I question. I question everything, I always have. You can call it being inquisitive, or blame it on Aquarian curiosity and I'm sure it's both, fueled by my need to be aware of what's happening in order to feel secure about my life. If we don't know... anything is possible, and anything could be bad. If we know the facts we can at least attempt to come to terms with the reality they represent. It is the not knowing which leaves me unsettled.
Why is, of course, my favorite question. I want to know not just the facts of what is, but also why it is that way. What caused it, what is the reason or purpose for it, and what is the potential for change? To that end, I ask lots of questions, as most of you by now know. Not trivial questions about the weather or why you chose those red shoes, but deep questions that get at the heart of the matter. Given the opportunity, I could and would gladly occupy an entire afternoon or evening asking you questions about yourself, your life, and how you view things. I use that information not only to form a picture about you in my mind, but also to weigh against my own beliefs and actions, to reconsider if they are still solid or in need of adjustment.
I also like to ask questions in the possibility that I will learn something new, as often happens. The study of human nature fascinates me! It is said that everyone has a story to tell, and that is so true. We often think we know a person well, based on what we see and hear on a surface level, and if we take the time to get to know them on a deeper level we are surprised, often in a good way! Nothing delights me more than finding out that someone is a much deeper thinker than I would have suspected.
It goes without saying that people often see me as nosey or intrusive because I ask so many questions. I think it's fair as long as I am willing to accept their choice not to answer (obviously), and also to be willing to answer questions posed to me. I am pretty much an open book, and there are very few, if any topics that are off-limits if someone sincerely wants to know more about me. In fact at one time we had "One Question Wednesday" sessions on my blog in which anyone could pose any question and I would answer, and in return I got to ask one of them. We had a lot of fun with it!
I am good at asking probing questions, I probably should have been a news reporter. But I am not so good at staying emotionally detached from issues, and so much of news is tragedy or pure stupidity. What I am not good at is guessing what other people are thinking, or trying to read between the lines. I am uncomfortable in situations and relationships where the other person leaves you always trying to guess what they really think, or what message they are trying to convey without coming right out and saying it. I will often say in exasperated tones, "Just tell me!" Make it plain and clear! Because my mind is often running in several directions at once, I tend to miss subtle things like hints. Subtle just doesn't work with me. And of course it goes without saying, that if you are a more closed person that prefers to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, I will probably not be having a great deal of interaction with you, since I get quickly bored with superficial chit-chat.
I would like to think that I have enough common sense to know when and how to ask things so as not to be over-the-top rude or pushy, though sometimes if I get shut down I might try re-asking or re-phrasing the question at another time, if I feel I have a legitimate reason for wanting to know. Some people welcome questions as an opportunity to share a bit about themselves and to interact on a more personal level, while others quickly take offense or put up a protective wall. I had an ex who would get angry any time I asked a question about anything, even a "how do I do this", or "why is it like that" that wasn't of a personal nature. I eventually learned that questioning was strongly discouraged when he was a child, children were to be seen and not heard, and to just do as told without ever asking why. He frequently got in trouble for asking, so learned not to do so, and that carried over to his adult intolerance for questioning. I think he also at times felt insecure and wasn't able to just say "I don't know" if he didn't, believing that it would somehow make him seem less in my eyes if he didn't know all the answers, when in reality who of us does? "I honestly don't know", is a fair answer as far as I'm concerned, a jumping off point for us to see if we can both find out and learn something new!
Sometimes I do wish I had more of a tendency to just accept what happens without question. It has caused me many problems in life, one example being when the pastor of the church I was raised in nearly refused my participation in confirmation rites at the age of sixteen, because I asked too many questions that made him uncomfortable. I had just wanted to understand more about the beliefs I was about to adopt as my own. Needless to say, I am no longer a member of that church, it wasn't a good fit.
The reality is that I will always seek to know more, to understand better, and to learn knew things. It it who and what I am, and I honestly don't think it's such a bad thing. Wisdom comes from understanding, as does learning to get along with each other in this world! Once we understand someone, it is less likely we will have reason to fear them or to draw the wrong conclusions. My advice is to "Speak up"! Make yourself and your intentions clear, and when in doubt, question! :-)