Would you like to know someone you meet regularly, but with whom you never have in-depth discussions other than talking about the rain and the good weather? Do you participate in friendly networking activities in order to make friends without ever succeeding in creating a deep bond? Do you have difficulty communicating in-depth during a first meeting?
It’s no secret that introverts hate “small talking”. It’s superficial, meaningless and a waste of time. Introverted people don’t care what you think of the weather and other everyday matters. They want to know more about you. They want to know your dreams, your values, your life experiences and the reason you get up in the morning.
Research has shown that meaningful conversation is good for us. A recent study, published in the Journal Psychological Science, involved students who wore a recorder that captured 30-second conversation footage. The researchers then examined the recordings and classified them into small discussions or more in-depth conversations. They also looked at how subjectively each person was happy. The happiest people in the study had twice as many deep conversations.
According to the results of research published in the New York Times. Whether introverted or extroverted, humans are social animals who need to connect with others and when conversations are more constructive and deep, they connect more than just conversations.
“Communication with sentient beings is the result of a long and difficult conquest that we make both with our mind and with our heart. ”
– Jean Château
3 important principles to improve and get more depth in communication
The question is therefore how to avoid small conversations and give rise to more constructive conversations. Later in the article, you will find 15 questions to get to know someone better, but before that, you need to understand 3 really important principles to improve communication.
- Welcome silence: we are uncomfortable when we experience silence. Even if we are really listening and engaged in conversation, we feel the need to avoid silence at all costs. However, the silence makes us panic and fills the void with empty words. Instead of viewing silence as a bad thing, let it linger and let the conversation go naturally.
- Do not assume: when we listen to people, we make preconceived conclusions in our heads. We use our past experiences and our stereotypes to better understand things. Don’t let the judgment of your own brain cloud reality.
- Stop thinking about what you are going to say next: we hate silence, so most of us prepare what we are going to say when someone stops talking. But that forces us not to really listen to what someone is saying.
Hearing is one thing, but knowing how to listen is something else, which requires that we give our time to understand the words of another. Yet it is the very basis of communication that too often we overlook.
“The most basic human need is to understand and be understood. The best way to understand others is to listen to them. ”
– Ralph Nichols
15 questions to get to know a person better and deepen a new relationship
Now that we have learned these 3 important principles for improving communication with a person, here are 15 questions to really know someone.
1. What is your story?
This is an excellent starting question that can inspire a meaningful answer. Some people will have an immediate and impressive answer to this question which can lead you on several paths.
2. What are you passionate about?
One of the quickest ways to talk about something interesting is to discuss our passions. The person who responds will usually be excited and you can see them release their true energy. If you share the same passion, you are well on your way to starting an in-depth conversation.
3. How would you describe yourself?
This question may seem nothing special in particular, but its ambiguous nature will reveal a lot about their personality. This can give you a glimpse of what’s important to them, and by going a little deeper, you can get them to talk about what they really want to talk about.
4. If I really knew you, what would I know about you?
An open question allows the person to go as far as they want. This can lead to sincere and in-depth questions, so be prepared to listen and understand who that person really is.
4. What is the job of your dreams?
A question that will reveal a lot about a person’s personality and ambitions. Whatever their answer, it will reveal what they want for the future and whether or not they have already thought about it.
6. What makes you more fulfilled in your life today?
It’s a great question that gets people thinking about what makes them really happy. An excellent stimulant of positive energy for any conversation. People open up about things that make them feel good, which can lead to in-depth discussions.
7. What is your greatest achievement?
This will give you a critical overview of a person’s past and allow them to talk about something that makes sense to them. Again, it’s a great way to get someone to open up and talk about themselves with passion.
8. Who is your personal hero?
This question says a lot about a person. Some will describe a family member, others an athlete or celebrity from popular culture. You will learn a lot about their values. Usually, they mention traits or characteristics that they aspire to have in themselves.
9. Have you read good books?
It’s another great way to find out what interests and excites someone. Some people will be honest and say they don’t read. But if they take the time to seek an answer, it may mean that they are trying to impress you.
10. What is your story that you don’t tell often enough?
It can really get someone to talk if they have a story to tell. People liked to be heard, so keep your ears open and this question will break the ice.
” Listen. The effectiveness of the exchange depends more on your listening than on your words. ”
– Bertrand Reynaud
11. What is your ultimate goal in life?
This is another ambiguous question that will reveal a lot about their priorities in life. Do they mention a selfish goal? Or do they have a life mission, which concerns other people and which is greater than themselves? They will speak with such passion that they will begin to reveal who they really are.
12. What are you most afraid of?
This question can take a dark turn, so be careful. But everyone is afraid of something, so it can really keep the conversation going. This can create empathy and comfort, two essential characteristics of a thorough conversation.
13. What is the best approach to resolve a conflict?
An interesting question that will reveal a lot about how they approach difficult situations. Are they a direct kind of person? Do they believe that honesty is important? Do they believe in peacekeeping and positive problem-solving? Based on his answer, you will start to see if he is the type of person you really want to hang out with.
14. What is the best way to earn someone’s respect?
A very revealing question that explains what they really value for themselves and for others. Do they admire kindness? Or do they respect ambition and social status? There are many different ways to answer this question, so explore them further and ask them why this is their main indicator of respect.
15. What is most important: what you say or how you say it?
A good question to see if this is the type of person with whom you could develop a significant relationship. Why? Because you will know if they value appearance and beauty beyond the practical results of the actions.
In conclusion: Whether it is to create friendships or for a possible romantic relationship. These are all great questions to ask, but keep in mind that they require investigation to get the real answer. Once you are able to get them to talk, these questions will let you know if they are really someone you would like to spend more time with. Also, remember that they will likely ask you the same questions, so make sure you have ready answers that will impress them!
I wish you many deep conversations with interesting people, because chatting from heart to heart with people with an open mind is really the most beautiful thing in human relationships.