Let's discuss the questions to get to know people on a deeper level to create bonds for life. Because truly meaningful connections are the ones that matter.
Why Do You Ask?
Whenever we meet someone new or consider becoming closer with a person who has been around for some time, we face a deep ocean of information. Stories, preferences, jokes and sorrows are what make us unique and what truly defines us.
But navigating in this endless pool of facts can be tricky: where do you even start? Psychologists argue that the best way to really get to know someone is by asking them a series of questions about themselves and anything they hold dear.
The logic here is very simple. First of all, people generally like to talk about themselves, and we get genuinely pleased whenever someone asks.
And second - think of it as a type of interview, when each question is asked for a reason and each answer is carefully thought-through. As a result, we have an interesting conversation that can unravel onto so many new levels, and we also get to know a person who means something to us.
In return, we would usually get asked as well, if not the same exact questions, then something in the near region. And that's what makes an authentic and meaningful relationship.
The Art Of Asking Questions To Connect With Someone
Now, as we are talking about the questions you can ask to get to know people better, it is also important to note that there is a certain correct way to ask them. In other words, sometimes it matters more how you ask than what you are asking.
First and foremost, you have to be a good listener. And although it sounds very straightforward, many people are still not clear on how to listen and actually hear at the same time.
Have you ever listened to a person and had absolutely no idea what they were just talking about when they finished? There are two possible explanations here: poor speaking skills of the person you are talking to or poor listening skills of your own.
The main takeaway here is that we cannot change how others talk, but we can certainly work on how we listen.
Next time you are having a conversation, make sure that you are fully engaged - focus on what the other person is saying and how they are saying it. Paying attention to the tone of voice can provide you with a number of helpful hints on how the one in front of you is really feeling.
Also, don't just stay there - make sure they know you hear them. Simple body language will do: nod your head and express appropriate emotions with your face. Short phrases such as "aha" or "I see" are also good ideas.
Another important thing is to be ready to answer the same question yourself. Oftentimes we get into the detective mode and it turns to a one-way street, making us hard to approach.
If you want to get personal, be prepared to face personal questions as well. It is only fair to the person you are trying to get to know, after all.
Making mental notes is always helpful as well. People often mention things they want and wish for, and they would be very delighted if you remember and make their dream come true one day.
If remembering isn't your thing, use the notes section under the contact on your phone or set reminders for upcoming events. For example, if your friend mentioned that they always wanted to see the Nutcracker and you know it will come to your city soon, remind yourself to book tickets closer to the dates.
Last but not least, the getting to know each other process has to always be mutual. Remember, that you are not filing an interrogation profile - you are connecting with a person.
Healthy relationships of any nature have to always be built on consent and shared interest in one another. If you are pushing a person to open up without them wanting to, it's just creepy.
Four Levels Of Connection
Before we list all the questions to connect with someone, let's break down the four levels of connections these questions are designed to fuel.
It is pretty obvious that not everyone we meet will become our best friend in the world. But it shouldn't stop you from being sincerely open to getting to know people on deeper, more personal levels.
The questions below will come in four categories: casual, getting closer to home, deep waters, and romantic interest. It's worth mentioning that these are very much liquid and if you feel like hitting every category with one person - go ahead.
By default, however, these questions to get to know people better would normally be addressed to different types of people in your life. To help you get a feeling of how to use them, here is how we see the breakdown.
Casual questions define themselves. They are generic enough to be used in a conversation with someone you just met, a coworker or a new friend.
The main thing to remember about making your casual questions effective is avoiding ones that can be answered with a "yes", a "no" or a single word. Your task is to open a person up and get them really talking.
This way "What's your favorite color?" is helpful, but not ideal to get to know someone as an individual. Aim for something slightly wider, that can potentially grow into a full-on conversation.
A Little Closer
By "getting closer to home" we mean the questions that open the personality door a bit more, without triggering feelings or memories that are too personal. This type is great for someone you already have some sort of connection with, such as a sister-in-law or your long-term colleague.
You can also feel free to get closer to home on a first date, where it is generally acceptable to be a little personal, but not personal enough in case there will not be a second one.
The Real Thing
Deep waters questions are for people you've known for a while and have a set of shared experiences together. This includes old friends, relatives, spouses, partners, and more.
Once again, remember that any question you ask to connect with someone has to be bi-directional, meaning that you should be ready to answer it yourself.
Also, ensure to feel the room and acknowledge the setting of where the conversation is taking place. Some people won't mind sharing their deep feelings, but they won't be open to do it in a public place or during a certain activity.
Especially important when you are going deep is to monitor the person's mood and watch out for signs of needing extra support or help. If you see that the question has opened a whirlpool of emotions, maybe it would be better to hit pause and focus on just that one thing.
The Question Of Love
As for romantic interests, we want to make sure that we are getting to know a person not just as a human but also as a potential partner. This question category is a slight mix of casual and personal, but majorly directed to see if someone is interested in a romantic connection with you and how they picture it.
You should be comfortable asking these questions on a date or with someone you have been together with for some time. As long as you are clear with your intentions, people should have no problem sharing what's on their mind.
