Here’s the truth.
You can talk to someone for a long time without actually getting to know them as a person.
It’s doesn’t take much to ask someone about the weather, right? But it’s another thing when you talk about your favorite weather with someone. The latter takes a deeper level of connection compared to the former.
Similarly, impersonal knowledge is different from personal knowledge. According to Knowing Persons, “I know about him.” is not the same as saying “I know him.”
Getting to know someone involves finding out things about their personality, beliefs, likes, dislikes, and hobbies. David Matheson of Carleton University calls it “communication account” wherein you only know someone if he or she actively shares information with you, particularly intimate, private information.
So, how do you get to know someone? Of course, it starts with a question!
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355 questions you can ask to get to know someone:
Where do you most hope to visit?
What’s your favorite book?
What’s your favorite 90’s show?
What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
What’s your dream job?
What’s your favorite word?
What was your first job? Any upcoming travel plans?
What brought you here?
How do you two know each other?
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
What are you reading currently?
What’s the first concert you attended?
What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
What is your most-used emoji?
If you could win an Olympic medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be?
If you could change your name, what would it be?
What movie or TV show title best describes your week?
What’s the last text you sent?
What’s one of your favorite memories?
What’s one thing about you that surprises people?
Who, or what, was your biggest teacher?
What was something you’ve done that made you feel extreme happiness?
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
What was your favorite subject in school?
What’s your hidden talent?
If you had to eat one thing for every meal going forward, what would you eat?
If someone were to play you in a movie, who would you want it to be?
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
What’s one thing your mother/father taught you that completely changed your life?
What’s been on your mind lately?
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
What does success mean to you?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Where is your happy place?
If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would they be, and why?
How can someone win a gold star with you?
What energizes you and brings you excitement?
What qualities do you value in the people with whom you spend time?
For what would you be famous?
What does your dream day look like?
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
What’s your guilty pleasure?
At what job would you be terrible?
If you had to choose only 3 adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose?
What do you give a damn about?
What is a dream you have that you’ve yet to achieve?
What’s something you say you’ll do, but never will?
What did you have to give up to achieve your current level of success?
Has anything ever happened to you that you could not, and cannot, explain?
Do you ever find there are things about you that people misunderstand? What are they?
For what are you most grateful today?
If you could have one ‘do over’ in your life, what would you do differently?
Of what are you most afraid?
Do you have a hero?
Have you/would you ever join the military?
Do you own a gun?
What trait do you envy in others?
What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
What skill do you wish you had?
How do you wish to be remembered?
Do you like trying new things?
Are you a picky eater or do you like to try new foods?
How would your best friend describe you in five words?
Do you usually stay friends with your exes?
How many serious relationships have you had up until this point?
Have you ever dated someone of the same sex?
Have you ever lost someone close to you? If so, who and when?
If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?
What is the best way to cheer you up on a bad day?
What’s the ideal weekend for you?
What is the most creative date idea you can think of?
Do you prefer chocolate or flowers?
What do you think of best friends of the opposite sex?
Do you judge a book by its cover?
Are you confrontational?
What’s your main philosophy in life? When did you first recognize this philosophy and put it into effect?
What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself physically?
What is something that you would change about yourself spiritually or emotionally?
What is the first life-changing moment that comes to your mind?
Are you religious or spiritual? What are your beliefs?
Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
When/if you do go out to socialize, what things do you enjoy doing?
Which parent are you closer to and why?
What was your favorite pastime as a young child?
What was the best phase of your life?
What was the worst phase of your life?
Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? If not, then what did you always dream of doing as a child?
What is the best vacation you have ever been on?
What makes you feel accomplished?
Have you ever visited a different country?
What’s your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
Do you have a favorite artist or author?
What is a relationship deal breaker for you?
Are you more into looks or brains?
What is your favorite physical feature about people who you are attracted to?
Would you ever take back someone who cheated on you?
Is forgiveness important to you, or do you think that it is better to hold grudges?
How do you feel about sharing your password with your partner?
Do you like to snuggle or are you more of a solo sleeper?
Do you have any pets?
When do you think a person is ready for marriage?
What kind of parent do you think you will be?
What are the three most important values that you would like to instill in your children/future children?
What would you do if your parents didn’t like your partner?
Do you value your parents/friends opinion when it comes to your relationship?
Who is that one person you can talk to about just anything?
Are you passive aggressive?
Do you believe in love at first sight?
When was the last time you broke someone’s heart?
When was the last time you had your heart broken?
Would you relocate for love?
What was your very first job?
What was the make and model of your very first car? Did you buy it or was it bought for you?
Did you ever write a journal?
What are you most thankful for?
What are your hobbies that you like to do alone?
Do you believe in second chances? Would you give a third chance? Where is your cut off on new chances?
What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?
If you had to write a biography of yourself in one sentence, what would it be?
What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
What did your past relationship teach you?
What are your thoughts on online dating or tinder?
Have you ever met someone off of an online dating site or app?
What’s on your bucket list this year?
When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?
Have you ever done recreational drugs?
Do you drink alcohol? What is your favorite thing to drink?
