Sharing some favorite “intense” questions

Being isolated has done strange things to my social abilities. I’ve had a resurgence of random speech impediment issues since I’m not using my voice as much. My hard fought ability for small talk has been drastically weakened and I can only think of really intense questions to ask others. On the phone over the weekend, a friend of mine and I repeatedly interrupted each other out of pure excitement during the first 10 minutes of conversation. The social rhythms I’ve learned to adopt feel frayed. If I’m being honest, it’s been kind of fun to observe what habits I fall back to when no one is around to re-socialize me.

In an effort to embrace this, I thought I’d document some of my favorite “intense” questions to ask to better get to know others. I’m sure I’m forgetting some but, when I remember, I’ll use it as an excuse for a future post.

  • If you had 7 lives, how would you live them? What gender would you be? What time period would you live in? What profession would you have? How might you be able to integrate these 7 lives into the life you have now? Make sure to throw in lots of simple “but why?”s in there as follow up questions.
  • How would your closest friends describe you? How would a stranger describe you? How would you describe yourself?
  • If you had to describe yourself in one word, what word would you choose and why?
  • What would you a decade ago think of the you of today? What would they be surprised by? What would they be disappointed with? Do you think you two would be friends? What do you hope for future you a decade from now?
  • What are your various identities that you would self describe as? If you had to rank them in terms of which you feel closest or most tied to, how would you? How does that compare to how others might view you? How have identities changed over time? What’s an identity others put on you that doesn’t resonate with you?
  • If you could replay a day in your life, what day would you replay and why?
  • What’s a favorite quote of yours and why? When do you turn to it? How did you first find it? What has it helped see you through?

I hope they help you connect with someone whether near or far. I’ve had great luck with them and I’m sure you will too.

6 Comments

  1. mokagio

    > How would your closest friends describe you? How would a stranger describe you?

    That’s intense indeed and a good reality check: are you living up to your values? Other people don’t know what goes on in your head, they only see what you do and hear what you say.

  2. Bryan Wagner

    Fascinating questions!
    My life was changed during a stay in a Zen monastery when I heard the guide give this encouragement, “The quality of your life will hinge entirely on the focus of your attention.” That shared insight was so entirely truthful for me that I spent the rest of my stay contemplating that statement.
    I am whatever I am attending. My whole world is whatever my focus of attention happens to be. Even if I’m caught up in my flowing stream of thought it’s still my world at the moment.
    Thanks for this, how interesting!

    1. Anne McCarthy

      Wow, that’s a beautiful story and bit of encouragement. I find myself needing to seek out moments where I can give my full attention rather than leading with it… good reminder to work on that 🙂

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