When Everything Sounds Like an Inquiry!

They say that when there is not enough trust in a relationship like friendship or parent-child, a question as simple as ‘Whats up this weekend’ / ‘Where were you son’ could sound suspicious to the listener. Because, the listener’s mind murmurs ‘Why does she want to know’ / ‘If I say I’m going to the movies, would he stalk me’ / ‘Does he already know my plan, and is he trying to cross check’ / ‘If I say Im partying, she will ask more details that I cannot share’. This led me into a phobia of asking questions altogether. Generally people cease the conversation and show you a dead-end for that topic, express  discomforts etc. When it comes to trust, my default investment is 100% blind trust with zero divestments. I have almost zero reasons to distrust people, unless they themselves break the trust and even provide evidence!

But they also say that when the relationship has grown on trust, even a question like ‘What were you doing last night online’, does not sound suspicious to a listener. Maybe because both have been maintaining a 100% level of transparency with each other, and so the listener does not end up thinking ‘Oh how did she get to know I was online‘, ‘Is he spying on me‘ which are the scenes we get to see a lot in TV Soaps. Maybe the curious asker wants to ensure that the listener is not experiencing some problems, or tensed about something etc.

Then I started devising ways to chat without asking questions et al, which became a boiling-the-ocean task for me. How is it possible to not ask questions, wouldn’t the conversation be too monotonous? Is every question an inquiry? Yes it is if one of the persons lacks trust. Whether it’s a person of the same gender, or opposite gender; a cousin or a friend; my questions no longer go down easily into the people. Recently one of my cousins Jennifer was into her last phase of dating, before she got her marriage with another guy scheduled next week. It seemed later that our (including other cousins) questions hit dead-ends because she wanted to know why we are asking. Something as generic as ‘Where are you going this weekend’, hit a dead-end. Maybe she thought one of us might leak out her plans to her father. Maybe she loved keeping it private! Can I blame her for the situation – Of course not because people have their right to maintain secrecy and we can only stay away from those who wish to conceal their information!

People also have a notion of the jinx factor especially in a pre-dominantly superstitious Asia, where good news is not too easily shared unless it has manifested into reality. Sometimes, not even after it becomes real! Did I ever get called jinxed – Of course and I experience it till this very day! So I became a bit more choosy about dealing with people. With conversations with my contacts hitting at least 3 dead-ends per week in general, I knew I had to sail faster and sail away into deeper waters. I knew this newfound phobia of asking questions, cannot be easily shunned. Not only did I almost stop asking questions, I began to wonder if NOT asking an obvious question would create discomfort in people. I managed for a while to sail without asking questions to people, and spent enough time before daring to ask one. Stuck in between these two situations of whether to ask something or not, I lowered the level of need to mingle with people and swapped priorities. I’ve been a chat enthusiast since the before Internet became famous – from over 1,500 hours spent at mIRC, and lesser time at Yahoo Messenger, MSN to Gtalk; I loved the natural ways of chatting. I cannot learn artificial ways of chatting with people, just for the sake of adjusting with mutual trust that’s not up to the mark.

Like Jammes Hetfield once sang, “My Ties Are Severed Clean Baby”, I know even I don’t mix personal intentions into the chats and gossips with my social contacts. I have nothing to calculate from information like where they go, what they do, what they don’t do etc. and never had hidden intentions behind chats and entailing questions. But thinking that it might not annoy people; I still ask  questions for the joy of listening to something new, and I love the way it leads into newer threads of conversations. Bundled with all this comes my annual vacation from WhatsApp. And thus came the end of dead-end conversations and an end of disturbing dilemmas!

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