Saturday, August 16, 2014

there is no such thing as a stupid question

Wrong!  Most questions that my spouse asks me are in fact stupid.  And most of the time I ignore him completely.  My silence says "don't disrupt my peace with your stupid question, you should know the answer to this, I am so fed up that you would even think to ask me, you are on your own with this problem".  I would also add "I think so little of you right now". OUCH!! I didn't realize just how damaging this was until a good friend of mine was telling me how much it hurt to feel unsupported.  "Take a look in the mirror D" is all I could think. I do this in spades.  And not just with my partner too.  My silence hurts worse than words.

Time to dig a little deeper to the root of my annoyance:
1) I really admire resourcefulness:  so when someone asks me what I think is a stupid question, I lose a little bit of respect for them.  We are always trying to encourage our kids to figure things out on their own and to help themselves.  Man up! is all I want to scream.
2) I feel disrespected:  my motto is 'dont ask someone to do something you can do yourself'. "Mind getting me a fork (seeing as you are up)".  A few times is okay, but it's an easy trap to fall into.  Fine line between efficiency and laziness.
3) He's not learning the lesson:  same question over and over again is exasperating.  Does he save his intellect for the office, because I see no effort on his part to actually learn from the experience.  Again, goes back to respect.

But in all fairness, maybe he's forgotten the answer or truly wants (and respects) my opinion or wants me to be a part of the process (e.g. making dinner together).  Also, sometimes it's just quicker (and safer) to ask rather than risk failure ... and suffer the consequences of pissing me off. :-(

Better to just answer the question and shelf the feelings of annoyance.  But if still pissed, I could try gently -- yes gently reminding him that I prefer he not ask me that question because "insert reasonable reason". Practice:
Q: should I cook these together in the same over or in separate ovens?
D: I don't have an opinion on that.
  ... too bitchy, try again
D: why do you ask?
  ... answering a question with a question that basically says "why would you ask me such a stupid question", try again
D: I don't think it really matters.  By the time the lower oven heats up, the first batch will be done.  If you're not in a hurry then just wait a few extra minutes.
good answer, but I am still feeling annoyed that he asked me this, try again
D:  I'd appreciate it if you would try to figure these things out on your own rather then ask me just because I am here.  Even though I may look available, there's often a million things going on in my head and I don't like to be interrupted to answer something I think you already know the answer to or answer something you could just figure out on your own.  I feel that you don't respect my time.

Yikes.  I need to work on this.

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