Aside from alcohol, what beverage do you drink most often?
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again?
If a genie granted you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?
What’s your biggest regret in life? What are you most proud of?
What do you think about when you’re by yourself?
Does your job make you happy or would you rather be doing something different?
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Why did your last relationship end? Did you end it or did your partner end it?
How long was your most serious relationship?
How long was your shortest relationship?
How old were you when you first started dating?
Did you go to college? If so, what was your major, and was it your major from the start or did you change your mind?
What’s been your biggest mistake so far in life and what did you learn from it?
Where is your favorite place in the entire world to go?
What are your top five favorite movies?
What are some of your favorite songs?
What qualities do you admire about your parents?
How would you describe your best friend?
Is your best friend now your childhood best friend? If not, describe your childhood best friend.
What’s your favorite hobby to do alone?
Have you ever owned an exotic pet?
Have you ever been arrested or spent the night in jail? If so, then for what?
What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Why do you think you’re still single?
What is your favorite color combination?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
What is one dream you have yet to accomplish?
What is your greatest fear?
What are three things you value most about a person?
Who are five people you are closest with?
What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened this past year?
What’s your favorite beer?
What’s one thing that bothers you most about the world today?
Who are you closer with your mom or your dad?
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
What sport did you fall in love with?
What is the weirdest thing about you?
What would your best friend say is your best quality?
Who is your favorite historical figure?
What made you choose the college you went to?
If you could tell your former self one thing right now what would it be?
What is your favorite clothing brand?
What was your favorite subject in school?
What food could you not live without?
Dogs or Cats?
What’s closest you’ve ever come to being arrested?
How old were you/would you like to be when you have your first kid?
What was your best birthday?
What is your sign?
What makes you nervous?
What’s one thing you wish you knew how to do?
Where’s one place you’d like to go that you haven’t been?
If you had plenty of money, what would you do with your time?
Are you a morning person or a night person?
What time do you usually wake up in the morning?
What time do you usually try to go to bed?
Have you ever been on a serious diet and stuck to it?
What was the last book you read? And When?
Where do you usually get your news?
Do you get bored easily?
Do you prefer large cities or small towns?
Have you ever ridden a roller coaster? Do you like them?
Do you enjoy running?
What are some of your own personal goals in the next 5 years?
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
At Christmas, do you prefer real Christmas trees or fake ones?
If you could get away with anything that you do?
Who is your greatest hero?
Were your parents strict on you?
What was the silliest rule your parents had for you?
What time was your curfew when you were a teenager?
When was your first kiss?
What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Why are we here?
Do you color your hair?
If heaven is real and you died tomorrow, would you get in?
Do you believe in fate?
What is your favorite gemstone?
Do you work out regularly?
How do you think people see you?
If you had the ability to erase something that you did in the past, what would it be?
What song makes you unconditionally happy?
If you could have anybody else’s life, whose would you take?
What fictional character do you most relate to?
If I asked you at age 5 what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you say?
What is your biggest irrational fear?
If you could take us anywhere in the world right now, where would you take us?
What is your biggest regret?
If you died tomorrow, what would you wish you had done?
Can you pinpoint the moment in your life where you were the happiest?
What song makes you unconditionally sad?
If past lives are real, what was yours?
If you believed in reincarnations, what would you want to be in your next life?
Have you ever seen something you can’t explain?
What is your biggest accomplishment?
What would you do if you only had 24 hours left to live?
If you could do one thing without suffering the consequences, what would you do?
What is the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
Have you ever cheated on a test?
What is the darkest thought you’ve ever had? What about the darkest thing you’ve never told anybody?
What is your craziest drunk story?
Is there something out there, a thought, an idea, a current event, or a fear that you find deeply unsettling?
Do you have any siblings? How old are they?
What would you consider to be your deepest fear? (This question can be really telling of the depth or lack thereof of a person.)
Is there an activity that calms you? A place or a thing that makes you feel at ease?
What is the worst pain you have ever been in?
What makes you feel uneasy? Overwhelmed? Anxious?
Have you ever broken a bone?
Have you ever had a major surgery?
Do you enjoy nature or do you prefer to stay indoors?
Have you ever been camping?
Have you ever been canoeing or white water rafting?
What is your favorite song and why?
Do you have a favorite book? A line in a piece of literature? A poem? Why do you relate to it?
What scene in a movie has evoked the most feelings out of you?
Do you have a role model? If so, who is it?
What do you do or where do you go when you need to be alone?
What makes you feel like you need to be alone?
If you could live forever, would you?
What political stance do you believe in strongly?
Do you consider yourself a Democrat, a Republican, or other?
Can you remember a time in your life you felt the most alive? Tell me everything about that memory.
Have you ever been caught in a lie?
When have you felt the lowest in your life?
Do you trust yourself?
Do you trust others easily?
Where have you felt the most failure? The most success?
Tell me about the facts or harsh truths you choose to ignore but know you shouldn’t.
When have you felt like you were living life to the fullest? When have you felt like you weren’t?
What is the first lie you ever told? Which is the biggest?
