Inquisitive vs. Curious - When Did Curiosity Kill the Cat? | Language and Performance Ep 4

Episode description

You’re not going to want to miss out on this one. You might think that curiosity and inquisitiveness are the same thing, but there is a significant difference between how it feels to be on the receiving end of both of these mindsets. The goal of this week's podcast is to improve the quality of our conversations by leaning into curiosity, and away from inquisitiveness. Inquisitiveness is important in research and for finding solutions, however, there are times when too much inquisitiveness can create a disconnect in your relationships. Have you ever noticed when people emotionally detach and become robotic and logical when the conversation starts to become difficult? When you feel like someone has gone "cold", it’s because it’s a fight or flight response called “Feigning” that protects us from a perceived emotional threat. Many people think they are being calm, cool, and collected when the reality is that they have emotionally left the building.

Curiosity can be both positive and negative. Partial knowledge often creates a desire to learn more and master a subject, while complete knowledge or complete ignorance can stunt the motivation to pursue further understanding. The allure of potential rewards and the release of dopamine drive our pursuit of knowledge. Speaking of dopamine, it plays a significant role in curiosity. We explore the effects of curiosity on the brain and how it relates to the anticipation of reward.

Ever noticed how people often lose curiosity after achieving their life goals, such as landing a dream job, buying a house, or starting a family? It may be that the expected dopamine reward of achieving these goals has been fulfilled. Many individuals stop wanting to learn new things and simply try to ride out the next 15 to 20 years of their lives,but promoting healthy curiosity and inquisitiveness in all stages of life is vital for our own mental health and for maintaining strong relationships.

We encourage listeners to reflect on their default communication styles during difficult conversations. We should all strive to identify when we might be engaging in excessive questioning and aim to be better communicators.

Episode guest

Kayla Unrau

Registered Provisional Psychologist