Humans are a naturally social species. Even the most introverted individuals may find themselves looking for deep, meaningful connection with other people – whether that’s romantic, platonic, familial, or any other relationship.
Often, though, people find themselves feeling nervous or overwhelmed by the idea of idle chat and small talk. So, how do you break down the barrier of awkwardness that can come with new introductions?
It can be as simple as asking the right questions to get to know someone. Open-ended questions can get to the heart of someone's values, personality, and beliefs of the world without feeling intrusive or trespassing on their privacy.
Questions Can Make Conversations More Interesting
Questions can help you get to know each other, and become comfortable in each other’s company. When the person you’re with answers with enthusiasm and openness, the conversation might lead to deeper and more personal topics.
Remember, though, that everyone has the right to refuse to answer questions that feel too personal or invasive, and shouldn’t be pushed to give an answer they’re uncomfortable with. It’s important to be respectful of other people’s privacy and comfort level when it comes to conversation, and to abide by the boundaries they put in place.
25 Questions To Help You Get To Know Someone Deeply
Whether you're trying to strengthen a friendship that you've had for years or become more intimate with your significant other, well-chosen questions can spark a conversation that can help you get to know them in ways you never have before.
Here are 25 questions that you can ask to engage others in meaningful conversation.
What Achievement Are You Proudest Of?
Asking about what someone is proud of can reveal a lot about their personal values. Some people might consider their job performance to be their biggest achievement. Others might put more value on relationships with friends and family. Others may hope for certain achievements in the future.
How Did You React To Your Biggest Mistake?
Taking an honest look at past mistakes, as well as the sincerity of your efforts to improve yourself, can help you learn more about yourself as a person. Asking this allows you both to explore how the responding party is trying to better themselves.
If You Could Go Back And Change One Decision In Your Life, What Would It Be?
Though similar in theme to the previous question, this focuses less on mistakes and more on past life events. The answer may tell you how this person has changed over time, and how their values and beliefs have shifted.
What Is Your Biggest Dream In Life?
Where does this person want to go in life? They may respond with dreams for their career, their living situation, or their future relationship goals such as marriage or parenthood. Asking about future aspirations can help you decide whether or not you can visualize yourself as a part of another person’s life in the long term.
What Was Your Childhood Like?
A person's childhood can give you a lot of information about who they are, as can their feelings about that childhood. Maybe they have a lot of happy memories from when they were a kid, such as birthdays or sports, but they have not had the chance to open up about how they were raised. Conversely, they may have had unpleasant experiences and wish to do better for themselves and their loved ones as an adult.
What's One Thing That You Wish People Understood About You?
Sometimes, appearances are deceiving, especially with the rise of social media. Some people may feel that they need to conform to a certain standard for their public image to remain intact, while others may feel misrepresented by the public perception associated with them. This question may allow you to see what someone values about themselves that others may not see.
What Is Something You Are Working To Improve In Yourself?
Though it can be uncomfortable to consider, understanding the things that we consider to be areas of improvement in our lives can greatly improve how we interact. Discussing the negative aspects of your personalities can help both parties of a relationship to better understand each other and how you fit (or don’t fit) into each other’s lives.
What Event In Your Life Has Shaped You Most As A Person? How Did It Do So?
Asking about important moments in life can offer you valuable insight into a person's past. This defining moment in their mind may help inform your opinion about many decisions and behaviors as the friendship progresses that would otherwise be mysterious.
Have You Ever Treated A Person In A Way That You Regret?
The answer can reveal much about what someone considers to be the right and wrong ways of treating others. It can also tell you more about how you might expect to be treated in the course of the friendship.
Do You Think It's Possible To Be "Just Friends” With Someone Of Another Gender?
It is important to define the nature of a relationship and the expectations you have for each other from the outset, especially in the often socially questioned scenario of a cross-gender friendship. Though it is perfectly possible for people of all genders to be friends, some people have had unhealthy exposure to flawed expectations about romantic interaction. If this is the case, knowing from the outset can help you set healthy boundaries in the relationship.
