For years, I have been working on a list of questions that would quickly reveal someone’s history and personality. Think of it like speed dating. Not everyone will agree to be “grilled,” but it’s a fun and informative activity when someone does.
As well as interviewing new acquaintances, these are great questions to ask existing friends and family to learn new facts about them.
Here are my current questions:
1. What childhood accomplishment were you most proud of?
My answer: Buying my horse. I always wanted one but my parents didn’t, so I shut up and saved my money and as a teen, I finally bought my beloved horse.
2. What adult accomplishment are you most proud of?
My answer: Moving from Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest. I always wanted to live where the mountains and the ocean were close together. I finally screwed up my courage and transplanted myself. I’m so happy I did!
3. What’s one of your fondest memories from your childhood?
My answer: Wandering all over my grandparents’ farm in Kansas. I spent a lot of time observing tadpoles, bugs, birds, squirrels and snakes and communing with cows, which are very peaceful creatures but not exactly scintillating company.
4. If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be and why?
My answer: Jesus. I figure that whatever he had to say would settle a lot of religious disputes. NOTE: This question may be too painful for someone who has recently lost a loved one; so you may want to omit or replace it, but the answer can be very revealing.
5. Assume you have a tombstone. What would you like to have engraved on it?
My answer: “She Gave It Her Best Shot”
6. Aside from the basic necessities, what do you need every day to be happy?
My answer: Some time to myself. I tend to go a bit crazy if I’m with people 24/7. My thoughts are my friends, too.
7. Which two positive adjectives do you believe your friends and family would use to describe you?
My answer: One friend called me intrepid, which I thought was the greatest compliment. And many call me resourceful, which I try to be.
8. Which two negative adjectives do you believe your friends and family would use to describe you?
My answer: One of my biggest flaws is that I am impatient; I want everything to happen right away. Another is that I am blunt; I often think I’m being witty or simply honest when others believe I’m confrontational or rude.
9. If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently and why?
My answer: I would be fearless. I spent way too many years doing what I believed I should do instead of what I really wanted to do.
10. Which good books have you read lately?
I stuck in this question because I believe it would be difficult for an author to become good friends with someone who didn’t read at all. Plus, I really like to know what everyone is reading, because like most authors, I am an addict of the written word and always looking for my next ‘fix.’ I read a book or two per week.
Would these be the questions you would choose to get to know someone quickly, or would you want to substitute other questions? I’d love to hear your ideas and opinions.