Getting to know someone is not a mechanical process that is completed simply by spending time with someone.
It is necessary to understand well their way of thinking and acting, and for that, on many occasions, we must take the initiative. That is why knowing the types of questions that we can pose to people close to them is an aid so that there are no “blind spots” in the relationship.
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Types of questions to be asked to people in the immediate environment
These are the main categories of questions we can use to better know those we already know to a large extent and, in passing, ourselves.
1. Questions about the relationship itself
The first group of question types are those that explicitly refer to the type of relationship that the other person believes he has with himself. They are questions that are better if they are posed to very well-known and intimate people so as not to generate rejection and reactivity. However, they can be very beneficial to adapt one’s expectations to the framework of the relationship that the other person holds.
2. Questions about childhood
People close to us can give us access to more personal information about their past, something that will help us understand them and empathize even more with them. Those that refer to childhood are one of those types of questions that, when inquiring about the person’s first years of life, let us intuit what facts helped to carve their personality.
3. Questions about oneself
People with whom you have a close relationship offer the possibility of knowing yourself more from another point of view since they are characterized by being more sincere than the rest. That makes us ask them things about ourselves. It can surprise us to see how much they see us in a different way to ourselves, even in relation to those aspects of our personality that we believe define us.
4. Questions about one’s weaknesses
Technically, these types of questions are part of the previous one, but their importance makes them stand out. They give us the possibility to know the public image we give and the aspects that others consider more improvable about ourselves.
5. Questions about the aspect itself
This would also belong to the category of questions about oneself, but it is more circumstantial. It serves to ask sincere opinions about the aspect that is shown, and they are important in those cases in which we care in a high or moderate way the image we give. However, this type of question can become obsessed if we become “addicted” to them, so it is best to reserve it for special occasions. At the end of the day, the canons of beauty have a lot of power and can become too normative.
6. Questions about future plans
In this type of questions it is not only possible to be interested in the more formal aspects of the plans that the other person has (such as the professional career you want to develop), but it is also possible to refer to the expectations and passions that drive the other person to draw plans to achieve certain objectives.
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7. Questions about hypothetical scenarios
This type of question is very general and therefore can be raised to people we have just met, but when we use them with people close to us we can ask some hypothetical questions that only make sense in these cases. For example: do you think we would be good roommates? This way, it delves into what the other person thinks about the relationship and the way of being of each one.
8. Questions about third parties
People close to us are better able to offer us honest opinions about other people that are not totally modeled by social pressure and the desire to belong to a group. This makes their opinions on the subject are often more nuanced and rich in detail, and therefore useful to have more information about the way of being of others.
9. Questions about political opinions
In many cultures, it is frowned upon to ask about political opinions to people who are not too well known, and that is why they are reserved for people from the closest and most intimate environment. Inquiring about this can serve to understand the way of seeing the other person’s world, and to know its ethical scale and the priorities it has.
10. Questions about the family situation
Family problems are a big taboo in our society, but in some cases, we can become close enough to someone to ask about the issue. In this way, we will know how we can help that person if there are problems, and we will also understand better their behavior and their way of thinking.