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The '?' is my Favorite Punctuation Mark...What, You Don’t have one?

If someone asks for their coffee light and sweet, never just assume it's light with cream.

The '?' is my Favorite Punctuation Mark...What, You Don’t have one?
Mariel Loughlin

"There's no such things as dumb questions." Well, we all know this is not necessarily true. To an extent yes, because everyone's minds work differently and not everyone sees everything the same way. Then we have some kids in the class that ask "dumb questions" just to prove that there are such things as dumb questions, we all know that person.
When I was in middle school and elementary school, I was very much a shy kid.

I was never the first person to introduce myself when I met someone knew and presenting a group project in front of my class was my biggest nightmare.

When I started working at Dunkin Donuts, I soon learned asking questions was the key to keeping up with the business of the coffee-necessary mornings was a little less shy but still shy, so I began asking questions. If someone asks for their coffee light and sweet, never just assume it's light with cream. Make sure you ask if it's light with cream or milk.

1. Asking questions helped me further my friendships and relationships

People love being asked questions about themselves. Not only does it show that you want to hear what they have to say, but they get the chance to share. When my friends tell me about an internship they got or a test they have coming up, I've tried to mature my conversations so I don't just say "congratulations" or "good luck," but genuinely show that I am interested by asking further questions about what they are doing even if I can not relate to a new job they have or an assignment they have due.

2. Asking questions helps to clarify

Most of the disagreements and arguments I have had with my parents or friends have been because of miscommunication. Words get tossed around for one person to the other and assumptions are made. Then people get upset and no one knows the real story.

I have learned it is better to ask questions and to be eager to have a conversation to work things out instead of just not talking. Asking questions help people work through problems and also prove to that person that you are willing to fix it instead of being stubborn and only hearing your side of a situation.

3. Asking questions helps to gain respect and professionalism

Again, questions show you're interested. One of the key notes I have taken with me when going on interviews is to always ask questions at the end of the interview when they say "Do you have any questions?" Even if you don't have one on the top of your head, ask a question about the daily duties that the work entails or some values the company has if it's for a job or internship.
Not only will it prove that you did your research beforehand but it will also gain you more respect by opening a conversation with the interviewer instead of it being an " interrogation room."

4. Asking questions makes you curious.

When you ask questions, you put into perspective that's there more than what is just in front of you. You see things on a deeper level and say "well if it's that way, then what if it was this way." It opens a whole new can of worms, and curiosity keeps the mind active and engaged.

I remember seeing one of the dance major thesis presentations. I watched two years of research culminated in an hour-long showcase. However, I took what I saw and said, "what if?" This led me to my research topic, an expansion on something one student did that I will be pursuing for the next two years. If I didn't ask questions, I would never have been able to think outside the box.

5. Asking questions helps you stay in touch with yourself

When you meet someone new, you ask them questions and get to know them. Know what they like, what they do, where they are from, understand them as a person. I realized when I became more interested in others I was able to connect with myself and understand who I am. Am I really happy or am I just saying that? Asking myself questions helped me realize what was working and what wasn't working and what wasn't working I knew I needed to change.

Now I challenge you. Just like trying to do one nice thing or say one nice thing to someone else each day, try to ask at least one genuine question on a regular basis and see where it takes you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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