Q is for Questions


M3 is covered in questions. As many as five are at the end of each post. Some posts are almost all questions. One of the M3 logos is captioned…What’s with all the questions? Let’s discuss, and ask a few, questions.

You have heard the adage:

You will never know if you never ask the question.”

Many times it is true. Where we get into trouble is the way in which we ask the questions.


High on many people’s pet peeve list is this quote:

Can I ask you a question?”


  1. Yes, you are able.
  2. You already have.
  3. Your time is up.

Another equally annoying quote is:

I doubt you will know the answer.”

Then, do not ask me. You underestimation of my knowledge and information is underwhelming. This statement also lets me know you do not value my time because you are going to waste it sharing what you do not know and assume I also do not know.


We learn a lot of things by experience, i.e. trial and error. We can speed up the process by asking questions before we begin something, especially something new. Much like reading the directions, we can ask others for their advice on how to expedite our task, which tools would make it easier and how to avoid undesirable outcomes.

The flip side of this coin is using questions as a teaching tool. As we all know, teenagers know everything. Therefore, when there is a lesson to be taught, posing questions, rather than orating, is one of the most effective means of communication. By asking Teen for knowledge, Teen must process the question and find such knowledge sufficient, lacking or wrong.

By asking instead of telling, you are also reinforcing the trust in your relationship. After all, you do not ask advice from those you do not trust, often.


Seeking the answers is often a quest. You travel (even virtually) from one to the other in search of what will satisfy your query. It cannot become a quest unless you have already gotten the dreaded answer:

I don’t know”

One of the key components after you do discover the answer is on the return journey. You need to stop at everyone you met along the way and give them the power to share what you learned. You can cure the I don’t know.


In order to get a quality answer, you must ask a quality question. For instance, if you want to know where something is, do not ask:

Have you seen my hammer?” or

Do you know where my hammer is?”

You will get a yes or no answer, which is not what you seek. Asking the right question will get you the answer:

Where is my hammer?”

Similarly, if you are seeking assistance, ask for it specifically:

Will you help me find my hammer?”

Teaching children to ask the correct question is imperative. Without the correct verbiage, they will be frustrated with their attempts to gather knowledge and request help. When they ask an improper question, model the correct question for them and have them repeat it before you supply the answer.


Be brave. If you do not know, ask. You have heard it before…

The best time to ask a question is when you:

  • are almost sure you know the answer.
  • have absolutely no idea.
  • heard it from someone else.
  • can only remember the majority (or even a little) of it.
  • want to know.
  • think there may be a (faster, safer, better) way.


Questions are the way we learn about one another. Whether we want to know more about a potential Mate or our Child, asking directly is the safest approach. You should never fear asking a question of (Quaint, Mate, Child). Be honest about why you want to know, but be prepared. Prepared for what?

  • The answer: Sometimes the truth hurts.
  • Anger: If you talked to someone else first.
  • Laughter: If you should already know the answer.


Questions exercise the brain. Brain exercises keep the mind young and help maintain memory. Try to ask three questions everyday.


Who was the last person you asked a question? What is the strangest question you have been asked? Do you ask or answer questions everyday?

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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  1. Can I ask you a question?
    Yes you can, but I only answer 1 day and you just asked one.

    I doubt you will know the answer.
    You’re right, I don’t, but look at this way (proceed to answer the question in the longest, most roundabout way possible.) but anyway, I don’t know what I’m talking about and I doubt you understood any of it anyway.

    Have you seen my hammer?
    Even my dog knew the difference between “where is your bowl?” and “go get your bowl.”

    What is the strangest question you have been asked?
    Little children will sometimes ask if I am Santa Claus. I am big and have the white hair/beard etc. and red plaid flannel is a favorite shirt fabric. Usually I just ho ho ho in response and it delights them. Just a few weeks ago I was asked by a guy about 35 ish, “are you a real santa?” which seemed pretty strange. I said, “Only to children.”
    In retrospect, I wonder if it was a good answer.

  2. I ask a lot of questions when I teach. Sometimes, getting an answer requires changing the question and asking it several different ways until it sparks something in them.
    Angela recently posted..Communication Busters: Mind readingMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 20, 2012

      With the age group you tend, you need to do it that way. The shame of it is, they have already learn to adapt the question to either what they know or what they think you want to know. It is an instance of teaching them to answer the quaeritur.

  3. Since I know everything, I just tell people what I know instead of asking questions. It puts them in their place, and they can benefit from my great wisdom. At least that’s the way I like to look at it.
    Binky recently posted..Social BeesMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 20, 2012

      So, are you answering questions everyday? You need to be sharing all that knowledge!

  4. I have learned that some of the best questions are “what if” questions. For example, “what if we really lived like people mattered?” It provides for a longer discussion than simply a yes or no type question. You do often need to ask things several ways when teaching.

    I saw a video at a crisis counseling event that was of various teenagers and the questions adults often ask them. One of them said that you should never ask a question that you already know the answer to like, “what school do you go to?” The comment was, “that is not a conversation, it is a test and I hate tests.” That makes me think about being intentional with questions.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Sin is costly; God’s love is free.My Profile

    • Red

       /  April 20, 2012

      Closed ended questions never do get to any place enlightening. I rather like debating philosophy of that sort.

      The one who answered has a valid point. Asking rhetorical questions is often just filler for having nothing to say or having no real interest in the other person. Great point, Derek.

  5. The kids I looked after never stopped asking me questions because I was always willing to answer, even if it was a straight: ‘I don’t know!’

    Kids are like a sponge, they soak up knowledge like water! 🙂

    There is so much I do not know, so I too ask even if it is the shop staff I ask where the shaving gel is after they’ve changed the shop around for the umpteenth time! 🙂

    NEVER give up asking questions!!! 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Thursday – shopping dayMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 20, 2012

      Great! I ask because I want to know. I do not know everything…yet!

  6. My little brother
    Will you marry me

    This was a great one Red. I especially liked the portion about teens and using questions as a teaching tool. One of the best teachers I ever had did just this, I don’t think I realized it till just now, reading this, the question was why I loved his class.
    valentine logar recently posted..Throwaway ChildrenMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 20, 2012

      I love your second answer! This one is truly a good bit of parenting psychology. I have often found it works equally as well with other people’s children…of all ages.

  7. I love this. I’m forever asking the wrong question and then saying, “Oh you know what I mean.” Thanks for the nudge to be more specific.
    Barb recently posted..Dealing With Difficult People: Part 2–The KitMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 21, 2012

      You are not in the minority, Barb. Being more specific speeds up the answer process. My time here is short…I need all the speed I can get! Great to see you, this morning!

  8. I agree that asking questions is very important. Ask and ye shall receive! I love all the ‘q’s for the post. You are nearing the end of the a-z challenge, woot woot!

    • Red

       /  April 21, 2012

      Finally! I have one week left 🙂 I have been out of town, and I need to get by your place for some rhyme and reason! Great to see you today, Christy!

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