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Why I Never Use 'Why'

In relationships, "why" can be a substitute for "Prove to me, but I bet you can't."


I call “why” the worry question.


Questions like:


Why are you late?


Why are you telling me this?


Why didn't you call?


Why questions display an attitude of emotional frustration. Why questions in relationships have unhealthy energy that shifts to another? This little three-letter word can create unnecessary stress and anxiety. Continuing to ask "why" can indicate a lack of mistrust that erodes the relationship's foundation. Instead of openly discussing feelings and concerns, it is easy to get stuck in a cycle of interrogation, making the other feel defensive and less likely to communicate openly.


I expose my insecurity when I ask why excessively. It can indicate a need for reassurance or validation, which, if not appropriately addressed, can become a source of tension in the relationship.


Constantly asking "why" can lead to micromanaging my partner's actions and decisions. This can suffocate and make your partner feel continually scrutinized, which is not conducive to a healthy relationship dynamic.


Substituting "How come?" or "Help me understand" is a gentle and engaging question rather than caustic or repelling. These types of questions open communication because they do not initiate defensiveness.


I disclose my concerns by talking about myself, which fosters connections, rather than asking why. Instead of saying, "Why are you late?" I could say something about myself, "I'm glad to see you. I was worried. I was making up a story about you being in an accident or forgetting me. Isn't that amazing?"


When I worry, I can make up the darndest stories.


This kind of conversation promotes connection, builds relationships, and allows me to be honest about my concerns rather than cause defensiveness and separateness.


How about you? Would you be willing to substitute a conversation about yourself rather than put the other on the defensive by asking “why”?


Watch for the blind spots.



Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it.

I call "why" the worry question.

Get a copy of Blind Spots in Relationships. Discover the hidden behavior that could be holding you back from the relationships you desire.

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1 Comment

Mar 22

Why did you wait until now to write this post? Just kidding!!! From a relationship perspective this is spot on. Even from a casual conversation standpoint. Thanks!

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