Getting to know someone is a crucial part of developing and strengthening relationships. But there is a risk that asking too many personal questions could be perceived as intrusive or inappropriate.
It’s important to start out a conversation with positive topics that put the person at ease. This can help them open up and reveal more about themselves over time.
1. Ask Questions
Questions are a key part of conversation, but not everyone is skilled at asking the right ones. Ineffective questioning can make a conversation feel stilted, superficial or fake. It’s also important to know which questions to ask, and when.
For starters, questions about typical light conversation topics like music or movies can be useful to get the ball rolling. Once a conversation is comfortable, questions can then be shifted to more sensitive topics such as relationships or past jobs.
However, it’s important to not jump straight into such topics from the start as doing so can put a strain on the conversation and can signal that you are only interested in information about yourself. People are more likely to reveal sensitive details when they’re asked questions in a decreasing order of intrusiveness.
2. Be Open
One of the most important things you can do to get to know someone is to be open with them. While this can be difficult, it’s necessary in order to build a strong connection and understand how they view the world.
This doesn’t mean that you have to blab about yourself nonstop, but it does mean that you should be willing to share more personal information with them. This may include talking about your favorite movies or TV shows, your pet peeves, and what your wildest dreams are.
It also means sharing more about your own experiences, like what’s hard about your job or your current relationship. Be careful not to make the conversation too heavy-handed, however, as it could turn them off. Keep it light and fun.
3. Avoid Texting
Sometimes a person is so invested in their textmate that they can’t move the conversation past “just textmates.” When you get to know someone, it is important to let your guard down and be vulnerable. That isn’t possible if you are always behind a screen.
If you’ve been talking to a new person for a while and they suddenly start texting you non-stop, it might be time to break things off. This is especially true if they’re making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If they can’t respect boundaries over text, they won’t respect them in the real world. It’s also better to save heart-to-heart conversations for dates rather than texting. That way, you can be sure that the person is truly interested in you and your relationship.
It’s important to listen actively, but sometimes this can be difficult. If you’re naturally a faster thinker, or just a more active speaker, it can be hard to let someone speak without interrupting them.
If you want to really get to know someone, you need to give them the chance to open up. This can be a slow process, but it’s worth it in the end.
You can use techniques like repeating the gist of what they say, or asking a question that allows them to further expand on the subject. Also pay attention to their body language and facial expressions – it can tell you a lot about how they feel. They may be hiding something, or they might just be tired and need a break.
5. Don’t Overshare
Oversharing is a sign of insecurity, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sharing something very personal with someone you are just getting to know. It’s important to remember that oversharing is not a disorder, and that there are many reasons why people overshare.
Try keeping track of when you tend to overshare, and what type of situations. You can then use this information to be more mindful of your behavior. It’s also helpful to practice being more efficient with your words; if you share a lot of detail, cut out the unnecessary parts of the story. Witty banter is another way to redirect a conversation that may be veering into dangerous territory. Also, if you overshare often because you are seeking attention or sympathy, you should seek professional help.