Why Did You Ask?

I’ve seen it happen more than a few times. Someone will ask a question, whether in a public forum, or a more limited area and responses will come in. Then, just like clockwork, the person who originally asked the question will get upset. Is it because the responses to their question were Spammy or not well thought out? No, it’s because the responses aren’t the answers that they were looking for.

That leads me to my own question. Why did you ask in the first place? If any answer that isn’t in line with your opinion is wrong, were you just looking for someone to shore up your existing opinion? I can’t find any other reason that makes sense, but I could be missing something.

We’re all seeking validation for our ideas, but to think that everyone is going to think the same as we do is ridiculous. I’ve been guilty of asking a question and then getting disappointed by the responses myself, but now, if I ask as question I’m prepared not only for answers that don’t align with my original opinion on the matter, I’ve also found that if I keep my mind open I can get an unexpected benefit. I can be wrong.

Hearing thoughtful answers, ideas and opinions that cause me to stop and reconsider my own opinions? Yes, please, may I have some more? I’ll take honest criticism over a group of yes men any day. No one likes to be wrong, but I’ve learned a lot more from being wrong than I ever have from being right. So when you ask a question, are you asking because you really want to know what other people think, or are you just looking for validation?

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