What to ask when meeting new people

coffeechatWhat is the one question you would ask everyone you meet? this is what Leslie over at Time out for Mom wants to know from us today. And I have to say: There is no single question I will ask everybody when I am meeting new people. It completely depends on… a lot of things.

First of all: Have I known this person before we meet for the first time? e.g. from phone calls, from facebook or blogging – that makes a world of difference, because a lot of questions I may ask, might have already been answered previously.

It also depends on the situation and timing, the where and when. Seeing someone during the morning for a meeting in the office differs completely from meeting, possibly the same someone, after work in a pub over a beer or glass of wine. Is it a work meeting or personal? Totally different setting.

But what it all boils down to is that with any question, or rather conversation, I will be trying to find out if the person I am meeting is on my wavelength. That is, of course, assuming that on some level I am interested to have and/or stay in contact with this person. ‘On the same wavelength’ quite obviously does not mean that we are of the same opinion about everything or live our lives the same way. But we should be able to find an understanding, compromise and be tolerant. If that is not possible, then I am afraid, a friendship with me is going to be tough.

But this is not just one question you can ask a stranger you have never met before. It is something that you find out over time. And with more than just one question. I would never let the answer to just one question be the determining factor of a possible relationship. Just like the question(s) depend on the situation, so do(es) the answer(s). What if that somebody had a total crap day and is not their normal self? Pretty sure I would get an answer that is not 100 % representative for that person. But only for a tiny part that most of us have, but more or less successfully conceal most of the time. And for good reason. Because living together means compromises and tolerance. For other people’s behavior and opinions. Over time good friends will know the whole of who you really are, including all your little intolerances and things you are not willing to compromise about. But a real friend will accept those and take you as you are. Just like you do, too. Nobody is perfect and we should not be. We are all different, if we weren’t – I don’t even want to imagine…

Hmm, I guess I strayed a little, huh?! And I think that Les probably had a different answer to her question in mind. Well, I hope you can forgive me.If you really want to know – some of the very first questions to ask, to start a conversation are usually: What do you do (for work)? What do you like to do outside of ‘work’? Have you been to ‘insert favorite place(s)’? And then, take it from there. So, maybe ask a few more questions now or tell me what you ask when you are meeting new people. Or just come back and visit my virtual home to enjoy a photo or two and possibly find out a little more about me. I think I would like that very much.

Flowers, bokeh & a texture

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10 thoughts on “What to ask when meeting new people”

  1. A wonderful answer to a very complex question. I do so enjoy visiting. Thanks for the flower photo – ours are still buried under a mound of snow.

    Reply
  2. I don’t speak with strangers too often. It’s not that I am not a friendly person, but I rarely look for opportunity to talk to outsiders. I think I am just too busy to make the effort, but in Blogosphere I am really chatty. Like you, when a moment presents itself for conversation with a stranger opens then I’m like you, the questions will vary. Usually, I’m querying the said stranger about her shoes or outfit on where she got it. There have been a few occasions in which I see someone who looks familiar and I have to know, if she is who I am thinking of. Nearly every time it’s a mistaken identity on my part.

    I am happy to get to know you a little better with each visit. BTW, I would like to ask you a question. How is that you get your logo on your photos? I found one freebie photo editing program that will do this, but it won’t save the image to a large file size. I have no clue, if the paid version will keep the original file size or not.

    Great to share a cup of coffee with you this morning! 😉

    Reply
    • You’re right, Cathy, I am not actively looking to talk to strangers either, I am not an extrovert, but every now and then I actually do enjoy it. There is something about it like no strings attached if it is a complete stranger you are talking to. You know, it happened to me once that I mis-took someone for a friend I had a long time ago, it wasn’t her and it was a little embarrassing, too, I have to admit.

      I edit all my photos in Photoshop and with that I have an ‘action’ that when I save a photo for the internet it adds my logo. It is basically a second picture that I put in a layer over the original photo and then merge it. This can also be done in Lightroom and I am sure there are also freebie programs that will do this for you. Also in a large file size. However, I am sorry, I am no real help there, because I am very biased towards Photoshop – love it!

      Reply
  3. “But a real friend will accept those and take you as you are. Just like you do, too. Nobody is perfect and we should not be. We are all different, if we weren’t – I don’t even want to imagine…”

    Wonderful post! And this is my favorite line!

    The flowers are beautiful!

    Reply
  4. As Kisma already quoted > I think that sums it up perfectly!
    And you answered just right! – because I wanted everyone to think about the various social settings in which we do interact these days. There are sooooo many! the personal, the professional, perhaps a religious for many, social media, etc. etc. We don’t necessarily interact the same way in all those spaces; but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are “false” either. They just call for different modes of communication and connection. But, it would be great if there was one simple question that could cover all the bases, ha.
    But you have a great 2nd method too: a picture is worth a thousand words! And a beautiful one of a flower even more emotions. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you, Leslie – phew, for once I really answered ‘right’. Haha – and as you confirm ‘right’ depends on a lot of things.

      Oh yes, the language of pictures, I didn’t even think about that one, although it should have jumped at me – duh!

      Thank you.

      Reply

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