What 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.
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