For the past two years, my grandson George has been a resident assistant in his college dorm. Before students check in at the start of the school year, each RA creates a bulletin board for their floor with here’s-who-I-am information about themself. It’s a way to start building a sense of community. I wish they would have had something like this when I was in college.
The only thing posted in my day was the time and place of the next anti-war protest rally.
Demonstrations about how the South succeeding from the Union was going to lead to war. That kind of thing.
Anyway, I've included a photo of George’s RA bulletin board . As you can see, at the top he posted in big bold letters, “Are You Curious About George?,” accompanied by a cut-out of the Curious George monkey. He then attached pictures representing his interests and things important to him.
I’m going to tell you what happened as a result of that creative bulletin board, but before I do, here’s what this podcast is all about.
Welcome to You Were Made for This
If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.
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Was anyone curious about George?
Just recently I talked to George about his RA bulletin board and asked him if anyone on his floor was, in fact, curious about him. Did anyone ask about any of the things he displayed about his interests?
“Just one person,” George said. “And it was only a very brief conversation.”
Yeah, that’s how it usually goes, I thought. There aren’t a lot of relationally curious people out there. And that’s a shame. I talked about this in several episodes in the past, and I’ll have links to them at the end of the show notes:
Why I’m thankful for Curious people
But here’s why I’m thankful for relationally curious people, though they are few in number. Not nosey people, but curious people. I talk about the difference in episode 165.
Curious people honor others by wanting to know someone’s story. By being interested in a person’s history, and why someone is the way they are. With the questions they ask, they give people a voice and an opportunity to be known. I’m thankful for people like this.
Curious people try to connect with others by listening, rather than talking. Oh, there are so many talkers out there today, but so few really good listeners. Most talkers are good people and mean well. But sadly, they engage with others by using their words rather than their ears.
Curious people aren’t like this. They tend to be good listeners. They draw people out to make them the center of attention, rather than themself. I’m always drawn to someone who by their very nature makes other people the focus of a conversation, rather than themself. Curious people are like this, and I’m thankful for them.
Another thing about curious people that I appreciate is how they deal with relational problems. They are curious enough to look below the surface of an issue to discover what may be causing it. Curious people look beyond the obvious. They consider possibilities that may go unnoticed by others.
So what does all this mean for YOU?
How can you use what you’ve heard today about curious people to help you find more joy in the relationships in your life?
I suggest giving a try at being more relationally curious yourself. In conversations with people make fewer statements and instead ask more questions. Ask just one follow-up question and see how that enriches your relationships.
Here’s the main takeaway I hope you remember from today’s episode
Be thankful for the relationally curious people in your life. They bless us by showing how we can all connect better with each other by listening, rather than talking. They honor us by giving us a voice so that we feel the joy of being known.
Relationship question of the month.
In previous episodes, I asked for your response to a question I asked for the month of November. I did not get ANY.
That’s OK. We’ll give it one more try.
This question I’m asking you for December is
What joyful memory of Christmas do you have? Some tradition or event that stands out for you when you think about this holiday?
Just go to PodinBox.com/John to record your answer using your phone or computer. With your answer, please include your name and where you’re from. It’s that simple. If you’d rather give a written answer, just enter it in the Leave a Comment box at the bottom of the show notes.
I’ll need your response by 5 pm Central time on December 12, 2022. I’ll pick several responses to air on one of our episodes before Christmas.
In closing, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode. I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, enough to be a little more curious about the people who cross your path. And then act on your curiosity.
For when you do, it will help you experience the joy of relationships God desires for you. Because after all, You Were Made for This.
Well, that’s it for today. If there’s someone in your life you think might like to hear what you just heard, please forward this episode on to them. The link is JohnCertalic.com/185. Or scroll down to the bottom of the show notes for this episode and click on one of the options in the yellow “Share This” bar.
And don’t forget to spread a little relational sunshine around the people you meet this week. Spark some joy for them. And I’ll see you again next time. Goodbye for now.
Other episodes or resources related to today’s shows
062: Vaccine Now Available for this Relational Virus (i.e., lack of curiosity )
063: Six Reasons Why We’re Not Curious About People
073: Could Curiosity About Others Minimize Racism
165: Nosey People Weaken Relationships; Curious People Strengthen Them
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