In a marriage seminar we learned so many things. Some were known to me before and some were pretty important which I needed to learn and practice. There was one subject on communication in which we were taught about asking open and closed questions. I feel that we all should learn the skills of communication by asking proper questions to our spouses.
Asking questions seem very easy but questions which are irrelevant and can hurt while communicating are important to keep in mind.
Closed questions are those the answer of which can be in either YES or NO. These kinds of questions really don’t allow the person answering any liberty to explain anything. Questions like, ‘have you taken food or not’, ‘do you like it’, ‘do you want to go’, ‘will you wear this dress’ etc., are the examples of closed questions. The answer of these questions can only be in YES or NO. If in our marital relationship we chose to ask only closed questions then we may not be having good communication at all. There will be communication gaps. There are less care and love and concern in close questions. I don’t mean that we should not ask these kinds of questions when required but we should try our best to avoid asking closed questions as much as possible.
Open questions on the other hand really allow the person replying to express his or her feelings. We ask open questions when we use ‘wh’ (what, how, who, when, where, why etc.) in any questions e.g., ‘how do you feel when you see me’, ‘what made you think that I would be coming’, ‘when do you think you can come, etc. We need to be careful when we ask open questions using ‘why’ because these questions are usually look judgmental e.g., ‘why do you go there’.
Open questions also make us understand the feelings of the other person which we won’t be able to know if the questions are closed or just in YES or NO. Open questions encourage people to share their feelings and their needs. So I learned that I need to develop my skill of asking questions which may help me to understand the deepest needs of my wife which I can then meet them easily.