The Art of Asking
It has been said by many that there are three steps in manifestation:
2. It is given. (not a step that we need to do anything.)
3. Receive, or allow.
There are a lot of books on art of allowing, because that seems to be the hardest thing for us to do. In fact, some poeple say the whole Law of Attraction is about Allowing.
However, today I’m going to talk about step one – asking.
In the profession of hypnotherapy, two sets of questionnaires are called “Suggestibility Questionnaires”. People who score over 50 are considered to be “Direct” or “Physical” type, which means they understand or learn literally. What is said is what is meant. If you want them to help you, just ask “Would you please help me?” If you give them a story in hope that they’ll get it and help you, you might be disappointed. My partner is a 78 high direct, you put trash at the door way. He’d walk around it on his way out. You want him to take out the trash? You have to ask. The more direct, the better. He can do everything for you if you ask directly.
However, direct as they learn, they tend to express themselves INDIRECTLY. I’m a 56 low direct. Can you imagine two “Directs” living together? I put trash at the doorway and got angry – It was very obvious, wasn’t it? Reversely, my partner always asks “What do you think of” this and that? My answer would be, “I’m not thinking about it now, so I have no answer.” It irritates him. After many of these incidents, I’ve learnt to probe, because when he asks a question like that, he always has something to TELL.
If a direct lives with an indirect, the day-to-day communication can be much easier. We humans are a really very interesting bunch. I’m always amazed at how we complicate communications. So that so my thinking even goes back to babyhood. I just couldn’t help but wondering, as a baby, none of us knew how to ask directly and specifically. Whatever a baby wants, or doesn’t want, she cries. And adults always have to guess what it means in the crying… Maybe that’s the starting point? We are wired to ask indirectly and have people guess, which is more in our comfort zone? This way we are also trained to guess?
Even though we are asked literally, some of us still tend to find the meanings behind what is said. For instance someone might ask, “How is this product different from that one?” And to some ears it might sound like, “These two products are the same.” And that’s how our communications became so complicated. This typically has something to do with “Indirect” or “Emotional” type of suggestibility, which in the questionnaire means those who score under 50. They seek for meanings behind what’s said, even there’s none. I have a friend who is 30-high-Indirect. You are late for 10 minutes, her mind starts to race, trying to find out what she has done or said wrong so Kemila decides not to show up…
However, they can speak very directly, even harshly to some people. But for them, they are just being innocently honest.
Knowing this not only helps in daily communications with friends, colleagues and family, it is also helpful in our profession to effectively use language for different people.
H: Take a deep breath and close your eyes.
I: (What does it mean? Why should I do it just because you said so? What’s going to happen when I close my eyes?)
H: Most people find it very relaxing when they allow themselves to take a few deep breaths and to have their eyes closed.
D: (When are you getting to the point?)
I: (That sounds reasonable. I can do that.)
Of course it is never black and white clear cut. Knowing this first helps us understand more of the dynamics of people’s ways of communication. Secondly, it helps us in our own expressions. I’d say when it comes to what we want, it’s always a good idea to express it clearly and specifically. The reason is that indirect expression gets people to guess, and even if people are willing to guess, they may (chances are, they will) get it wrong, thus it brings the communication to a whole new level of frustration and misunderstanding.
For instance, when we complain, we are actually asking indirectly and ineffectively.
“Tuna salad again?”
“The traffic is driving me crazy.”
“Honey, we haven’t done things together for a long time.”
Can you find a way to change these autopilot negative inderect “asking” into a better direct “asking”? How about using “I’d really like to…”, “Wouldn’t it be nice…”, “I’d prefer…”? Remember people, as well as universe, are friendly and they love to give what you want, but you have to make what you want clear.
This isn’t about criticizing or passing judgment on yourself or anyone else. It’s just about noticing your own habits, and then choosing to go in another direction of expression, a direction that expresses yourself more fully and effectively, so you get results more satisfactorily. Also, pay attention to comments on the weather and the news, especially about politics, and majority of office chit-chat. They tend to be complaints. Every word that comes out of your own and other people’s mouths is direct or indirect asking. As a matter of fact, every thought you think is an asking.
If you want to find out your score, you can do the two sets of Suggestibility Questionnaires (only yes-no answers). You won’t get the score automatically generated online, but I’ll email the result to you.
NOTE: Suggestibility Questionnaires were developed by late Dr. John Kappas.