An open and honest conversation about who you are and who you want to be, is the quickest way to get to know someone. These four light-hearted questions will definitely help you with that.
Telling a group of people who you are can be very awkward. Many people find it hard to give a heartfelt answer to the question ‘who are you?’. We tend to use clichés, which is a shame, because talking about personal matters is the quickest way to get to know each other. Yet we hardly ever ask intimate questions when we meet new people. It’s regarded as a bit impolite. However, it can be useful to bring up personal matters, because they serve to break the ice. All of a sudden, you’re having an open and honest conversation.
For more than 25 years, Bas Klinkhamer has been coaching people. During teambuilding days, he starts off by asking people to answer the following four questions:
1 What’s your favorite animal and why?
2 What’s your second favorite animal and why?
3 What’s your favorite beverage and why?
4 What do you think when you see the sea?
It’s essential to answer as detailed as possible. For instance: ‘I love espresso because it’s strong and powerful.’ After everyone has answered the questions, Klinkhamers tells them about the meaning of the answer.
Question 1 is about the qualities that you appreciate in yourself, and of which you are aware. Question 2 is about qualities you also have, but of which you are less aware – or that you appreciate less. Question 3 is about how you relate to sex. Question 4 is about how you relate to life.
These simple questions follow the psychological mechanism of projection. It means that you focus your own psychological map (your qualities, features, desires, wishes blockages) on something outside of you. For the same reason, you get extremely annoyed about some people and unconsciously prefer others around you. They represent something inside yourself.
A nice conversation
This game is not just useful as a conversation starter when meeting new people, it’s also great when talking to people you already know. Try it during New Year’s Eve with family or friends (and don’t forget to tell them the true meaning of their answers afterwards).
Text: Joanne Wienen - Photo: Rawpixel