Instead of Knowing, Be Curious
Do you know what your problems are? Do you know what your strengths are? Do you know what’s right or wrong with partners, friends, family, co-workers? Do you know what that person is going to do next based on their age, context, race, gender, or whatever?
If, like me, you answered yes to any of these questions, I want to challenge you. I want to challenge the assumption that we "know" anything. When we think we know what’s going on with ourselves, our relationships, our environments, it’s the end of the story. It’s the end of creating, learning, seeing, feeling something new. And doing something different and new is what is critical for our growth and development, in my opinion.
In the beginning of a session, I often ask couples what each person wants to accomplish. I often get a different answer from each of them, although they assumed they had the same goals. I ask questions that move us into curiosity: What is your and your partner or family member’s definition of intimacy, fun, child rearing, managing the household, money? etc. And, again, lots of assumptions are exposed. When we assume that we know, it is the end of the story. Assuming that we already "know" ensures that nothing new will be discovered, and nothing different will happen.
So, I invite us to ask questions of people who we think we already know. Try to ask questions you think you know the answer to, and see what you discover.