Why ask “Why?”

I have a lot of people coming in for therapy and ask, “Why?” People want to know why something happened. Why did someone do that? Why do they keep repeating the same thing with the same person? Why can’t they stop it?

Asking “Why” only gives so much. Think of a little person asking why questions and each goes to the next there is no end. Yet that is what we do with why questions.  Example: Why do I keep repeating this pattern of other people taking up more space? Because my older brother took up a lot of space in my family. Why did he take up so much space in the family? I don’t know. Why can’t I just get over it? Not sure. Why am I still doing this? Why can’t he just admit what he did and how it affected me? Why doesn’t he change? Why am I so bothered by it still? Why am I still asking this question?

There is no end to the “why” questions.

I propose that shifting the question to “what” or “how” can create more space for changes. Example: How do I keep this dynamic going where other people take up more space? I physically get small, start questioning myself- what I am thinking, what I am saying, how I present myself, and compare myself to others. What can I do differently? I can notice when I start recreating this experience, I can breath and love myself, I can try out my voice, I can remind myself of my abilities to feel more confident.

Try on some “how” and “what” questions in your life and see what happens.

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