Asking someone what they are feeling will draw people closer together. Read here how to deepen your relationships by going beyond the events in people's lives.

I found myself thinking about this relationship principle several years ago when my adult daughter gave me an unusual gift.

It was a pair of brightly colored socks with cross-shaped patterns that seemed to shout, “Hey! Look at me! I’m here to be the center of attention down at the bottom of your legs.”

 But as bold as this was, it was the inscription at the top of each sock that evoked my outburst of laughter:

Ask Me About My Feelings.

What a startling and creative expression of a basic human need.

The phrase came across to me not so much to ask me about my feelings because I need help in understanding them. Nor so much as I need someone to help me process my experiences.

It was more like, “I know how I’m feeling and I want to express it to you. So please give me a chance to tell you, because I have something important to share I think you will find helpful in knowing who I am.”

It comes down to being known so I can have a relationship with you. I know a bit about you. Not as much as I’d like and need to know, but still, I know some. That’s a good start. But to have a meaningful relationship, you need to know something about me as well. If one of us is more significantly known than the other, we don’t have much of a relationship. It has to be a two-way street, not a one-way round-about.

How to Ask Me About My Feelings

So please don’t ask me just about my children. My job. My health. How my grandma is doing in assisted living. The vacation I just took. When I’m going to retire. All of that is news, and tomorrow it will be history. Instead,

Ask Me About My Feelings.

Ask me about my feelings about my children. About my feelings about my job. My feelings about my health. About my grandma in assisted living. Try asking about my feelings regarding the vacation I just took. My feelings about retiring. Ask me about my feelings about all of this.

When you do, we’ll have a deeper relationship. You’ll know more about me than the news and events of my life. I will know then that you care, which will draw me closer to you.

And then I can take off my Ask Me About My Feelings socks and ask you about your feelings.

Need some help with this?

Give episode 64 of You Were Made for This a try. Click here to listen to “Start with this Important Question.” It's from May 4th of this year.

Coming up

There's more to come next Wednesday.  In the meantime, you can browse below through all 3 seasons and 67 episodes of You Were Made for This. Season 4 resumes on September 9th.