Five Questions I’d Like To Be Asked.

A curious mixture of current events and memories  have blended together to create this post.

Being in Ireland for a couple of weeks, a memory involving my boyfriend’s first visit here to meet my family and the conversations they engaged in and the fact that Facebook turned fifteen sometime over the last few days, have combined to get me thinking about questions.

I’ve written about how not being on Facebook has narrowed the window of information available on me to potentially interested parties and therefore works in my favour to make me appear much more of a curiosity than I otherwise might be.

Coming home as infrequently as I do means that I get asked an awful lot of questions when I arrive back on this island. What I haven’t failed to notice is how similar the patterns of questioning are, down to the very details that people seem to want to know.

As a teacher we are taught that questioning is essential to shore up what is understood, what is not yet known and to shine a light on the person and the personality behind the answers. The questions we ask of others reveal as much about ourselves as our answers in turn do.

I reckon we’ve all been in a situation where we repeated a question which reveals more about our own state of mind. From reflection I know I tend to ask you OK? whenever I am not feeling too steady in myself. It is curious how questions work.

Once I met someone who asked me questions that I regarded as so probing that I initially closed myself off to them, afraid that they were seeking to figure me out and that what they would find would lead them to want to create, and maintain, distance from me.

In real life, much more so than here, I can be terribly secretive.

Over time I have come to change my understanding of questions and to see the power of asking the right kind of questions. Being a teacher has helped of course but too, in my personal life, the people who have asked me genuine questions because they wanted to know me, have been met with similarly genuine answers. That is connection.

As I return to my Parisian home and to questions I can almost predict (though I do appreciate them) I can’t reflect upon the kinds of questions I miss and the kinds of questions I would like to be asked over coffee. I’ll leave you with the five that come to my mind, possibly come into existence because I am rarely so forthcoming with those around me.

  1. How are you really doing?
  2. Can we listen to the music you like?
  3. Could you explain your book to me?
  4. What other creative stuff do you get up to?
  5. Would you tell me what I mean to you?

Though personal, I wonder what yours might be.


  1. I can’t imagine anyone asking me questions like that. It would mean that you’re very close to that individual, or to someone who is genuinely interested in you as a person. I guess that – in most cases – those people are few.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nor can I Roy, to be honest! I suppose what I was getting at was that it would be nice to feel able to answer those kinds of questions. Being more open with family members is something I would like to work towards especially being able to tell them what they mean to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. I suppose in many ways writing this post was a way of expressing some wish fulfilment: to feel as if I could be asked those questions and feel open and honest enough to answer them. And I agree with you – to be able to have those sorts of personal conversations with anyone, family or friends, must be incredibly rare.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I met a blogger here, we started emailing each other, then I went to see her in Tokyo. For almost two weeks almost every day we met up and talked about writing, confidence, our spiritual path, family stuff, everything, it was incredible that we found each other and connected, and that was from the blog!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. W O W, what a story! Have you written about that? In all seriousness a story like that is the kind of novel I would pick up in a bookshop.

        I worry some comments like that can seem disingenuous but really, that sounds like a novel.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you very much! I have written about our conversations and so on in Tokyo chapter, and will make more of how we met. She put it beautifully when she said out of all the millions, billions, of people, and me a relatively light user of the internet, we met, and then connected!
        Thank you for reminding me to show this a bit more!
        We also met amazing people travelling, we called it cosmic recognition!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoof… I feel like these are the questions my besties and I ask one another – or offer up. “Hey, I just started listening to X, are you familiar with them?” or “Why aren’t you writing? You’re a mad genius at it, and it can help process things.” But what would I like to be asked?

    “Are you really happy?” – and have those people accept my answer as it is.
    “Will you hold my hand, and be here while I feel vulnerable?”
    “Can I adopt some of your feral children?” (Obviously, not some creeper!)
    “How soon can we be ready to move to dream job location?”
    “Will you forgive me?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ‘Will you forgive me?’ is one I hadn’t thought of and to ask that takes real courage.

      Perhaps what you say – that you offer up this information to your closest friends- is how I should think about approaching things too. I could volunteer some information and try to create relationships where such questions are comfortable and genuinely cared about. I suppose it just takes a lot of trust and respect and, doubtless, time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being from the Netherlands, I’m pretty direct, and I’ve had to learn to put a brake on my mouth here in America. But this keeping at the surface does make for less meaningful friendships, or friendships take much longer to get to. So I guess I would also like to be asked “How do you really feel?”, but also, “Can I unload something on you?” and “Can I tell you how I really feel?”, and “Can I be honest?”. Also things like, “So what does social democracy actually look like? How does it work? How does universal healthcare work? And what about those thirty political parties and your proportional representation?” They don’t, and so I blog. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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