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Stephen Mayo | Willing to Ask

Willing to Ask

Feb. 14, 2021

When I was a kid, I didn't understand that babies were a consequence of having sex.  I’d hear people say "we've been trying to get pregnant for a few months now", and I'd think to myself: that’s wonderful, so what have you been trying?

Looking back, I really wish that I had asked the question.  The awkward exchange that followed would have been worth it alone.  But more importantly, I was curious. I really wanted to understand!

But I didn’t ask.  Because I was terrified of looking stupid.  Because I wanted to portray that “oh yeah, I know how all that works.” So I kept my mouth shut, and tried to piece it together from movies and the media.

The thing is, if we’re not careful, it’s easy to continue this behavior as an adult.  Out of a desire to appear smart, or in-the-know, or well-informed, we pretend to understand what someone says, instead of asking.


Sure, there’s risk in asking.  There's a chance the other person might become annoyed or frustrated, or think you’re slow-witted.

But there’s also upside.  You might learn something really valuable. The other person might appreciate your honesty, or say “I’m glad you asked”.  You might save yourself hours (or weeks) of re-work.  And you might take your relationship to a new level of understanding.

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