To be human is to want to connect, to get to know someone. We all have an unspoken desire to be close to people, to have strong bonds and friendships that will support us. Of course, forging these bonds isn’t always as easy as we would like it to be.
When we were younger, we could go up to someone, and with a broad, welcoming smile, ask, “Will you be my friend?” This particular tactic may have worked for our less self-conscious selves and helped us to attain friends that have stuck with us till now, but as we grow older, it is pretty clear that if we go up to a stranger and ask them to be our friend we are going to get some weird glances. So, what do we do?
Talk to people. More importantly, listen to them.
Sounds pretty easy while saying it, but harder in execution – at least for my fellow introverts and me. But everyone must have been in a situation where they were with someone and had no idea what to say, how to elaborate on the conversation, or even how to start a conversation!
Don’t worry; you are not alone. If we gave up every time the going got awkward, we’d never make any friends. However, we must persevere. That’s where conversation starters, or questions to get to know someone, come in handy. God knows these guys have saved me more than a couple of times.
Okay, before we start, I’ve got to be honest with you. Just using these questions won’t be enough. There’s a lot of effort that goes into creating and maintaining friendships – or any bond, for that matter – and we must be willing to put that in.
While talking and communicating with someone is essential, listening to them and understanding what they are saying is equally important. Communication is a two-sided affair – make sure that the effort is being put in equally. Otherwise, any relationship forged will be lopsided in its energy.
If you’re here right now, reading these words, it’s clear that you’re prepared to put that effort into your relationship and take the first step, which is arguably the hardest. So good for you! Now, let us get started.
Basic, Ice Breaker Questions To Get To Know Someone
These are the type of questions to get you started on your journey to getting to know the other person! They are very casual, but they are sure to give you a basic foundation of who they are.
Moreover, it’s a great chance to see whether you share any interests, especially with the questions of “What’s your favorite…”. Don’t get me wrong, I know these look like small talk questions, but if you ask someone who is also willing to engage in conversation with you, they can be the topic of some fruitful discussion.
That is another use of these questions – they can be used to gauge someone’s interest in you. If the person you are trying to talk to is giving you vague, one or two-word short answers, it’s probably because they are not willing to put in any effort in the conversation, and subsequently, the relationship.
Maybe they want to be left alone, which is also perfectly acceptable. Notice their body language, too – if they seem to be turning away from you, then give them space. In any case, at this point, you would be better off calling it a day and going to find someone else to talk to. Remember, real conversations can’t be one-sided.
So, let’s check out the basic questions to get to know someone:
- What is your dream job?
- What is your favorite holiday?
- How many family members do you have?
- What was your favorite family vacation?
- What is the best vacation you have been on?
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite cuisine?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What is your favorite TV show?
- Who is your favorite singer/what is your favorite song?
- Do you have a pet?
- Are you a cat or a dog person?
- What is your favorite drink?
- What is your favorite season?
- Do you prefer coffee or tea?
- Are you an early bird or a night hawk?
- What is your favorite game?
- Who is your favorite actor?
- What was your favorite subject in school?
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
- What is your favorite time of the day?
- What is one place you want to visit?
- What is one food you want to try?
- What is your dream car?
- Do you like your job?
- How many languages can you speak?
- Do you know how to cook?
- What is your favorite board game?
- What is your favorite festival?
- What are your favorite genres?
Go ahead, slip some of these questions into your conversation and continue from there!
Meaningful Questions to Get to Know Someone
Okay, so now you have established some form of a connection by using the basic questions. Time to move on to some of the more meaningful questions, of course! What is next?
These questions to get to know someone are designed to give you a better idea of the person sitting before you, and in turn, for them to get a better sense of who you are. They will give you an insight into the personality and life of the person without getting too intrusive or personal and make the conversation awkward.
It is important that you also think about the answers to these questions, so the conversation is an equal give-and-take. Allow them to ask them follow-up questions, too, before putting your next questions forward. Make sure the conversation does not seem forced and instead flows naturally.
- Describe your family members in one sentence.
- Which family member are you closest to?
- Who is your favorite fictional character, and why?
- Is there any fictional character that you connect to the most?
- What is the weirdest and perplexing dream you have ever had?
- What is the most horrifying or terrifying dream you ever had?
- Do you have any recurring dreams?
- Do you think money or love is more important?
- What is your biggest fear?
- What is the first thing on your “list of things to do?”
- How many things from your bucket list have you achieved?
- What is your goal in life?
- What is your career highlight/education highlight so far?
- What thing do you consider to be the best and luckiest that has ever happened to you?
- What are some of your favorite personality traits?
- What is an impressive thing you have seen in the past year?
- What is the most fascinating and intimidating place that you have ever visited?
- What is your idea of a good life?
- What are some of your biggest pet peeves?
- How do you maintain your work-life balance?
- What is the most interesting thing about you?
- Do you think someone’s values are the most important thing about them?
- What is the worst career advice you have ever gotten, and from whom?
- Do you like small talk or more meaningful conversations?
- What was your first job?
- What is the most disgusting job/work experience you have ever had?
- What is the best compliment for you?
- What kind of a person will your friends describe you as?
- What kind of a person would you like to be described as?
- What do you think a healthy relationship entails?
- What movie or show has had a big impact on you/is meaningful for you?
- What is a song that is very dear to your heart?
- What did you want to be as a grown-up when you were a kid? If your career aspirations changed, then why?
- What caused you to take the career path you are on now?
- What is the best and the worst thing about your job/work life?
- What is your favorite family tradition?
- Describe your perfect day.
- What is the most annoying question someone can ask you?
- What is something you want everyone to know?
