Understanding What Someone Values: A Guide to Getting to Know Someone Beyond Small Talk
As social creatures, humans have an innate desire to connect with others. Whether it’s making new friends or building meaningful relationships, getting to know someone takes effort and time. However, many of us struggle with making small talk and finding common ground beyond surface-level conversations. It’s often challenging to move beyond discussing our jobs, where we’re from, or mundane daily routines.
Thankfully, there are ways to deepen conversations and gain a better understanding of what someone values. One approach is to take a closer look at what they have and what they do in their spare time. People’s possessions, hobbies, and passions can tell us a lot about who they are, their values, and what motivates them. In this article, we’ll explore how to get to know someone through their interests and preferences while showcasing some insightful questions to ask.
The Power of Possessions
For many of us, material possessions and the way we decorate our homes can be a reflection of our personalities and preferences. If you’re meeting someone new, take a moment to observe their surroundings and see what they have. It could be a bookshelf, a piece of artwork, or even their outfits.
For instance, if you see someone with a book by their favorite author, it could be a good icebreaker to ask them what they love about that book or author. Or, if you notice a painting or artwork in their house, ask them about it and what inspired them to get it. These observations can lead to meaningful conversations where you can learn more about their interests and preferences.
Hobbies and Passions
Aside from material possessions, people’s hobbies and passions are an excellent way to get to know them. Whether they’re passionate about cooking, reading, exercising, or a niche hobby, these activities form a crucial part of a person’s identity and can tell us a lot about their interests and values.
While it’s not always possible to observe someone’s hobbies, asking them about what they do in their free time can be a great way to get to know them better. Some of the questions you could ask include:
– What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
– What’s your favorite type of book to read, and why?
– Have you traveled anywhere recently, or do you have any future travel plans?
These types of questions can open up conversations around someone’s interests and passions. Additionally, they can help you discover common ground and shared interests, leading to a more meaningful connection.
Values and Beliefs
While it’s essential to tread carefully around sensitive topics like politics, religion, and sexual orientation, the values and beliefs someone holds can tell us much about them. Understanding what someone values can help reveal what motivates and drives them, ultimately helping you get to know them better.
Some guiding questions to consider include:
– What do you think is the most important quality someone can have?
– What inspires you, motivates you, or drives you?
– Are there any causes or issues you’re passionate about?
These questions can help elicit insightful, honest answers that shed light on the person’s values and beliefs. By understanding what someone values, we get more than just surface-level information about them; we gain insight into what motivates them and how they see the world.
In conclusion, getting to know someone requires effort and time beyond small talk. However, by looking at what someone has, their hobbies, and what they value, we can gain a more intimate understanding of who they are. The questions provided above can be a starting point for more in-depth conversations and help you build meaningful relationships while connecting with others authentically. So, next time you meet someone new, skip the small talk and go for something more personal. You never know where the conversation may lead.