Dare to Ask Questions

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Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar.

Recently, I remember many situations in which I was confronted with comments or behaviours of others that I simply put up with, although they seemed quite impolite at a first look.

I do not exactly know how this works for a normally sensitive person, yet, for me as a highly sensitive person it often happens in such situations, that I still ponder about them for a long time afterward and sometimes even remember them years later.“

-Stefanie Neumann

Long have I wondered why this is so and why I cannot simply check that kind of experience off and let go of it.  I believe, it is because I most of the time do not instantly understand such situations completely.  And then these situations are lingering with me until I completely understand them and thereby completely integrate their message.

I am not very quick with judgements and most of the time I have a lot of questions about a person before I am building an opinion about them.  Although I often quickly have a clear feeling about the type of person I am dealing with and am usually correct about that.  That, however, says nothing about the motivation on which the according person is basing their actions, nor about the experiences that made them the person with the behaviour that I now encounter.

Most people do not seem to ask such questions and seem to be faster with having judgements at hand.  Also, some people are often shooting comments from the hip without thinking in the slightest about the consequences which this could have for the other person.  I often do not understand such behaviour.  Now, I do not at all mean this in a judgemental way, but I simply do not understand it because something like that does not exist in my inner world.  Thus, I see myself confronted with something that I cannot comprehend, at first.  This makes it difficult to respond appropriately.  Often, in such moments I barely have time to think about it because the situation already has changed one short moment later.  And sometimes I forget that I do not need to always have an answer ready, immediately.

What I often forget completely is that when I do not understand something I can just ask.  I believe this comes up because I always tried to adjust so far that it does not get inconvenient for the people in my surroundings.  As an empath I feel this inconvenience of the others nearly like my own and thus I automatically try to make it as convenient and comfortable as possible for everyone.  Often, I then forget my own comfort zone and end up with a bunch of feelings and questions that have not been brought to clarity.

Last weekend, for example, Kim and I went for a walk in the park.  Both of us felt pretty exhausted and we just wanted to enjoy the sun a little, to allow the light Autumn breeze to blow around our noses, get the head clear and move along in a very aware fashion. – And, naturally, I was on the look-out for impressions that I can express artistically.

So we slowly meandered to the park, over its great meadow, observed the doings of humans and animals and admired how the leaves on the trees very slowly turn to Autumn colours.  Then we meandered back.

On the way back when we had just left the park onto a stretch of sidewalk which is fairly narrow I heard steps drawing closer from behind.  When the steps had reached us, I gave Kim a sign to stay behind me so that the people behind us and who quite obviously where on faster tracks than us could easily pass by.  It was an older couple, not known to us, maybe in their 60s or 70s.  While passing us by the man turned around to us and said in German, laughing:

„My God, are you walking slowly! “

Kim, whose native language is English, as you know, laughed back at the man at first, because he needed a little bit longer to understand what he actually had said.  I did not laugh but instead must have looked quite irritated.  All the time I asked myself what it may have been that moved the man to this comment.  Basically it was none of his business how fast or slowly we walked.  We even made way and did not hold him and his company up.  Also, we did not know that man.  And for a first contact with unknown people his comment, as well as the demanding look behind his laughter were quite inappropriate, in my opinion.

I still pondered about this when we sat at home and enjoyed coffee and cake after our walk.  Who did this man think he was to make such an uninvited comment?  Why did he feel like making this comment?  Was it a judgement or a failed attempt to make contact?  Had I missed something?

Yes, I am pondering about stuff like that.  Welcome to the world of a highly sensitive person. “

-Stefanie Neumann

Finally I noticed that, when I found myself in that situation, I merely was looking for an appropriate response to this behaviour that was completely incomprehensible for me.  It did not even occur to me to ask the man what moved him to make this comment.

But this is exactly the question that I am asking myself, now, because without an answer to this I cannot know what response would have been appropriate to this man.  And to simply shoot from the hip is not my way of doing things.  After all, I cannot know what the other person is currently going through and what an unconsidered reaction on my part would trigger within him.

Maybe one now could say that this man probably did not spend as much thought on his comment as I did.  Yet, firstly I do not know this for sure and it secondly does not matter at all.  For me personally it merely matters what this experience means to me, which message is being presented to me, here.

The message that I understood is to dare to ask questions when there is something that I do not understand.  I do not have to hide myself or my otherness.  Rather the opposite.  Who knows what gift it would have been for the man had I asked him about the motivation for his behaviour?  And, who knows what gift his answer would have been for me?

Perhaps from now on I will remember to ask for their motivation when I do not understand someone’s behaviour. “

-Stefanie Neumann

Do you sometimes ponder stuff like that, too?  Do you dare to ask people for their motivations when you do not understand their behaviour?  How are you dealing with such situations?  What is your experience?

Are you ready to shine a bright light of awareness on the path of beingness, today?

Much Love,