5 Great Questions for Every Type of Person in Your Life
Set your sights on strong relationships and deeper connections to keep your social health booming. Need help? These conversation-starting questions really do the trick.
Staying close to your people doesn’t take a ton of work most days, but that closeness really counts in the grand scheme of your life. According to Harvard Health, your social ties boost your long-term health as effectively as a healthy lifestyle.
Yet it’s completely normal to get stuck in a conversational rut with anyone — coworkers, family, even mentors and newer friends. You each ask the same questions and respond with pre-programmed answers. It can get a little … surface level.
Real talk: Weak social ties may deplete your health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!
Set your sights on strong relationships: Keep deepening your understanding of each other and having fun together to keep your social health booming. Need help? These conversation-starting questions really do the trick.
Want to start enjoying working with someone a little more? Seek answers that help you see them from a few angles — they’re so much more than their job title!
- What was your dream job as a kid?
- Would you still want to pursue that dream if you had the money, time, or whatever else you need? If not, why?
- If you had to change careers today, what would you choose?
- What type of teenager were you?
- What’s the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
You know their exes, their food allergies, even their shoe sizes, but you’ll never know everything in their heads. Ask questions that help you understand what’s really on their mind in big moments.
- If there was only one thing you could change about your past, what would it be?
- What are your favorite and least favorite personality traits in yourself?
- What’s the thing that makes you most angry?
- Is there a good reason to keep a secret?
- Name your proudest moment so far in life.
It’s easy to rely on small talk with new friends, but that’s half the battle, right? If you don’t make it past “What’s new?” “Not much,” it’s pretty dang hard to deepen the relationship. Try these questions to learn stuff that’ll make you a better friend to them later.
- What’s your favorite dream and why?
- How do you reconnect with yourself when times get tough?
- Do you come from a big or small family? Do you wish it were different?
- What’s a new skill you’d like to learn and why?
- What’s your biggest fear and why?
Your grandparents lived in a completely different time, and they’ve got the stories to prove it! Learning about how their lives shaped them reveals the person behind the grandparent and teaches you about your family’s roots.
- What was the most impactful invention on your lifestyle?
- What were your parents and grandparents like?
- What relationship in your life had the most impact?
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
- What’s the most positive change you’ve witnessed in your lifetime so far?
Neighbors make great friends — they’re almost always right there when you’re in a pinch! Humor about the area is a good way to break the ice, even if it’s been a little thick over the years.
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen here?
- Ever lived in a neighborhood like this before?
- What was your least favorite neighbor of all time like?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- What’s your favorite secret spot in the area?
Wellness 3.0: Small Talk | Debra Fine
Podcast: Ways to Have Better Small Talk
Whether it’s a party, a networking event, or just entertaining friends and family, we all engage in small talk. Debra Fine, guru of all things small talk, tells us how to start conversations, ask better questions, and even how to exit a conversation with grace.
While you know the day-to-day information about your partner, big picture questions can reveal personality drivers you haven’t noticed. Continuous discovery is part of keeping any long-term relationship thriving.
- What’s one adulthood responsibility you wish you’d never have to deal with again?
- How would you spend retirement if there were no financial restrictions?
- If we had to move to another place, where would you choose?
- When you’re gone, what do you hope people say about you?
- If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
They spend a lot of time sharing their wisdom with you, so understanding where they’re at in life helps you get the most out of the relationship. Go ahead and get to know them as people!
- Are you where you’d like to be in life?
- Who has been your biggest influence?
- What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve ever made?
- What are you most proud of?
- What do you enjoy that has nothing to do with your career?
Your parents poured a lot of energy into you over the years! Who are they when you’re not star of their show? Parenting is only part of their identity. Go ahead and peel back a few layers.
- If you could relive your life with the same family, what would be the biggest change you would make?
- What did you dream of doing that got sidelined while you were a parent?
- What’s one thing you’ve never done that you would still like to do?
- What accomplishment (that has nothing to do with your children) are you most proud of?
- Are your children the adults you imagined they would be when they were five years old?
Children Under 10
Children range from silly to serious in the blink of an eye, and you can count on them to get bored easily. Run-of-the-mill questions get run-of-the-mill answers. These questions keep things interesting.
- If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend it?
- If you had to choose between being itchy or sticky for the rest of your life, which would you pick and why?
- What would you do differently today, if you were in charge?
- If you had an evil twin, what would be its evil plan?
- If you could do anything you’re not allowed to, what would it be and why?
You shared parents and probably a childhood with your siblings, but that doesn’t mean you’re telling the same stories. You might be surprised that your siblings don’t see themselves, life, or your parents in the same light you do. Ask them questions that help you understand them better.
- Are we the adults you thought we’d be when we were kids?
- What’s the worst thing you did that nobody in the family knew about? Would you do it again?
- What’s the most annoying thing about our family?
- What family treasures do you hope to inherit?
- What was your favorite year when we were kids?
Asking these questions doesn’t just keep the conversation going, it strengthens your bond because it shows your people that you’re truly interested in what they think about life, the world, and everything in between. You’ll never know what you don’t know if you don’t ask, so get out there and get into the minds of the people you care about most.
Build Better Social Habits
Fulfilling relationships are scientifically proven to keep you happy and healthy — boosting your immunity and longevity. When you prioritize the people that matter most, even when life gets full, you naturally show up better for them and yourself.
Science-backed and the first of its kind, Fabriq is designed to improve your social health and make building better social habits easy, so you can focus on what (and who) really matters.
Make no mistake about it, new friendships require dedicated time and attention. When a great new friend enters your life, the effort is quickly outweighed by the benefit of true, meaningful connection.
This year, expect to hear many of your friends and loved ones committing to reduced social media use in 2020. Here’s why you should join the movement and how to do it without the fear of losing touch with the people you care most about in your life.
It’s important to strike a balance between using technology as a helpful social tool and abusing it as a quick social fix to avoid real-life interactions. Digital wellness is a term used to describe how well you strike that balance.