Reader Interactions


  1. So true Katie, and I particularly agree that we often experience a confusing mix of feelings towards things that others may assume would be all good. Thank you x

  2. This is great. I do this to my husband. Thanks for pointing it out. Its better to ask.

    I hate when people in passing who you haven’t seen in a while say…”so you’ve been busy?” I never know what to say BC yes I am busy but since I’m trying to slow life down I don’t want to respond that way. Anyway excellent post.

    • Yes, that’s a tough one, too! I am guessing people say that if maybe they have also been busy and haven’t seen you in awhile and maybe they’re feeling a little bit bad about that….or maybe they’re trying to give you an out for not having seen them i awhile? I don’t know. But it’s an awkward one, too, for sure. It makes me feel bad for saying yes or no, because either way it makes it seem like I haven’t made time for them. Sigh. :)

  3. I’m always amazed at how simply wording a question differently makes such a profound difference in the level of conversation able to be had. This is good wording that I plan on incorporating myself. Thanks!

  4. In my experience the assumed answer to a question is a blended motive. One that person just wants to make quick conversation and not get into the nitty gritty of the details of your world but rather just acknowledge what’s happening in your world therefore glazing a concern/caring tone. Or two they just don’t really care to know he answer. This one grates me how in the world can another person begin to know the answer to what’s happening in your world.

  5. Good stuff and very true. I’m very transparent when asked questions so people may do that to me to curb the honesty – ha!

  6. I agree!

    Also, I feel that today’s “journalists” don’t ask questions in any “get to the truth” ways. They will say “You must’ve been terrified when the tree hit your house.” Let the person say what they were feeling! Don’t put words in their mouth!

  7. I find most people are only asking because they want to discuss or share their experience. I’m honest and will answer with a quick version of the truth and they either look at me like a deer in the headlights before fumbling for a response, or they argue and dismiss any part of my answer that contradicts their agenda. It’s very annoying and rude. My mother-in-law is guilty of that. I love her, but that irritates me to no end.

  8. I find the same to be true for the harder things. “Oh, you’re separated, that must be so hard.” Not completely. I love this idea of creating more space around the answer and truly listening/feeling the people around us.

  9. i completely agree!! It’s so frustrating to be in conversation with someone and have them impose on you their thoughts and opinions without really caring about your own. It’s amazing to me that the idea of being authentic and allowing others to do the same, with love, respect, and compassion is such a revolutionary idea, but indeed it seems to be so. I wrote for 31 Days on Cultivating a Radically Authentic Life, and I stand by my personal convictions of needing to be brave in who we are, but truly it is a two way street… All of my bold and brave authenticity means nothing if I’m not honoring the same in others. I so appreciate your perspective on this!!

  10. “if we can at least open a conversation with someone in a way that gives them space to be authentic, then the chances are so much better that they will feel truly heard, and truly loved” – Spot On! The same thing occurs when we use our story to relate to someone else. “Oh your dog died. I know exactly how you feel because my hamster died too.” We think we’re being relational when what we’re actually doing is making ourselves the center of the conversation. We do well when we listen and ask open ended questions. Thanks for your insights into how to connect better with others.

  11. Hey Katie, thank you for writing this post. It really spoke to me where I am at right now. Appreciate both the reminder and the encouragement. Do you have any thoughts on how to respond to someone when we recognize it happening? I know that its frustrating and thus want to be perceptive to keep from doing this to someone else, but I also see where I often just ignore when someone else does that to me and never say anything… is that always the right response when someone continues to not give us that space?

    • It’s so hard to know. I have a few people in my life that speak to me in this way on a regular basis. But my relationship with each of them is very different, so the way that I can respond to each of them varies from person to person. I think the relationship will determine your response. The hardest part, for me, is that unless I do intentionally address it in some way (whether by actually talking to them about the issue or just giving the long and unexpected answer rather than the pat response), the relationship will never grow past that point and into a place of truth. It’s hard. But growth is usually hard. It just depends whether we want it and whether we think it’s worth it.

  12. I love that you bring this up as I think I am guilty of doing this–putting words in my friends/acquaintances mouth without really thinking about it. With real conversation and connection going to by the wayside and facebook and instagram interactions making us feel like we are truly connecting (yes, I realize I’m commenting on a blog!), it’s so important to allow others to be authentic and really speak when we actually get the chance to talk one on one in real life! Thanks for the great post.

  13. Yes! I can definitely be guilty of this, especially with people who I know aren’t ‘big talkers’. It’s like I feel a need to draw them out, and I think my leading question can help. Thank you for the reminder to re-frame my questions!

  14. One time I was working as a temp at a law firm with a very busy attorney. I had passed the bar exam and was going to be sworn in. He asked me to complete some documents and I said I wouldn’t be able to till the next day due to my swearing in ceremony. This was YEARS ago and I still remember his response – he said” tell me about that.” It made me feel wonderful! I try to use that when I am interacting with others all the time because I remember how it made me feel like he was really interested in ME.