How do you ask questions? Not the easy ones like how was your day, or what did you do last weekend? I am talking real questions that have real meaning and answers that have real weight. The questions that make you hesitate asking because you fear the answer that may be given in return. The types of questions that if asked, no matter the answer, may change how you interact with the people involved in the question.
Many people will not agree with this, but I am shy, or at least that is the best word I know to describe how I see myself. I have been like this all my life and I have slowly and almost confidently crawled out of my shell in the last 5 years. I am a more social person now than I have ever been before. It took a lot of hard work, some anti-anxiety meds, and some truly mind over matter style of thinking but I am now more in to the world than I have ever been before. These last two years have been an extremely exciting time for me. I am doing some things for the first time in my life and enjoying myself more than I thought possible. Breaking out of my little world has been good and bad for me. The endless fun and meeting all the people along the way has been wonderful. The anxiety that I have being in these situations keeps my mind working overtime trying to keep myself out there and in the mix. It has gotten easier but it still isn't easy. One day I hope I can do the being social thing without having to work so hard.
I have found that asking questions is the hardest part of being my new social self. I see questions as forks in the path. They invite the start new ideas and maybe even end a path all together. The important questions have too many possibilities and when I think about them it makes me very very nervous. Every time I face a question I first think of what are the possible answers. Then I look at all the factors of why the question was asked and what the context of the question is. At that point, if it were a simple question, an answer is either obvious because everything was there to reason it out or it is one of those hard questions that you have to reach inside yourself and create an answer based on feelings and thoughts. Understanding your feelings becomes the biggest part of creating these answers. One mis judgment leads to the one wrong answer and than more wrong answers and can effect your life badly for a very long time. When I put this into words, my anxiety isn't all that strange after all. It seems to be a logical response to the daunting task of understanding ones-self from the inside.
I was taught when I was young that you never ask questions you do already or almost know the answer to. I still live by this principle when dealing with the world. It keeps my mind working and generating ideas and always makes me sound more intelligent than I really am. So how do you ask the hard question when you don't understand the other persons feelings. Without this understanding you can't even make a reasonable guess what the answer is going to be. The idea of just throwing it out there is like tossing some steaks to a pack of wolves. Once they are done they might not be hungry anymore and leave, or they could turn and have you for the main course. It is a challenge to think of life like that but that is how bad the world can be when emotions get involved. Emotions aren't solid rocks. They are very fragile. For many of us life has taught us to build defenses against all that will hurt our feelings and it takes a great deal of effort and time to become comfortable and truly let someone inside. You can't push your way in or kick down the door without destroying what you were trying to reach. I tread very cautiously in these situations as I am not very comfortable with the understanding of my emotions and the thought of hurting someone else's makes me want to crawl in to bed and just hide away form the world so it never happens. Hurting someone else makes me feel worthless. Makes me want to leave it all behind and run away.
With all that there is against us how do we even have the strength to get out of bed every day to ponder and answer all the questions we will face. We are an amazing people but sometimes we don't have the ability to cross our own bounties and ask the hard questions when we need too. We sit back and pretend everything is ok or we find other ways of covering up the truth about the battle within. Every once in a while, it really isn't worth getting out of bed for.