Top 15 Questions to Ask Friends
Questions for friends change over time. The first questions are a line of discovery to gauge the validity of the friendship connection. As friendship matures, questions move friends closer together on a path or guide them apart. In the end, questions keep friends cordial even when a distance, physical or emotional, separates them.
The discovery phase of friendship is enlightening to both friends. One is learning about the other while learning about himself. Some of the basic questions friends ask are to align compatibility.
1. What is your favorite _______?
Similarities in likes, hobbies and passions present fodder for conversation.
2. How do you feel about _______?
Views on principles and issues enlighten each friend’s values. They also expose fundamental differences which can prevent or eventually derail a friendship.
3. When did you _______?
This is an exercise in compare and contrast. In competitive people, it can present a game of oneupmanship. In submissive people, it presents an opportunity to have someone care for them. When the answer is the same for both friends, the bond is strengthened.
4. What do you hate?
This question solidifies views and similarities. The strength of the word hate denotes those non-negotiables each friend has. The boundaries of the friendship are drawn brightly with this question.
5. Who has hurt you?
WARNING: Do not ask to devise a method to hurt your friend. Instead, ask this question to learn the vulnerabilities of and protect your friend. It is a good guideline for how not to hurt him.
6. What are your dreams?
Knowing a friend’s goals lets you help him attain them.
7. How do you feel about me?
Friendship is a two-way street. Both people must meet in the middle for a viable friendship to form.
At this stage, friendship has been struck. The refinement process begins. Many questions will strengthen and test the new relationship. Trust must be and is being built.
8. How do you perceive faith?
Whether religion or faith, speaking of higher powers will join or divide friends. Devout faith may even prevent certain friendships. Friends who share views of faith can withstand many obstacles.
9. What does it mean to keep a secret?
Friends are vessels which keep your innermost secrets. Gossips do not make good friends because they lack fundamental trustworthiness. Friendships must be built on a foundation of trust to survive.
10. Where do you want to be corporately?
Career ambition infects all portions of life and guides the choices people make in personal matters.
11. What do you think of children?
Children, discipline and child-rearing all change a young person’s view into that of a parent. Friends with different views on certain aspects of parenting can hold long term relationships. Friends on diametrically opposite poles cannot.
12. Can you give me advice on _______?
The basic foundation of friendship is trust. The walls of the friendship are constructed exchanging information and advice. Friends help abate doubt, especially self-doubt.
13. How do you feel about me?
Now, this question is about reinstating trust in yourself. Verifying your friendship should be a constant. Both friends still need to be in the middle.
If you have grown closer, these questions will become more intimate and include subjects like happiness, grief, fidelity, life after a career and death. If you have grown apart, different questions must be asked.
14. Do we still see life the same way?
As you mature, your rate is independent of all others in your world. Even if your friend no longer sees life through the same lens, you can remain cordial.
15. How do you feel about me?
In the end, this question has changed from one of compatibility to one of incompatibility. When the feeling is no longer reciprocal, it is time to move on to new friendships.
Remember, friendships change over time, and friends will come and go. In rare cases, people can remain friends for a lifetime. Perhaps the most important question you can ever ask a friend is:
Are you having a good time?”
We make friends for companionship and happiness. When the answer to the question is “no“, the friendship is over.
How many (and which ones) of these questions have you asked your friends? How about your children, teens or adult children?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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