Do you not enjoy small talk all that much, or do you want to get to know your new love, colleague, or sister in law really well, ask them these questions. (Okay, maybe not all forty in one time…)
In the Netherlands, in elementary school, it is common to trade “friendship books” with all the kids in your class. Those were full of questions like “What is your favorite food” and “What do you want to be when you grow up”. French writer Marcel Proust filled in one of these friendship books once, one from one of his dear friends. The list he filled in became so famous that it was named after him – The Proust Questionnaire – and it is still a great way to get to know people. This is a modern, complemented version.
Forty Questions to Really Get to Know Someone
- How do you feel right this moment?
- What is your most treasured possession?
- Which talent would you like to have?
- Which characteristics do you dislike most in others?
- Which trait would you like to have yourself?
- What do you consider the most overvalued virtue?
- And which one do you think is most undervalued?
- Which mistake is the easiest to forgive?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- Are you a spiritual person?
- Do you see yourself as an introvert or extrovert?
- When did you last cry, and why?
- When did you last laugh, and why?
- Who of your parents are you closest to, and why?
- When and where were you the happiest?
- What was the most difficult time in your life?
- What is a widespread misconception about you?
- Are you doing now what you always wanted to do in life?
- What is important to you in a relationship?
- Is there something you regret?
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
- What is your motto?
- What is your most marked characteristic?
- What is the quality you most like in a man?
- What is the quality you most like in a woman?
- What do you most value in your friends?
- What is your most important shortcoming?
- What is your favorite thing to do?
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
- What would be the worst that could happen to you?
- Who would you like to be, besides yourself?
- Where would you like to live?
- What does your ideal trip look like?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite bird?
- What is your favorite book and why?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What is your favorite poem?
- What is your favorite fictional character from a book or movie?
- Who is your greatest hero in real life?
Fun to Do: Fill in The List for Yourself
Tip: try to fill in the list for yourself, it could be that you discover something new about yourself. What does happiness mean to you? And do you have a motto – if not, what could it be?