There are certain words in the English language that I wish did not exist. “Why” is one of those words.
When we begin a questions with the word “why” it has an accusatory feel to it and may even feel intimidating to the receiver of the question, regardless of the intent. Imagine someone asking you “why did you…” or “why didn’t you…” it may feel like you have done something wrong.
I encourage my therapy clients to find another way of asking the question. For example:
- “I’m wondering about the reason you …” or ...
- “I’d like to know what happened when …”
We can always find another way of asking a question so that other person does not potentially feel attacked and feel the need to defend themselves.
My hope is that you consider eliminating the word “why” from your vocabulary and notice if your interactions with others are any different.
By Kathleen Dwyer-Blair.
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