When we get too comfortable in a relationship, we tend to think we know everything about the other person.
Jay Shetty wants to shatter this belief by sharing seven questions that can strengthen a bond between two people. They are valid not only for romantic partnerships but also for family, friends, and work colleagues.
How often do you find yourself sitting next to each other, scrolling social media? Or do you just turn on a show and watch it together instead of having a conversation?
In Jay Shetty’s opinion, there is always something new to learn about others, even if it means going deeper rather than wider. So, he listed seven questions that create vulnerability, creativity, and intimacy and allow you to deepen any relationship in your life.
What Should I Do More Of?
This is a crucial question because it allows you to understand how the other person perceives you. Their answer might surprise you even if you feel like they don’t notice you and your efforts.
Compliments don’t come naturally to some people. So, by asking them directly what they think you do well, you open up a space for them to share their thoughts. Moreover, you allow them to express gratitude, which has been shown to be beneficial for anyone’s mental health.
This question can help you clear the air when you feel your efforts go unnoticed and that you are working hard in vain. A lack of feedback can easily make people spiral and start thinking negatively about themselves.
You may tend to think that you are not appreciated, that people don’t care, and don’t notice how much you do. You may even feel like others avoid you. But these thoughts are primarily stories we tell ourselves due to the absence of feedback.
When you give the other person the space to express what they value about what you do, the narrative will change. You will start feeling seen, appreciated, and even exceptional. It is a confidence booster and can improve self-esteem.
Sometimes, others pause for a while and think longer before providing an answer. Other times, people may not have an answer to this question. Jay Shetty recommends giving them time to ponder over it. These answers allow you to understand where you stand with someone and what type of relationship you have.
What Should I Do Less Of?
This is a question for which you need to prepare. It is your opportunity to ask for feedback.
We tend to get so absorbed in our relationships that we assume the other person should be able to read our minds. We feel they should already know what we want, how, and when we want it.
But this is often not the case. Asking for feedback is a powerful tool to deepen a relationship. It is your chance to open up a safe space to discuss dislikes.
Jay Shetty warns that it is essential to understand that their feedback is not meant to attack you. Instead, it is about your habits or behavior that they would like you to change. Remember that habits and patterns are learned behavior that you can work on and adjust over time; they do not define you.
What Do I Do That Makes You Feel Confident?
This is a beautiful question that is useful to assess the type of relationship you have with someone. It shows how much trust there is between you and the other person. Moreover, it is applicable not only in a romantic context but also in friendship or business relationships.
Receiving this feedback allows you to recognize how your behavior impacts the other person’s perception. Furthermore, it also gives you the opportunity to repeat that habit.
You will deeply strengthen your bond and relationship by asking this question and receiving honest feedback. Also, allowing others to acknowledge that you made them feel confident will deepen your trust.
What Do I Do That Makes You Anxious?
This is a difficult question to ask because nobody likes negative feedback. But it is essential to understand where we stand in our relationship and what impact we may have on others.
Jay Shetty admits to having made others anxious with his behavior, although his intentions were all positive. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing others feel the same way we do.
“You can still make someone feel anxious, even if you love them,” Jay Shetty explained. Our words and actions may come from a place of love and appreciation, but how we make our partners feel is more relevant than our intentions.
He continued, “If you are not aware of how your actions and behavior and your words make someone feel, it doesn’t matter how much you love them; they can still feel anxious and uncomfortable.”
What Is Your Love Language?
According to Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, everyone needs to receive love in different ways.1 He identified five categories that describe how we manifest our love towards others. Jay Shetty elaborated that it is crucial to understand that sometimes our partners don’t need to receive love the same way we do.
The first love language Chapman listed is words of affirmation. The people who fall into this category need reminders of the good things they do and their achievements. Telling them these things helps them feel worthy and loved.
Physical touch is the second love language that implies nonverbal communication. These people need a hug, a touch, or a kiss to remind them they are loved.
The third category is receiving gifts. Some people need physical objects to feel loved. It is the gift that makes them feel special and remembered.
Another love language is quality time. This category of people appreciates their loved one’s presence the most. They enjoy every second of the time spent together without any distractions.
And lastly, the fifth love language is acts of service. Those falling in this category most appreciate when someone does something for them to show their love and appreciation.
Since everyone is different and each of us likes to receive love in a specific manner, it is crucial to learn about each other’s preferences to ensure the people in your life feel cared for.
What’s Your Fight Style?
Knowing how the other person reacts during an argument can save you a lot of stress. For example, if you are vocal and need immediate feedback and your partner needs time to reflect before answering, you will not solve a conflict instantly.
“If you never asked that question, you were left guessing, wishing, waiting, hoping,” Jay Shetty explained.
It is, therefore, vital to know how the other fights so that you meet halfway when trying to overcome disagreements. Jay Shetty highlighted that cooperation was paramount in these situations.
Is This Relationship Going In Your Desired Direction?
This may be the most difficult question of all. You would usually wait before discussing this topic. However, opening up about the type of relationship you have and the direction you both want to move to is paramount.
Having joint goals is part of relationships, regardless of their nature, Jay Shetty added. And discussing them together with your partner, friend or relative is crucial in identifying the next steps and milestones to look forward to.
Test It Out
Jay Shetty firmly believes that communication is an integral part of a relationship. By sharing these seven questions, he hoped to give the listeners a tool to deepen any bond.
He continued, “I’m trying to give you questions because I want you to try these out. I want you to test them out. I want to give you real tools on this podcast, not just ideas or concepts, but tools that you can practice with someone you work with, someone you love, someone you have a deep friendship with, or whoever it may be. Because I want you to get this clarity in your relationship.”
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “7 Questions You Must Ask to Deepen Any Relationship, Friendship or Partnership” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.