I played a game with some friends over Zoom the other day called Quiplash. The game is really simple. Players answer a wide away of funny prompts (like the title of this post). It’s all made up and you sorta just say whatever comes to your mind.
Most players, however, trip up trying to think of something funny to say. What usually happens is people don’t think the answer that they first come up with isn’t funny enough.
The irony can’t escape me. We have no problem having an opinion, using our voice in settings where we are comfortable. But when we step on stage, we hesitate.
Take a look at Google and obviously you will see it’s a simple search engine. We can fill that box with anything we want. All the collective information for the entire world is right at our finger tips. Except we don’t know what questions to ask.
It’s apparent when you go to a conference and the speaker asks, “Are there any questions?” Of course, we think of questions to ask after the conference is over because we are in a safe space where no one can judge us.
The same thing happens when we load students up in the van for work and I ask someone to pick one of their favorite songs to play. “I don’t have any favorite songs.” Really? You can’t name one song that you like? Of course, you can. But what happens when we pick a song that people don’t like? What does that say about us?
There is a real need for each of us to feel accepted. To fit in. To be like everyone else. I don’t want people to think I’m not funny. I don’t want people to think the question I asked was stupid. I don’t want people to judge my taste in music.
Not everyone is going to like everything about us. We like to complain that people won’t listen to what we have to say but when we have the opportunity to speak up we are quick to let someone else take our turn. If you have something to say, believe that it is important enough that it needs to be heard.