When someone describes an experience, we may hear ourselves asking ‘What was it like?’.

We’re being curious, taking an interest. Asking to find out more. Or at least trying to be polite.

What if it wasn’t like anything?

What if you get put on the spot and can’t find the wonderful metaphor?

This question is often unhelpful, especially when you’re in a scenario where you’re nervous or it’s new.

You know we’re being curious, interested, or at least civil.

But sometimes it doesn’t matter. There’s no like. And if there is, the like doesn’t do it justice.

The question becomes a lazy dud. An easy analogy. Maybe it even leads to a completely dead end. Conversation over. Opportunity missed.

Perhaps we can ease the tension and discover more by trying another question.

Something specific. Something outside the realms of what we know.

Something about your personal experience, a hidden detail, the inspiration behind your choice, what else you noticed, or how that moment shows up for you now.

Something thoughtful that considers the moment, the dynamic, the situation, the feeling. 

We could probably all do with asking better questions and searching for something new, ahead of resorting to just wanting to find out what it was like.

What was it like?

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