- If you could host a dinner party for any five people, living or dead, who would they be?
- Describe your ideal significant other.
- What is that one quote that you follow through your life?
- What is a topic you want to learn more about?
I asked for someone happy to talk to you, and these questions can lead to some enlightening conversations – make the best of them!
Late-night Conversation/Deep Questions to Get to Know Someone
There’s something magical about those late-night conversations. When the lights are dim, everything is quiet, and it feels like you are the only person awake. It brings forth secrets, thoughts, and confessions that would never emerge in the light of the day.
When you are comfortable enough with the person to divulge your secrets, ask them these deeper questions.
These are more personal questions, but it ensures a deep conversation. Make sure the person you are talking to is comfortable answering, and remember that these are for discussion, not debate.
Some of your views might conflict, and that is okay! As long as no one’s views are hurting anyone, keep an open mindset.
- Do you believe in God?
- Did you have a religious upbringing?
- What do you think happens after we die?
- Which moment would you describe as the best/happiest moment of your life to date?
- If you could talk to absolutely anyone right now, who would you talk to?
- Do you feel like there are any unresolved matters in your life?
- Have you lost a bond with someone that you thought would last forever?
- Do you want to have children?
- What kind of parent do you think you would be?
- What is your relationship with your parents like?
- What is your favorite thing about yourself?
- What is the one thing that you do not like about yourself and would like to change?
- What is your fatal flaw?
- What do you think is the best gift someone could give you?
- What is your favorite thing about humanity?
- What is something you have never been able to explain to anyone?
- What is a memory that you always keep coming back to?
- If you could travel back in time to your past and change one thing, would you like to change anything? If yes, why?
- Do you have any regrets? If yes, what are they?
- Do you think there is intelligent life in the universe apart from us?
- What is scarier – if there are aliens, or if we are all alone?
- Do you believe in parallel lives?
- What do you think you are doing in another life right now?
- If you could travel through time, would you go into the future or the past?
- Do you believe in the supernatural?
- What is the biggest coincidence you have experienced?
- Have you ever been in love?
- What is your idea of love?
- What do you want out of life?
- What are your dreams and goals?
- Are you happy with who you are?
- If you could meet your younger self and advise something, what would you like to say?
- Do you think your younger self would be proud of who or where you are right now?
- Do you believe in karma?
- Do you believe in fate?
- Do you think everything happens for a reason?
- What is your first memory?
- Do you think you have a guardian angel?
- If someday, you are given a choice to become immortal, would you consider it?
- If you found out that you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do right now?
Silly, Fun Questions to get to know someone
There are times – at parties, or team building activities, for example – when everyone wants to take their mind off things and be in a relaxing place. This is not the time for those deep conversations, but it is still an opportunity to get to know people!
These interesting questions to get to know someone will make people laugh about the craziest stuff and give them insight into each other’s personality traits.
- What is the most disgusting gift you have ever received?
- Tell us about a time when your social skills completely failed you.
- Describe your most embarrassing childhood memory.
- What is your funniest school experience?
- What is something a teacher once did that you are never going to forget?
- Did you have an imaginary friend? What was their name?
- Do you have a favorite soft toy or teddy?
- How did you and your best friend meet?
- Who is the most interesting friend you have ever known?
- If you play sports, what is the funniest thing to you while playing or practicing?
- What is the one song that can always get you on the dance floor?
- Did you ever have a Youtube channel?
- What is the best way you have convinced your mom to let you stay home from school?
- What is the best excuse you have for missing school or work?
- Have you ever had an annoying friend? How did you deal with them?
- If you could honestly tell that annoying friend one thing, what would it be?
- If you have siblings or cousins, what is the worst way they annoy you?
- What is the naughtiest prank you have ever pulled on someone?
- Who is the one person you would slap for free?
- Who is the most infuriating person you have ever met?
- What are the worst personality traits?
- Which animal do you relate to the most?
- Which animal do you think your friends are most like?
- What is the worst/disgusting dish you have ever tried?
- Have you ever been convinced you have seen a ghost?
- What is the one major disappointing thing you ever bought?
- Tell us about a time when miscommunication ruined everything.
- What is something absurd that you used to believe in as a child?
- When did you realize Santa was not real?
Other Tips And Tricks
These questions to get to know someone don’t guarantee a friendship. But with sustained effort, genuine conversations, and contact, it will be hard not to become friends. It is always important to ensure that the person or people you are talking to are comfortable with you and are willing to answer the questions without being forced.
After all, no one wants to be friends with someone they are uncomfortable with, right?
Getting to know someone is indeed a long process. Even years after you meet them, your friends continue surprising you or changing and evolving into different people. Even our family has secrets and stories that we do not often learn until we ask and desire to know.
There are other engaging ways to stimulate conversation that aren’t a barrage of questions. For example, you could play 20 Questions, a game in which two people ask each other twenty questions; Never Have I Ever, when you have to give situations you have never done while others who have done it have to drink; Would You Rather, where two options are given, and you need to decide which one is preferable for you, or perhaps the classic Truth or Dare. A game like those could bring an element of fun into the talk.
Another thing I sometimes like to do is to ask questions I’ve already asked them before in a later stage of the friendship. It is nice to see how our bond has developed by way of how their answer changes. Of course, this does not apply to all questions, but it does for some, like asking about their hopes, dreams, and fears.
Moreover, ask questions that you want to be asked! If you ask questions that you would prefer not to answer – or do not have an answer for – this will probably bring the conversation to a standstill.
So go ahead, use this comprehensive guide of questions to get to know someone better! These will also help improve your social skills. Feel free to share it with your friends, too, so that they can use it in their way.
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