As a teenager, I used to watch my mom joggling three kids while doing house chores and running errands all day.
She was a very busy housewife who loved her family thoroughly. She was so busy, so tidy, so perfect.
My dad usually left at 6am in the morning for work, leaving my mom with three kids and an untidy house.
Immediately he was out the door, she would bathe the kids, feed them and somehow manage to make them sleep. Afterwards, she would start cleaning and tidying up the house.
Then she would run off to the market to get some groceries and pay off the bills. When she got home, she would cook, feed the kids, bathe them and get them ready for bed. This routine went on almost everyday.
When my dad returned each evening at 6:30 pm, he would walk through the door, tired and he would say “So! How was your day?”.
This question sometimes unnerved my mom but she never said anything to Dad.
Amidst the chaos going on inside her head, the kids jumping around the house and the toys littered everywhere, she would just smile and say “Fine”.
One day, when dad asked the same boring “How was your day” question, she flared up and said “How was my day?” Doesn’t my unwashed hair and soiled apron tell you how my day went?”.
She suddenly became silent and burst into tears.
It was all so overwhelming but somehow, they managed to settle their issues. Dad never asked any unthoughtful or unmeaningful question afterwards.
They both learnt to ask each other better questions instead of the usual “How was your day”.
A lot of couples are guilty of this; asking the same boring “How was your day” question and expecting a bucketful of awesome answers.
It may seem harmless or trivial at first but eventually it will become boring, annoying and uncaring.
If you want to save your relationship from drowning, you have to start asking better questions; questions that portray your love and care to your spouse.
If we really want to know someone, we need to ask questions that convey “I’m not just checking the box here. I really care about you and how you feel.”
If we don’t want nonchalant answers, we shouldn’t ask nonchalant questions.
We should all learn to ask better questions; questions that probe, need answers and show genuine care.
A caring question is a key that will unlock a room inside the person you love.
So, stop asking “How was your day?” It is officially cliché. Instead practice asking more intimate, thoughtful and specific questions like:
~ How did your appointment with the Doctor go?
~ Did you have enough time to rest today?
~ Is there anything we need to talk about?
~ What did I do today that made you feel loved and appreciated?
~ Did you feel lonely today?
~ What did I say that made you feel neglected or unnoticed?
~ What did I do today that made you angry?
~ What can I do to help you right now?
~ How’s your mom’s health?
~ How did the conference turn out?
~ What project are you currently working on?
~ How did the interview go? Etc
Although it may seem weird at first, don’t worry. You will get used to it in time.
Questions are like gifts. It’s the thought behind them that the receiver feels. Love is specific.
The more attention and time you give to your questions, the more beautiful the answers become.
Life is a conversation. Make it a great one!