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How to Get to Know Someone Better

June 11, 2019 by

It is always great when you can meet someone and you immediately click with them. It’s like you have been friends forever.

But there are also times when you meet people and it takes a little more work to get to know them. And while you may never end up being great friends with this person, they might be someone that you have to interact with on a regular basis, such as a coworker or a new in-law.

So how do you get them to open up to you?

When getting to know someone, you usually ask impersonal but important questions, such as where they’re from, what they do, if they have children, etc.

However, if you really want to get to know more about someone than just the basics, you have to dig deeper. You have to hit on some topics that dig into the other person’s thoughts and passions in order to strengthen and increase your bond with them. Sharing personal information will allow you to gain a deeper relationship if you are able to ask questions that focus on personal self-disclosure.

An important part of this is to ask follow up questions whenever the other person tells you something about themselves. Say they took a trip to Greece last year, ask them what they liked the most about it or ask them to describe their favorite meal. What brought them to Greece in the first place? Where else might they like to travel? These types of follow up questions help the other person reveal more about themselves.

Here are some good things to ask someone you have just met that go beyond small talk.


Because people spend so much time at work, you can get to know someone by asking them about their job. Start a conversation that leaves you knowing how the other person feels about their profession. Some questions you may ask include:

  • What are some things that you find rewarding in the work that you do?
  • What are some of the challenges that you face?
  • What are you the most proud of at work?
  • Do you plan to stay in your current career forever?
  • What is your dream job?
  • Are you fulfilled in your job? Why or why not?
  • Does your job align with your college major?
  • Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do?
  • Tell me about the worst job you have ever had.
  • Do you see your coworkers outside of work?
  • What does your typical day look like?
  • Are there any things at work that annoy you?

Another great way to get to know someone is to ask questions about their family or other close relationships. Some examples are:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • How often do you get to see your family?
  • What are some family traditions that you still follow?
  • What has been your favorite family vacation?
  • What is your best childhood memory?
  • How many siblings do you have and are you close with them?
  • Do you still have your childhood house?
  • What is the best piece of advice you have gotten from a family member?
  • If you have children, do you raise them like your parents raised you?
  • What did your parents do for a living when you were growing up?

A quick way to get to know someone is to ask them about their values. This will help you learn about their life philosophy and motivators. Consider some of these questions:

  • How would you define success?
  • What is a deal breaker for you in a relationship?
  • Are you religious?
  • What do you do that makes you feel accomplished?
  • What do you look for in a friend?
  • Do you have a personal motto?
  • What motivates you?
  • Do you give people second chances?
  • How do people earn your trust?
  • What do you respect the most about your best friend?

    Asking questions such as these that go beyond the normal factual questions about where someone works or lives can help you to quickly get to know someone and have them get to know you in return.

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