“…one of the most important things to me is that my children and grandchildren are curious. Because, if you’re not curious, you’re not smart.”
-Sandra Day O’Connor
Curiosity is a really great thing in life, and also in your relationship. As O’Connor suggests, there is a great deal to be gained from being curious about the world around you. I would suggest that there is just as much to gain by being curious about your partner and his or her opinions.
So much so, in fact, that I teach couples a conversational technique called ‘Curiosity Conversations.’ In a curiosity conversation one partner starts with a topic in which they are interested – perhaps 5-7 sentences about their feelings or concerns. The questioning partner then asks a series of open-ended (only!) questions to find out more.
Some examples: “Why do you feel that way?” or “What do you think is underneath that feeling?” or “What’s most important about that for you?” The partner who is the ‘speaker’ can also ask open-ended questions, such as “What do you think about this?” or “How does what I’m saying strike you?” and “what are you feeling right now?”
This technique isn’t for every conversation, but the idea of being curious is. You can always help move your conversation forward, and help your partner feel heard, by asking open-ended questions and learning more about what’s really going on.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including free: Online treatment overview; Downloadable chapters of my books; A community forum with other couples facing similar issues; A large number of blog posts on various topics; Referrals. Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life!
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships.
Support Tele-groups - Be part of a community exploring similar issues; learn from each other's successes and struggles; and find new, more effective ways to be your best self in your relationship: Non ADHD Partner Support Tele-group.