It's time we cut to the chase and actually go over the questions to get to know people. As previously mentioned, they will come in four distinct categories, although you are welcome to mix and match, when necessary.
Casual Questions To Connect With Someone
Here the main theme would be light-hearted and engaging. Know your boundaries and have fun!
What are your top three movies of all time?
What were your favorite classes in school/college? *You can also ask what class would they like to teach, given the opportunity.
What was your dream job as a kid?
Would you rather live in a city or in the suburbs?
How would you describe your spirit animal, real or imaginary?
Are you extroverted or introverted?
Do you prefer dogs or cats and why?
What emoji would capture you best?
What is your favorite social media site or app?
How would you spend a million dollars if you won a lottery?
What are your most favorite foods?
What is your favorite holiday?
Do you like to play sports?
What are your hobbies?
What does your ideal vacation look like?
Are you more of a morning or a night person?
What kinds of music do you like the most?
Would you describe yourself as a spontaneous person or as a planner?
What is your ultimate pet peeve?
What superpower would you choose?
Who is your favorite fictional character?
What historical figure would you have dinner with?
If you could time travel, where (when) would you go?
What are the skills you want to learn?
What are 5 things you cannot live without?
Getting Closer To Home
We have already discussed, that this category of questions to get to know people is the middle ground between being completely casual and really deep. Your main goal here is to get the person you are speaking with to open up and see if your relationship can grow bigger and stronger with time.
What was your craziest adventure so far?
What is your most favorite way to procrastinate? *Let them know that you don't see procrastination as something bad.
What makes you laugh really hard?
How would your friends describe you?
Have you ever cheated during a test?
Who do you admire and why?
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
Are you uncomfortable with getting older?
What was the best gift you have received so far?
How do you deal with stress?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your teen self?
Do you have any phobias?
Do you believe in marriage?
What was the best advice ever given to you?
Do you believe in any type of higher power?
What things make you feel emotional?
How would you spend your last day on Earth?
Where do you see your life going in the next ten years?
What do you value the most in people?
How do you feel about your job?
What are the things you could never tolerate?
What is your favorite part of your hometown?
If your life was a movie who would play you?
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Deep Waters Questions To Connect With Someone
Hopefully, we all understand, that asking questions to get to know people is not a way of hurting someone or making them uncomfortable. This especially applies to this category, since the answers here can be extremely personal and sometimes not so pretty.
Ensure you are in the right position to ask before you proceed. Pay very close attention to reaction and voice as you ask these questions to avoid crossing any lines.
What is your biggest fear?
What makes you feel vulnerable? *Make sure not to judge.
What is something you regret?
Have you ever been bullied?
What was your childhood like?
If you could, would you change something about your parents or siblings?
What is your biggest insecurity?
What seems to always trigger you, no matter what?
Have you ever struggled with addiction?
Have you ever been abused physically or emotionally?
What is your scariest memory?
Have you ever felt fed up with life?
Do you think there is an afterlife?
What is your most controversial opinion?
What do you really love about yourself? *Take this moment as an opportunity to share what you love about them.
When we have a romantic interest in someone, we want to build a connection that is larger than friendship. In many cases dating couples end up getting married and having children together, which means the level of connection between them has to be very deep and strong.
Inside this category, you will need to use your judgment to evaluate the situation you are currently in. In other words, you will be asking different questions on the third date than three months into a relationship.
It is also widely believed that asking these questions to connect with someone on a romantic level sometimes lead to people falling in love after just a couple of hours. Why don't you try for yourself?
What is the most romantic thing someone can do?
Are soulmates a real thing?
How would you describe your perfect date?
Do you see yourself as a family person?
What does your ideal home look like? *A trip to IKEA together is a nice opportunity to ask this.
What are the qualities you value in a partner?
What does commitment mean for you? *Remember that people see love differently.
What do you think is more important: money or love?
Are you a romantic person?
Have you ever had your heart broken?
Do you keep in touch with your exes?
How many dates should a couple have per week?
Do you prefer following or being in control?
How do you feel about pets?
What do you think is wiser: owning or renting and why?
What makes you angry about people?
How important is sex for you?
What is your biggest turn on?
Do you believe partners should share interests?
How would you describe a perfect relationship?
Is love the answer to everything?
What is your language of love?
Do you prefer the quality or quantity of time spent together?
How do you feel about fights in a relationship?
What thing never fails to melt your heart?
In Questions Game - Everyone Wins
The beauty of getting to know someone is always based on sincere interest. This means that if you decide to ask just for the sake of asking, you might not get too far.
On the other hand, however, sometimes after asking a few questions to connect with someone, people actually found so much new information about an old friend or coworker, that it took their relationship to another level.
Questions to get to know people can also be tailored specifically to the person you are talking to. Moreover, you can let yourself be creative and decide what you will ask next on the go.
The main takeaway is, of course, to stay human and open your mind and heart just as much as you want others to open theirs to you. Ask away and make sure you don't just listen, but also hear.