Last week my son wasn’t feeling well, so I asked him a series of questions about his symptoms.
Within minutes, he said, “No more questions”.
As I reflected on that later I realised that my enquiries into his well-being were also driven by a need in me to hear that he was ok. If he was ok, then it would permit me to be ok too.
Without that – I felt unsettled. And worried.
It made me think about how when I bring a need for reassurance into a conversation, I am adding another “thing to do” or to “handle” for the other person. They likely sense my need and notice my focus is not entirely on them.
If I am seeking answers to make me feel better, then my listening is affected. And my questions are aimed at the outcome I seek.
When someone I love is unwell or is going through something hard, the last thing they need is to “deal” with my feelings on top of their own.
If they feel they need to reassure me, then I’m not helping. I’m in their way.
It also means they are less likely to speak the truth. They will filter the conversation to what they think I can handle to protect themselves.
No wonder …“No more questions”.