What is the first secret you ever kept from anybody? Which is the biggest?
Are you a religious or spiritual person? Tell me why and tell me how.
Have you always had the same political beliefs? Is there something that impacted them?
Where do you find meaning in your life?
Have you ever been in love? Tell me about the times you have been.
Tell me about the times that someone broke your heart.
Why did you cry the last time you did so?
Have you ever cried tears of joy?
What did you do when you hurt someone the most?
If your life was a movie or a book what would be the title to it?
When have you caused the most harm to yourself?
What has been the biggest change you ever made that made you the proudest of yourself?
Think about the people you love the most in your life, what do you do for them?
Is home for you a place or a feeling? Describe that place or describe that feeling.
If you could be anywhere other than where you are right now, where would you be and what would you be looking at?
Have you ever questioned your sanity and why?
What is your most cherished childhood memory?
Have you ever had dreams about a past life?
Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?
Do you believe more in fate or that we are the creators of our own destinies because we are governed by free will?
Do you believe in extraterrestrial life? Elaborate on why or why not.
Would you find more comfort in the theoretical idea that we were the most advanced species in outer space or would you find more comfort in the idea that we weren’t?
What would be your thought process if you were presented with irrefutable evidence that a god didn’t exist? What would be your thought process if you were presented with irrefutable evidence that a god
What do you think was there before the universe came into creation?
Do you believe in other dimensions and parallel universes?
How do you define art?
If you could have the option of eradicating pain from your life would you choose to do so? Why or why not?
Is a life exclusive to pleasure (no suffering) worthwhile?
What do you think happens after death, if anything?
If you could be given the date of your death would you want to know it?
Presented with the opportunity to be immortal would you take it?
Would you rather be loved or love?
How do you define beauty?
Where does happiness come from? Define what happiness means to you.
Do you believe yourself to be truly free? If so, why? If not, what is holding you back?
Deja-vu: is there anything to it or merely coincidence?
What was your father or mother like at home? How does he or she act different outside of the family?
If you were given a choice to choose your manner of death, how would you die?
Tell me a really, really stupid joke that made you laugh.
Pick two out of physical chemistry, lifestyle compatibility, emotional compatibility, and intellectual compatibility.
If you were forced to vote for one the biggest dictators of history, (Hitler, Mussolini, Mugabe, Mao, Saddam or Stalin), which one would you pick and why?
Show me a music track or a scene from a film that made you tear up.
If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be and why?
If you were given a chance to explore the oceans, go to outer space or visit 50 different countries, which one you choose and why?
Do you think that men are more rational and women are more emotional?
Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy, and hate, which one would you say affects you the most?
Out of the positive emotions of compassion, positivity, enthusiasm, and initiative, which one is your biggest strength?
If you could be President of your country for an hour, what is the one thing that you would change?
What gives your life purpose?
Has another’s pain ever given you joy? Be totally honest.
Tell me your biggest strength outside of your workplace.
If you were given a choice to turn into a zombie or to die, which would you pick?
If you had to pick one, what is the most important value you would teach your children? Honesty, Kindness or Courage?
Tell me five things that you love about yourself?
Are you health conscious? Are there any foods that you do not eat for health reasons?
Name the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a partner.
Name the one worst quality you cannot tolerate in a partner.
Do you like video games?
Tell me your biggest supernatural or paranormal fear?
If you got a free cheque for $5,000 right this second, how would you use it?
How do you deal with stress?
Name one really surprising thing that set your heart pumping and gave you an adrenaline rush.
Do you shower at night or in the morning?
Tell me about the time you were so embarrassed in love, you wished you could disappear right there and then.
Tell me a song or a movie that makes you cry.
Have you ever been unable to sleep? What do you do with your time then?
Tell me about your biggest love regret that made you wish you could turn back time?
Do you have faith in humanity for the future?
Do you believe in materialism or spirituality?
If you were forced to pick one religion on this planet, which one would it be and why?
How long does it usually take you to be fully yourself around someone you’ve just met?
What is the most romantic and loving thing you have ever done for somebody?
Have you ever truly been in love?
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Do you have any addictions? Do you have an addictive personality?
Have you ever been in a fight?
How do you handle the pain?
What’s your day-to-day mantra?
Have you ever had an overnight stay in the hospital?
What quote resonates with you more than any other?
What celebrity alive right now do you dislike the most?
What is your biggest turn on?
What is your biggest turn off?
Do you like being “in control” in bed? Or vice versa?
What’s your anti-motto?
Would you say that you have changed much since this time last year?
How would you summarize your life purpose?
Where did you grow up?
Some words to think about:
When you utilize these questions to get to know someone, you make an effort to create a connection with them.
Conversations aren’t meant to impress people. Instead, they create a bridge where the two of you can meet halfway and go beyond the surface level.
Remember that the deeper the connection is, the stronger your relationship is with that person.
Now it’s time to ask yourself how well do you really know the people in your life and evaluate your relationship with them.
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No confusing jargon. No fancy chanting. No strange lifestyle changes.
Just an easy-to-follow guide for improving your health and happiness through key Buddhist teachings.
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