The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Questions without answers

When people ask questions there are quite a few reactions possible. When the question is there to start a conversation, the best of all cases is that the question leads to an insightful conversation in which both engage fully.

But there are just as many occasions where what happens after that initial question is very different.

The person asking the question doesn’t listen to the response.

The person answering doesn’t answer the question.

The person asking the question interrupts and finishes the answer.

The person answering the question focuses on what he thinks the other is asking.

The person asking the question interprets the answer he is hearing.

The person answering the questions remains focused on himself and what he believes is the way to look at the situation.

When this happens, there is a high probability that the subject being discussed is a “hot” one. These are subjects people are very interested in but at the same time fear their impact. They want to solve a situation but don’t want to look at how emotionally involved they are. They don’t want to look at how emotionally involved they are as it makes them feel more vulnerable than they want to feel. They feel so vulnerable as there is something in the subject or question that reminds them of danger.

But as that danger makes them feel vulnerable, they want to avoid it and focus on the danger that can be socially shared. That is a problem everyone else will agree upon. May it be how they believe that the situation should be addressed, or that they focus on what others need to do to enable a solution.

Shifting the focus away from themselves they feel less vulnerable but disconnected from the hot topic they are trying to discuss. It often leads to an emotional discussion as people become frustrated that they are not being heard.

Naturally, such behavior could be intentional. Most often it isn’t. Most often people are not even aware of the way their emotions redirect the conversation toward a discussion that feels rational.




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