Life

Why Those Sneaky “Rhetorical Questions” Are Killing Your Relationships

Before starting the article, please imagine the following scenario:

When you suddenly can’t find your phone and ask your husband if he’s seen it, he says:

“Don’t you have eyes? You can’t find it yourself?”

When you were moving and you accidentally injured your leg, your parents said:

” If you can’t do such a simple job, what else can you do?”

When you ask your child if he has finished his homework, he says:

“Do you think I have three heads and six arms, and can I write so fast?”

How do you feel when you hear these words?

asphyxia.

An unknown fire broke out.

A good sentence can be expressed normally, but it has to be replaced with a “rhetorical question” to choke people.

Recently, “how annoying is the habitual rhetorical question” has become a hot topic on a certain channel.

The number of people watching more than 1000W is enough to show:

This “rhetorical question” hit everyone’s heart.

After all, the disdain and impatience of a rhetorical question.

He can always choke back the words that are on the lips of others.

“Getting angry, right? It doesn’t seem to be a big deal, there’s no need.”

“Digest it by yourself? This stuffy breath is really not easy to swallow. I can promise it, but my breasts can’t.”

This feeling of being unable to swallow and unable to spit it out.

The most annoying thing.

Over time, it has even become an “invisible explosive” in many couples and parent-child relationships.

Normally everything is fine.

But as long as there is a little thing, it will explode all of a sudden.

A netizen once shared, “I almost got divorced because of rhetorical questions.”

At that time, she had just given birth, and she was exhausted both physically and mentally from taking care of her children every day.

One day, after my husband got off work, he casually “complained”:

“I’m really tired from work today.”

She blurted out without even thinking:

“Aren’t I tired of taking care of my children at home?”

In an instant, the “war” between the two was ignited.

You and I argued over trivial matters.

The “war” lasted for three days and three nights, and even caused the couple to separate.

At the end of the argument, my husband bowed his head.

He burst into tears and said to his wife:

“I mean I worked hard, but I didn’t deny that you worked hard, and I didn’t think that I was the hardest working person in the family.”

“Can you stop arguing with me?”

Her husband’s “humble begging for peace” made netizens soften their hearts.

Afterwards, she reflected on herself:

“Before, I didn’t realize that subconsciously asking questions could cause such great harm to feelings.”

Whether it’s my husband or myself, “Thank you for your hard work” is a fact.

But once it is uttered as a rhetorical question, there is a hidden layer of “overtones” of comparison and belittling:

“I work harder than you, you don’t deserve to complain.”

Who would feel comfortable hearing this?

Husband and wife are teammates who are in the same boat, not rivals.

Sometimes there is nothing wrong with “complaining” about work and life.

It’s just because you can’t talk to others about these inner thoughts, you can only talk to your lover.

It’s not a big deal, just a reply, a word of coaxing, a hug and it’ll be over.

But “subconscious rhetorical questions” are just like an amplifier.

Not only does it amplify your partner’s original negative emotions, it even triggers your own grievances and complaints.

A small matter becomes a big deal, and the gain outweighs the loss!

If the above example is considered an “inadvertent mistake”, then the following story is really a “malicious injury” using rhetorical questions.

I once saw a sharing from Ms. Liu:

My husband and I have entered middle age, and the passion has faded.

I can’t speak more than five sentences a day.

Sometimes, in order to liven up the atmosphere, she would find something to say:

“Husband, what are you looking at?”

Unexpectedly, my husband didn’t respond at all.

Asking it a few more times will result in a sudden outburst of rage:

“Are you blind? You can’t see for yourself!”

In an instant, a chill spread from my hair to my heels.

There is no desire to speak anymore.

Still feeling aggrieved.

Husband and wife have lived together for a long time, and sometimes they have bad tempers due to work or trivial matters in life, and accidentally hurt each other.

It’s hard to avoid.

But if “accidental injury” becomes “daily”.

They even use “rhetorical questions” as a sharp weapon to stab the opponent’s weakness.

It’s really too “badass”.

No one should be your “punching bag” and should bear your disregard and malicious hurt as a matter of course.

Partner, even less so.

If we say that the “habitual rhetorical questions” between husband and wife are mainly to “lay mines” for the relationship between the two,

Then the “habitual rhetorical questions” between parents and children will destroy the children’s future more.

Netizen Qingzi had a car accident when he first went to college.

Her first words after waking up were:

“I’m fine, please don’t tell my family.”

At that moment, Aoko didn’t care whether her injuries were serious or whether she needed someone to take care of her.

What she fears most is that if her family members find out, they will scold her:

“Don’t you avoid stopping cars when you walk?!”

Qingzi trembled all over even thinking about her parents’ tone and demeanor.

This conditioned reflex comes from the fact that Aoko’s family members have not spoken to her well since she was a child:

I was obviously happy for her, but I had to say it in a sarcastic tone;

When she should be caring about her daughter, she always accuses her first.

No coincidence.

Netizen Axiang also has a shadow in his heart because of his mother’s “habitual rhetorical questions” all year round.

When I was a child, my mother asked Axiang to help carry things.

Axiang didn’t know the specific location of the thing, so he asked casually:

“Where is the thing?”

It was obviously just a normal question, but it made my mother suddenly angry:

“Come on, it’s in my hand! Don’t you have any eyesight? Why don’t you go and look for it?”

When Axiang grew up, he would still unconsciously think of his mother’s curse whenever he encountered difficulties.

He subconsciously felt that others would scold him like his mother.

So, never ask for help.

I’m afraid that people will find out that I have a problem and don’t understand.

“Verbal Abuse” mentioned:

“Verbal abuse may have longer-lasting effects than other forms of abuse because it tends to be more subtle and continuous.”

Some people, even 20 years later, will still cry unconsciously whenever they recall the verbal violence they experienced when they were children.

