Our life is full of questions each day.
- What time are you getting home?
- When will the project be completed?
- Would you like a dipping sauce with your fries?
- Should I go to bed now or read until I fall asleep?
- Why am I stuck in this relationship?
- What would it have been like had I worked a little harder when I was younger?
- Why did I invest in that?
- Is that the best you can do?
- How did I get so lucky to be in this situation?
Typically we think of the purpose of a question is to receive an answer. But many of the questions we ask are so subliminal, we don’t even recognize it for what it is. They are such a natural part of who we are that we are not cognizant of what we are doing, but it happens even hundreds of times a day.
Each time we ask we have the opportunity to learn. So we should recognize that we don’t expect an answer from all of the questions we ask. They are questions that are not looking for an answer. They serve a different purpose altogether.
Take for example, “How did I get so lucky to be in this situation?” When we ask ourselves this question, we aren’t really looking for an answer, but for an affirmation or an emotional validation of our feelings. We don’t expect a little angel to appear on our shoulder and answer with, “Because you have been a good little boy/girl.” Rather, we use it to recognize our situation.
In fact, in the list of questions above, only the first four have a definite answer. The remaining questions serve as more of this recognition of our circumstances without ever expecting a real answer of ourselves or of another. They are validation questions.
This is another reason we ask questions – to recognize our feelings.