Avoiding the Tough Questions

One of the things I used to do is keep my head low. This helped me feel nobody could see me, or at least couldn’t engage me. Because I hated answering questions. Normally daydreaming, I seldom gave much thought to things. Consequently, I usually felt insecure with my thoughts and chose to avoid any and all questions so my intellect could remain undisclosed.

Today I not only enjoy handling questions, I ask them, especially tough ones. There are no better conversations than those started with tough questions. Meaningful exchange takes place. Individuals probe. Clarification, example and stories get told. Digging deep in conversation helps us discover our mental abilities.

Yet, most people avoid this type of exchange. At home, at work, in social circles, conversation stays superficial while most of us work to avoid the tough questions. Maybe we’re simply asked, “How are you?”. Maybe we’re asked to take on a responsibility. Perhaps somebody pops the marriage question or maybe someone asks us to buy something.

We use avoidance techniques such as changing the subject, bowing out of participation, simply saying “I don’t know”, or not answering the phone or door. All at once social anxiety takes over and avoidance kicks in.

What’s at stake if participate? What’s at stake if we don’t?

Most times we choose avoidance out of fear we can’t handle what is about to happen. We under-value self – if not our intellect, our ability to handle the situation. Our ability to stay calm and focused. All because we are afraid of being embarrassed. And somehow the embarrassment of responding poorly is a bigger fear than the embarrassment of not trusting ourselves.

How did I ever get out of the avoidance habit? Surely, sometimes I probably still respond this way, (usually when asked how I am, for I never want to dwell on that)yet for the most part, I realize that whatever I’m being asked to discuss will be handled one step at a time. The more I accept the moment and hang in there, the more I learn. Not only about information that comes to me, but also about my capacity for focusing on the difficult while listening and asking for more information. Usually that helps me if a decision has to be made.

And if there’s anything else I can do to handle tough questions, it is anticipating them, preparing my responses, and then letting life take its course.

Share Button
On March 30th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by