Let’s assume you know where you are going, or what you want in life. That’s great and commendable on your part because many people you will find around you have not yet figured that out.
If you happen to meet someone like that whom you are interested in or whom who desire a relationship with, but you are not sure exactly where they are in their lives or what they want in future, one way you can find out is to ask them the right questions. With the right questions about their future plans, you will be able to gain an insight into the kind of future such people envisage for themselves.
That brings us to the point where we can talk about what is known as future review questions.
Future review questions are the questions you ask so “you can help other people (and yourself) to clarify what’s important for their future” (R. J Adams). For instance, “How do you see yourself in the next five years” is a future review question.
Future review questions help people to describe a preferred future; help them to paint a “portrait of their life as they desire it to be.” It is about articulating the things that are important to you, without which you would not consider life to be satisfying.
It makes sense to find out where your would-be ‘relationship partner’ stand on this. Right? Continue reading…
The Possible Scenarios
There are at least three possibilities that will unfold once you begin to ask future review questions to someone you just met and with whom you are interested in establishing a warm relationship with:
- He or she will be willing and is able to respond to your questions by clearly painting the portrait of the future that he or she desires. In other words, he or she will readily answer your future review questions;
- He or she is willing but unable to clearly describe the kind of the future he or she desires. In other words, he or she has some difficulties answering your future review questions;
- He or she is not willing to go into that kind of discussion with you. In other words, he or she refuses to answer your future review questions.
What ever response you might get from any of the three situations described above will give you a huge insight into the kind of person you are dealing with and how to further relate with him or her going forward. Please stay with me, you will find some useful hints on how to go about it.
In his online book, How To Find A Good Christian Wife, And Keep Her, R. J. Adams gives us a detailed explanation or suggestions on how to handle any of those three scenarios. Although his explanations were given chiefly in the context of a single man seeking for relationship with a woman, I believe the underlining principles could also be applied to other forms of mutually beneficial relationships of interest to you.
Please hear him:
“With those people who readily answer your question, you will likely have an interesting conversation about what is most important to them and what would make them satisfied. In those cases where you can add something to their preferred future, or where you can help them achieve their desired results, you have the basis for a long and satisfying friendship or relationship. In cases where you cannot help them, perhaps you can recommend a resource who can.
With people who have difficulty answering your future review question, help them by asking a series of smaller questions. Help them articulate the things that are important to them. Ask what they would like to do, where they would like to go, what they would like to have. Ask how they would prefer spending their time, what kind of people they want to be with, and so on. This can be a very creative and stimulating discussion.
…One of the greatest services you can perform for these people is to coach them to think through and talk about their desired outcomes. And, here again, if you can help make their future come true for them, you have just established the foundation for a great relationship.
What about the people who refuse to answer your future review question? Their unwillingness to answer likely means one of two things. First, their commitment may be to the past, not the future. They may not have thought about their future as something where they have any influence.
Secondly, their unwillingness to share their desired future with you may indicate a lack of trust. In either case, you have no basis for a relationship. Some people don’t have the courage or desire to dream, or they don’t trust you enough to share their thoughts with you. Don’t waste your time. Move on to someone else…” (emphasis mine).
What do you think?