As Axiang said:

“As much as I’ve always loved my mom, I still have a long way to go when it comes to healing myself.”

It was said in the American TV series “The Angry Life”:

“Parents will pass on their own ‘harmful substances’ to their next generation.”

Screenshots from the American TV series “The Angry Life”

At the least, it is raising children with low self-confidence and difficulty in getting rid of the psychological shadow;

Worse still, children may be educated to become abusive people.

Screenshot from the British drama “Melrose”

Many “experiencers” shared:

Because I have been immersed in the verbal violence of my parents’ “habitual rhetorical questions” since I was a child.

Even if you try to adjust when you grow up, you will always “expose your true nature” when you are angry, and it is difficult to cure it.

In the end, the former “victims” became a new round of “perpetrators.”

Oh, it’s quite ironic when you think about it.

Whether it is a couple or a parent-child relationship.

The reason why rhetorical questions make people uncomfortable is not only that they block our desire to express,

What’s more, it silences our true inner needs.

Just like Ms. Liu mentioned earlier.

It was obviously to add some “flavor” to the ordinary life of a middle-aged couple, so they had nothing to say.

But the husband’s rhetorical questions extinguished the wife’s enthusiasm.

You know, chatting is not the focus, but wanting to enhance the relationship between husband and wife is.

Or, like some children, they have trouble finding a job and are very depressed and want to talk to their parents.

As a result, my parents’ words, “Who told you to choose this major in the first place?” made me speechless in an instant.

At that moment, all the child wants is unconditional support from his parents.

It’s a saying: “It’s okay, there will always be work.”

But the rhetorical question leaves this need nowhere to be found:

Before he could say anything, he was already choked back;

The grievances have not yet been expressed, but they are blocked in the heart again.

This is what really hurts.

In addition, when looking at netizens’ opinions on “habitual rhetorical questions”.

I also discovered another interesting phenomenon.

It seems that many wives are very “supportive” and habitually ask:

“I can speak nicely, but the questions I ask are normal.”

Subsequently, netizens listed “Records of Speechless Problems of Contemporary Husbands”:

“The clothes in the washing machine have been washed. Do you want me to take them out to dry?”

“The leftovers after eating, do you want to put them in the refrigerator?”

“Do you want to take out the garbage at home?”

“The child peed and asked if I should throw away the diaper?”

“The child broke the bowl and asked me if I wanted to clean it up?”

Of course, I don’t deny that some may really lack “life skills”.

But it sounds like they all contain similar subtext:

“The clothes are washed, you go and dry them.”
“The child peed, you come and wash them.”

“There is garbage at home, you go take it out.”

Found it?

It turns out that behind the brainless problems, there is often a father or husband who “habitually shirks the blame”.

The wives’ rhetorical questions at this moment were more like venting their anger.

“You can ask this kind of question out loud. It’s really hard for me to relieve my anger if I don’t ask him back!”

But when you vent your anger, you vent your anger.

In the “battlefield” of rhetorical questions, there is never a winner.

Whether it’s the person listening or the person speaking.

In the end it must be a lose-lose situation.

Because it blocks the communication of real needs in intimate relationships and turns them into emotional venting.

Over time, we can only get entangled in “being hurt by rhetorical questions” and “hurting others.”

But it never solved the real problem.

So much truth has been said.

I think at this moment everyone will inevitably mutter in their hearts:

“Is it really possible not to say rhetorical questions at all?”

I want ten o’clock to say:

“impossible.”

After all, who hasn’t had a bad temper and their mouth runs faster than their brain?

But indeed, the less said the better.

Here, Shidianjun specially summarized two tips for dealing with rhetorical questions.

Although it cannot be eradicated, efforts can be made to improve it.

1. Universal formula: First confirm what you agree with in the other person’s words, and then express your own needs.

Many times, we use rhetorical questions.

It’s just that when our lover or children are talking, we happen to be in a bad mood.

Or some of their actions cause us dissatisfaction.

Only then would he blurt out and retaliate.

But rather than simply venting our emotions, we need to clearly inform the other person of our needs.

Maybe it will be more effective.

Here is a universal formula for expression:

First confirm what you agree with in the other person’s words, and then express your needs.

Just like the netizen mentioned earlier who “almost got divorced because of rhetorical questions”.

If your husband says he is tired.

Netizens can say:

“Husband, you have worked hard (to affirm the other person), and I am tired of taking care of the children today (to express my needs). Let’s work hard together in the future.”

Naturally there will be no quarrel later.

In this way, we are not belittling each other’s needs, but we are also expressing our own needs truthfully.

Win-win!

2. Be patient + tolerant and understand the other party’s “true intentions”

A cliché.

Mr. Shidian also knows that this is not easy to do.

We are always good-tempered towards outsiders, but often impatient towards family members.

Misunderstandings arise precisely from impatience and from our subconscious reactions.

Some netizens once shared:

When she first learned to drive, her parents practiced driving with her.

As a result, my mother was “cursing” all the way:

Can you drive?

You have to drive for work, don’t you know how to be more diligent?

Netizens could only comfort themselves while driving:

“Forget it, let’s endure the calm for a while.”

Unexpectedly, not long after, my mother said again:

“I’m worried to death when you drive like this. How can I trust you to go on the road alone?”

Found it?

“Habitual rhetorical questions” sometimes wrap the softest heart.

But this kind of heart can only be discovered if we taste carefully.

Indeed, it is not good to habitually ask questions.

But how can everything be considered well between family members?

Regardless of which party is on the other side, it is always right to be more patient and tolerant, and to understand the “real intention” of the other party when speaking.

Bad words hurt someone for three springs, but a kind word warms them for three winters.

I hope that after reading this article, you can think about it for 3 seconds before blurting it out next time.

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