Would You Rather Be Rich And Lonely Or Financially Destitute With Lots Of Great Family And Friends? Why?
This is another question which may speak volumes about a person's priorities. Some people may place more value on personal stability while others may focus more fully on rich, interpersonal lives. Knowing which your responder prioritizes can help you understand their boundaries in the relationship.
What Role Does Alcohol Play In Your Life?
Being under the influence of a substance often leads to the loss of a person’s usual inhibitions and “filters," meaning that they are more likely to speak and act without considering the consequences. Understanding how a person acts when intoxicated (and how often they are in that state) can help you determine boundaries when it comes to behavior and the use of substances.
If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself, What Would It Be And Why?
Once again, this is a question that examines what someone values, what they may perceive as a flaw in themselves, and what they might be doing to improve themselves. It can also offer you a way to understand what topics you should be sensitive to when talking to and about this person.
If You Knew You Would Die Tomorrow, How Would You Spend Today?
Considering your mortality often prompts you to confront the things that you most value but might not consider to be immediate priorities, because you may assume you have plenty of time to address them later on.
What Does Happiness Mean To You?
Happiness is subjective, so the answer to this question can show you what your responder considers happiness to mean, and what makes them happy, both in the short term and the long term. It can help you see what allows them to feel content and what excites them.
Have You Ever Been In Love?
Everyone’s experience with love is different. While some people may consider romantic love to be vital and pivotal in their lives, others may more greatly value having fallen in love with a hobby, career, or group of devoted friends. All healthy forms of love are valid, and they can give you insights into a person’s life.
When You're Home Alone, And Nobody Else Is Around, How Do You Like To Spend Your Time?
A person may be most relaxed when they don’t feel that they are being observed, so understanding how your responder acts when they are alone can help you to see what makes them feel content, safe, and fulfilled.
What Do You Want People To Say In Your Eulogy?
This can show you what a person wants to accomplish in their life, as well as the kind of impression they hope to make on others.
If You Could Have A Conversation Over Coffee Or Food With Anyone Living Or Dead, Who Would It Be And Why?
Whatever the response is for this question, you can discover the kind of person your responder admires the most, revealing attributes that they value above all. This can be an effective way to find out more about their interests as well. You might even take the question a step further and ask who they would like to be trapped on a deserted island with to find out who they would want to be around when it matters most.
Do You Think You're A Genuinely Good Person?
This question is helpful in sorting out your friend's standards of worth and what it means to be a “good” person at all.
How and Why Did You Choose Your Current Profession?
Asking this question can help you understand whether this person is content with their path in life. Are they making steady progress towards their goals, or ready to mix things up at any given moment?
If Money Were Not An Issue, How Would You Spend Your Time Each Day?
The business of earning a living often gets in the way of personal ambitions. Learning about the hopes and dreams your friend may hide underneath the routine of daily life can reveal a lot about their interests and personality.
How Do You Lean Politically?
A reasoned, calm discussion of opinions and personal views may help you and your responder understand each other’s worldview, which can point you toward core values you both hold for quality of life and the equity of people across cultures.
What's One Thing That You Do On A Regular Basis That Nobody Knows You Hate Doing?
This is a unique way to discover someone's likes and dislikes, as well as how much they are willing to give up for others’ needs or for a cause they deem necessary.
Through online therapy with BetterHelp, you can be matched with a counselor whom you can speak with from your own home. You may also message your counselor at any time with questions, which can be convenient if you find yourself wanting to review certain interactions, or better understand social cues you encounter in your daily life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Should I Ask In 20 Questions?
If you feel stressed about what types of questions to ask when getting to know someone, take a deep breath.They are basically conversation starters to help you get the conversation flowing.
With that in mind, good questions are often ones that are open-ended. This means that the other person can’t answer with a simple “yes” or “no”. They have to expand on their answer, which helps you get to know them more. It may even lead to follow-up questions.
If you’ve read the questions above and are still wondering what are some other great questions to ask, consider using the following questions to get to know someone:
- What recurring dreams do you have?
- What has been the best moment in your life?
- What family were you the closest with growing up?
- What would you consider a dream job?
