Because of my personal difficulties with the processes required to make the math problems work, I asked LOTS of questions. I was sure the rest of the class thought me out of my mind, totally ignorant and obnoxious. Several semesters later, before class, in one of my Science classes, I had conversation with a male student with whom I’d never spoken. He made the comment that he remembered me from our Math class. I cringed, certain of verbal reprisal…or some kind of rejection, given all the questions I’d asked. Instead, he surprised me with….. “I’m glad you asked questions! If I hadn’t already done well in other Math classes, including the algebra classes from High School, I would never have made it!”
Most of us, if honest, will admit to having questions we are afraid to ask. There are lots of reasons, from not wanting to intrude to not wanting to look stupid. I remember many years ago hearing the statement, “No question is stupid if you don’t know the answer.”
Now all that said, there are times when questions need to be general or polite. But a friend of mine recently was commenting on this subject and had some good insight. His perspective says to ask questions, if we have them, but to the person directly affected. If the person does not want to share, they will tell you, sometimes bluntly.
Situations are different for everyone, just as there are two sides to every story. But when we feel we need information to understand, it’s better to ask the person directly than to get information that is likely skewed or tainted, or even misunderstood from a secondary, or third or fourth source. That is how rumors are started and often the information is so far from the truth, the truth is barely recognizable!
I admit, I giggle (most of the time) when it comes to asking for directions. It seems (and this is just MY perspective) that men have a hard time admitting they are lost and need someone to tell them how to get where they are going. In my very female mind, it would be so much easier to just ask! Or even in a department store where you are looking for a single item and it can’t seem to be found----- Ask! The person you ask may or may not know where it can be found, but they then can ask the person who will.
My point of all this is, there is no shame to asking questions. Our minds are always wanting to know things. Why not verbalize them? What is wrong with admitting we don’t have all the answers? Sure, books (or google) are marvelous sources for finding answers, but sometimes it requires going to the direct human source. Ask the question!