My youngest daughter tells me today that her friends at school never ask her anything about herself.
"I ask about them, but they don't ask about me," she explains.
"I know what you mean," I tell her. "Hardly anyone knows how to ask good questions of one another. We might need to learn how to do it."
So after school, I ask her and her friend all about it: "What kinds of questions do you like people to ask you?"
Her friend says, "I want people to ask me about what it's like to have brothers or what I'm thinking about my pets."
My daughter insists that she wants people to ask her about her fashion (of course!).
"You might tell your friends what you want them to ask you about since nobody seems to know."
I suddenly realize this is a great idea. Instead of stewing about how friends aren't asking enough about us, why don't we just tell them the kinds of things we love being asked about? Later, I hear my daughter ask her friend, "How many pets do you have, and what are their names?"
Her friend tells her and then turns to my daughter and says, "So what's your favorite style of clothing?"
I think we're on to something. Telling people what you like to discuss could certainly help build friendships. (Don't ask me about weight loss, grading, or holiday shopping. Ask me about God, writing novels, teaching, and blogging.)
"It's like an interview game," I tell them. "And the first question is always, 'What do you want me to ask you about?'"
What do you like people asking you about?