Ever had the feeling that those close to you just don’t get you anymore?
They used to, but it’s like they’re still thinking of you as the person you were 10 or more years ago. Perhaps you’ve been guilty of it too — relating to those close to you, as you knew
them, rather than as who they are now. Whether we like it or not we all change, grow and evolve. And unless you get the "right" kind of curious with those around you, you might not know who they are right now, in this moment… and they won’t feel understood.
So What Do I Mean By "The Right Type of Curious?"
The type of curious I’m talking about is not the surface-y kind of digging we might do on social media, or the “Whatcha got planned for the w’end?”
-over-drinks-on-a-Friday-night kind of curious. It’s the type of curiosity that deepens relationships and helps us all feel more seen and understood.
I believe we stop being the right kind of curious when we put our own feelings first.
We want to have a sense of familiarity and connection to those close to us, so it doesn’t feel good to think of someone changing from what we’re used to. We want to think of them as the same person they were when we met them because that’s what’s familiar and makes us feel safe. Thinking of our bestie as having changed in some way can trigger us into wondering, “What if I can’t relate,
or What if this new them doesn’t like me anymore?”
So we keep them the same in our mind and convince ourselves we know who they are, without diving into deeper conversations with them.
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We all grow, expand and unfold.
What We Need to Remember is That We All Evolve.
Change, as they say, is our only constant. Of course at our core we all have a certain piece of ourselves that remains a constant, but we also have another part that wants to explore and reach for all those different possibilities of ourselves. For example, while I know my bestie is still the gorgeous, grounded and spiritually generous person I met in my 20’s and always will be, she no longer believes that having kids should be the first thing on a woman’s priorities list. GnT’s are no longer her go to drink and what she used to think was the only thing that would have her come undone in a relationship, is no longer the case.
While my family believes they know me, I’m not the same person I was a month ago, let alone the person I was 8-10 years ago. And when I don’t see them all that often (because I co-parent my 2 cherubs in Switzerland, while my fam lives Down-Under) I sometimes feel, in a twisted kinda way, that I still need to be that person they remember me to be, rather than sticking up for who I’ve become… and I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into manifesting this person I’ve become. Even though part of that person I’ve become is a confident woman with a voice of my own, I still sometimes need to have her coaxed out of me when I’m back in the fold of people who I know remember me as someone else.
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So How Can We Start Being Curious?
...in order to help others feel more understood? We start by asking questions.
Instead of making statements of fact, such as:
You don't like…
You always… or
You have a hard time with…
We might ask:
Do you like… ?
Are you still…?
What's going on with…?
It’s when we ask questions this way and don’t assume we still know the other person as who they used to be, that we give space for their evolution. It lets them know we remember who they were, without suggesting it’s who they still are. When we do this we allow for things to be different to what we remember… and
for this to be okay – it’s the kind of genuine relating that creates true closeness.
Emma Bathie is a Soul Happiness Coach. Learn more about her work and how to create more of life's meaning and magic here.
Shout out and thanks to Briana Borten for her work and inspiration for this article.
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Tell us in the comments: How will you change your levels of curiousity, now that you've read this article?