You're right. Certainly one should be able to gauge their friendship and closeness level before they begin to ask questions.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Suzan

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