The questions you ask hold weight.
If they didn’t, why would you ask them?
Oh wait, now you’ve begun to realize that you (we) ask many questions that serve no purpose.
And more than serving no purpose, are possibly destructive?
Let’s take the example of a typical battle between Kelly and Paul over something so mundane as cleaning… the dreaded dishes piling up in the sink perhaps stinking up the kitchen that when the first one of them comes home from a long day at work the last thing they want to do is look at that hideous sight, let alone clean it.
If you’re a neat-freak, you hate this example.
So Kelly bottles up this emotion and now waits until Paul gets home to unleash the fury on him. “Damn, Paul. I’m the one who cooked us dinner and when you said you’d clean the dishes before you left for work this morning, you never did. What’s up with that?”
There’s the question: What’s up with that?
Paul has to come up with an answer either thoughtfully or defensively. It depends on Paul’s mood. It depends on how he and Kelly as a couple have dealt with fueds like these before.
What does Paul do? It doesn’t matter.
What matters is how our questions shape an underlining assumption of the subconscious relief we want from an answer we want. Kelly asks, “What’s up with that?” Because what it does is give her (or him) the satisfaction of hearing Paul say something like, “I’m sorry, I was in a rush, I’ll never do it again.”
That’s a relief. “Oh good, I’m glad he can realize it’s not okay and that he’ll work on it.” Thinks Kelly. Or, “Oh good, I’m happy enough that it’s off my chest.”
The problem with the question, however, is that it also can go the opposite way. Paul might say, “Whatever, I’m sick and tired of you yelling at me, why don’t you just clean the dishes after you’re done cooking!” Oh no Paul didn’t.
The point behind this is: The questions you ask hold weight.
The question can either be tailored toward the result you want: Kelly - “Hey, I saw that you didn’t do the dishes this morning like you said you would. Would you mind doing them now? The kitchen’s pretty smelly.” Resulting in Paul ‘s response - “Ya, sure.” (Otherwise, Paul is a lazy SOB.)
Or the question can offer a sense of genuine curiosity: Kelly — “Hey, I saw that you didn’t do the dishes this morning like you said you would. Is everything good?” Resulting in Paul ‘s response— “Oh, I’m so sorry. I forgot. I’ll do them now.”
Think about your questions and either tailor them for the results you want or be genuinely curious. Don’t just ask a question for question's sake. Right?