- If you were creating a bucket list, what would be your top 3 things?
- Do you have a guilty pleasure?
- If you could be one fictional character, who would it be?
- What are the deal breakers for friendships?
How Do You Get To Know Someone Deeply?
The best way to get to know someone deeply is to learn about them. It means you need to go beyond the small talk. Don’t be afraid of deep conversation. However, before you start with a lot of personal questions, begin with topics that more people are comfortable with. As you get to know a little more about them, it will help you know what other good questions you can ask that they would be comfortable answering.
Getting to know someone deeply requires deep questions, not just sticking with the small talk.
What Are Some Deep Questions?
If you want to know someone deeply, it helps to know good questions that can help get the conversation going. Some open-ended questions that you can use include:
- What’s your favorite memory from your childhood?
- What’s one thing that you learned from your best friend?
- Do you think that having your dream job with little pay is better or earning more money doing a job that you don’t mind?
- What qualities do you think are important for a healthy relationship?
- What’s your idea of a perfect day?
- What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?
- What does it mean to be religious or spiritual to you?
- Which family made the biggest impact on your life?
What Are Good Questions To Get To Know A Guy?
Knowing the right questions to ask can help you start to get to know a guy better. It can be best to try conversation starters in the beginning to get to know them little by little.
Some good questions to consider for conversation starters could include:
- How many bucket list things have you done in your life?
- What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
- What’s your favorite holiday and why?
- What’s the silliest irritational fear that you have?
- Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation?
- What do you like to spend time doing when you have free time?
- What’s the best ice cream flavor in your opinion?
When you are just getting to know someone, you can use the conversation starters of “What’s your favorite...?” for many different things. This will help you get to know their preferences. And once you know things that they like, it can help steer you into good conversation topics to focus on.
What Are Interesting Questions To Ask?
When you are looking for to get to know someone, you’re going to want to keep your questions interesting. If you start firing off boring questions to break the ice as conversation starters, the other person may quickly lose interest in talking. This is why it can be helpful to ask questions that start with “What’s your favorite...”. This helps you quickly get to know their preferences so you can ask good open ended follow up questions.
These questions should be tailored to the things that you already know about them. Start with some easy conversation starters to learn the best conversation topics for that person and then slowly start to work towards understanding them better in that area.
What Are Some Questions To Ask Your Crush?
When you’re looking for questions to ask someone that you’re crushing on, they may be different questions than you would ask of a new coworker or the person sitting next to you on the subway. You probably want to find some questions that are a little bit flirty instead of just the basic conversation starters that you’re used to.
Try asking some open-ended questions to learn about their dating preferences. Ask things like “What’s your favorite restaurant?” Or, “What’s your favorite place to go on a date?” Asking the “What’s your favorite____?” questions can give you good insight into your crush.
Focusing on conversation starters will not only help you know what conversation topics are good ones to focus on with your crush, but they’ll also help you know if they’re a person you want to keep investing your time into. If they are, eventually, you’ll want to ask questions about their family, childhood, and more serious conversation topics as well.
How Do You Flirt Over Text?
Flirting over text doesn’t have to be that different from flirting in person but without the body language, it can be something that takes a little more effort. Don’t feel that you always need to play it safe. If you are flirting with your crush vs a person you’re dating will determine the types of texts that you send.
Remember that flirting should be fun. If you’re not having fun when you’re writing and sending your texts, the person on the receiving end isn’t going to pick up on that either. You can still use questions as conversation starters over text. In fact, this is a great way to start a natural conversation and keep it going.
What Are 10 Questions To Ask?
Questions can be excellent conversation starters. When you want to get to know someone but aren’t ready to ask very personal questions or want to break the ice in a social situation, here are 10 questions to ask:
- What was your favorite subject in school?
- What’s your favorite family holiday tradition?
- What’s your favorite family recipe?
- How many pillows do you sleep with at night?
- What’s your go to guilty pleasure?
- What’s your favorite zoo animal?
- What’s your favorite board game?
- What’s your favorite season?
- What was your first job?
- What’s your go-to song on karaoke night?
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