What kinds of questions can help you create a climate of trust with someone?
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 in many occasions we must take the initiative. That is why knowing the types of questions we can ask close people helps so that there are no “blind spots” in the relationship.
Recommended article: “50 questions to get to know a person better”
Types of questions to ask people in the immediate environment
These are the main categories of questions that we can use to get to know better those we already know to a great extent and, incidentally, ourselves.
1. Questions about one’s relationship
The first group of question types are those that explicitly refer to the type of relationship the other person believes they have with themselves. These are questions that are better if they are asked to well-known and intimate people so as not to generate rejection and reactivity. However, they can be very beneficial in adapting your expectations to the framework of the relationship that the other person maintains.
2. Questions about childhood
Close people can give us access to more personal information about their past, something that will help us understand them and empathize with them even more. Those that refer to childhood are one of those types of questions that, when inquiring about the first years of a person’s life, allow us to intuit what events helped to carve their personality.
3. Questions about yourself
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 allows us to ask them questions about ourselves. It can come as surprising to us to what extent they see us differently from ourselves, even in relation to those aspects of our personality that we believe define us.
4. Questions about own weaknesses
Technically, these types of questions are part of the previous one, but their importance means that they have to be highlighted. They give us the possibility of knowing the public image we give and the aspects that others consider most improvable about ourselves.
5. Questions about your own appearance
This would also belong to the category of questions about oneself, but it is more circumstantial. It serves to ask for honest opinions about the appearance 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, these types of questions can become obsessive if we become “addicted” to them, so it is best to reserve it for special occasions. At the end of the day, canons of beauty are powerful and can be overly normative.
6. Questions about future plans
In this type of question, 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 he wants to develop), but it is also possible to refer to the expectations and passions that drive the other person to make plans to achieve certain goals.
7. Questions about what-if scenarios
This type of question is very general and that is why it can be asked of people we have just met, but when we use it with close people we can ask some hypothetical questions that only make sense in these cases. For example: do you think we would be good roommates? In this way, one delves into what the other person thinks about the relationship and the way of being of each one.
8. Questions about third parties
Close people are better able to offer us honest opinions about other people that are not totally shaped by social pressure and the desire to belong to a group. This makes their opinions on the subject often more nuanced and rich in detail, and therefore useful for having more information about the way of others.
9. Questions about political opinions
In many cultures it is frowned upon to ask people who are not well known about political opinions, and that is why they are reserved for people from the closest and most intimate environment. Investigating this can serve to understand the way of seeing the world of the other person, and to know their ethical scale and the priorities they have.
10. Questions about the family situation
Family problems are a huge taboo in our society, but in some cases we can become close enough with someone to ask about it. In this way we will know how we can help that person, if there are problems, and we will also better understand their behavior and way of thinking.