Apparently, my favorite answer is ‘no’. But maybe that’s because it’s how the question is asked … #TiWiWf

On June 8, 2012 by Aimee

Is this what all answers to all questions look like in your house?

The three big ‘x’s from the Family Feud game show?

On some days, that’s exactly what we have in mine. Let me tell you why…

Conversation had between myself and my teenage son:
Monday:
Son: “Mom? You wanna pick me up from football?”
Me: “No.”

Tuesday:
Son: “Mom? You wanna pick me up from football?”
Me: “No.”

Wednesday:
Son: “Mom? You wanna pick me up from football?”
Me: “No.”

Thursday:
Son: “Mom? You wanna pick me up from football?”
Me: “No.”

Okay, you get the picture (and yes, I did go get him … EVENTUALLY). Why eventually? Well, read on.

Conversation between husband and I:

Monday:
Hubby: “You want to make dinner?”
Me: No.

Tuesday:
Hubby: “You want to mow the lawn?”
Me: No.

Wednesday:
Hubby: “You want to have sex?”
Me: No.

Thursday:
Hubby: “How about now?”
Me: ::stare::

And I’m sure you get the picture.

Since I’m 100% sure this is a conversation had between all married couples (and unmarried and dating and … ) I’m going to stick with it, though in no way, shape or form does it reflect the views or opinions of my own husband, otherwise, he’d be mortified I shared anything about our life. So, let’s “pretend” for a moment, this isn’t really about him.

Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’m pretty sure you don’t get the actual picture with the conversations above..

You see, it’s not about me saying ‘no’, it’s about the question that was asked.

Do you see a difference between these two questions?

“Mom, you wanna pick me up from school?”
and
“Mom, will you pick me up from school?”

Ages ago, hubby and I had a conversation about how people don’t ask the question questions. They don’t! Seriously! We don’t! We ask in a non-committal way but when we do so, and the answer is ‘no’, we take that as a rejection of our needs.

Here is what my son is really asking:
“Mom, WILL you pick me up from school so I don’t have to find a ride and so I don’t have to walk 4 miles and so I don’t have to sleep here?”

Right?

He’s asking me to come and get him. But he’s asking in such a way that puts the power of the answer on MY wants, needs, desires, etc.

No, I don’t WANT to pick you up from school 5 days a week, to break the work I’m doing, to change the course of my day. But am I going to leave you there to rot? Well … that probably depends on the day and situation in his case (he IS a teenager after all). But I digress.

You see, hubby figured this out before I did (and if anyone tells him I said that, I’ll write you into my novel as a bad guy) … but it all makes sense. When you ask a question putting the option on the receiver of the question, the receiver can easily say ‘no’ because of everything else going on in the world. And the answer is NOT a rejection of the needs of the asker, it’s a rejection of the needs of the receiver. (Even though most will say but it’s the same thing, I believe it’s not and in our house, we’ve made this rule stick). ;)

But if you ask the question as a plea for self, it’s far harder to say ‘no’.

If hubby says, “Honey, you wanna have sex?”
That actually means, “Honey, if you wanna have sex, I probably do too because I’m male, but if you don’t I can could probably not worry about it either, but if I ask you and you say ‘no’, then I won’t feel guilty for letting an hour pass since I asked last and if you say yes, then well, let’s go!” (or so I’m guessing since I’m not a guy).

And my answer will usually be according to the face he gives me, not the question he’s asked. ;)

Go the other way … and I’d have to close this laptop and stop writing this blog post. Luckily, he’s asleep.

If boy wonder asks, “Mom, will you pick me up?”
My mommy instincts will kick into gear because no way in hell will I leave my child to rot (except on Tuesdays or when he asks for money for the upteenth time) at the school. Of COURSE, darling, I will pick you AND your four smelly friends up and drive them to their houses because they can’t all walk.

If The Girls ask, “Mom, will you take us to the dollar store?”
My answer will be … “Again?”

For some reason, my girls never ask the question “Mom … you want to…” They’ve figured this one out early. ;)

So, next time you get a ‘no’ … consider HOW you asked the question … turn it around and see if it alters anything.

It’s real-life stuff like this that drives me to live in a fictional world…

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Little White Lies by Aimee LaineInto The Unknown Cover - Anthology from three authorsHide & Seek by Aimee LaineSurrender by Aimee Laine

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