Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jewish man, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? John 4:9
Just as our grace level grows proportionately to the level of the knowledge of God we have. So also do the knowledge of one another we have afford us with a measure of grace with one another necessary for an effective purposeful relationship.
There have been much emphasizes on advancing step by step cautiously in the phases of our relationships. What determines when we move from one phase to another is much hinged on how much of each other we have come to know, how much of compromise is going to be required of us, the strengths and weaknesses, favorites and hobbies, dislikes and likes etc. The knowledge of these and more is possible through purposeful conversations using the tool of questioning. Secrets to conversation is to get the other person talking about himself or herself and to do this, you would need to ask the right questions. Then you simply have to be a good listener.
This is not an article on list of questions to ask your friends. Though you may want questions that reveal how unique your new friend is, questions that can speak to core level personality traits, and questions that provide room for storytelling, or questions on works, sports, hobbies, travel, politics, religion, and current events. Very important they are for your conversations but the focus here is on what I would term ‘picking on your friends’-to be differentiated from ‘pulling their legs’.
The Acts of Picking
Very important in relationship conversations is the act of picking on your friends. Picking on your friends is about hanging on each others every word. It’s a way of wanting to know everything you could about each other. It’s a call back to clarifications of seemingly unacceptable assertions made by your friends-this will help your friends think about their words before voicing it. It’s about having him or her talk about herself or himself in a scenario where he/she unconsciously lets out his opinions on key matters. You may want to know your friends views on matters bordering on family, in-laws, finance, God, etc.
Although great communication like this is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Picking may look troublesome, in a case where any of the party involved in the conversation does not wish to have the relationship proceed beyond acquaintances. But, ultimately, as the person doing the asking, it’s important to have an atmosphere and a demeanor fill with love-the atmosphere in questioning should be that of love, and open-minded/liberal.
One common challenge in relationship building is being honest with our friends, everyone prefers to always give the positive impressions and bottle up on the things they resent even at the risk of blowing the relationship. We would have a better foundation for our relationships if we rather could bring up such dicey issues in a more tactful ways like Jesus did while revealing to the woman of Samaritans the odd things about her. When you ask these questions for the betterment of the relationship, you can help build trust, not to start an argument.
In conversations like this, be intentional to focus on others, not yourself. Pay attention, drop your smart phone, and make an effort to truly listen to the other person. By paying close attention to what they say, do, and how they interact, you’ll quickly get to know them. Little things go a long way, such as remembering someone’s preferences, the stories they’ve told you, and what’s going on in their life. There in is the beginning of friendship.
Picking is a tool for Mentorship
Secondly, and most importantly picking on your friends is a way of cultivating each other. Picking in this sense is a tool for mentorship-mentoring inside friendship. By clarifying, analysing together and reasoning it out, the both of you would come to a common understanding and it gets to a time when your reasonings becomes synchronized. This is what to do when you want to understand your friends and when you want them to understand you. Is a way to develop each other, share your values, explain the justification of your individual principles, share your goals, explain your likes and dislikes etc. Asking questions about another’s perspective and needs is a very potent way to building intimacy-You are getting a look into what matters to your friends at a deeper level.
Men need questioning to cultivate their women counterparts…,In John4, we see a very good example of the role of questioning with the conversations between Jesus and the Samaritans woman. We first see that we don’t necessarily need perfect persons in our relationship building. Jesus saw in the Samaritans woman a potential influence He needed in order to conquer Samaria. Similarly, every woman has an influence capable of boosting the power of every man who can effectively cultivate it in her.
So, Men or women: who should ask more questions in relationship building?_ anyone who has more questions should ask it. Women and Silence😁 Jesus asked; the Samaritans woman too asked… LOL!
Blessings to you!