How Questions Strengthen Relationships

My favourite part about meeting someone is getting to know them and their story. What are the events that have shaped them? What are they most excited about? What and who are the most important things in the world to them? Their quirks and their strengths and their weaknesses--I can't get enough. 

Someone recently told me that I'm terrible at small talk and I go straight for heart-to-heart conversations. Kind of like this:

New person: Hi Sejal, how are you?

Me: What is the meaning of life?

And he's right, kind of. (I'm better with transitions, if I do say so myself. I would respond with, "Not much, just sitting here thinking about the meaning of life. What do you think it is?) But here's why: if I connect with someone off the bat or feel like they too enjoy depth in conversations, I'm happy to engage in a heart to heart early on. There's so much to uncover and discover that I impatiently want to dive right in. Friends have told me that I interrogate people--I can't help it, I'm curious!--so I'm working on my delivery.

I stumbled upon a video the other day that spoke right to my soul. Not only did it cover one of my favourite things EVER, Seniors in Love, but it also brought it back to a study done a few years ago about how asking 36 specific questions can lead you to love (or away from the person). In the video, they asked senior couples to go over the questions together. Spoiler alert: happy tears will ensue and even the most bitter heart will believe in love again. Sigh.

Now, I've never actually sat down with someone and gone through the entire list (but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to), but I have taken the questions and asked them of people. Not just people that I was interested in romantically but people who I was interested in forging a deeper relationship with it, be it friendship or family or teammate. The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness, which I wholeheartedly believe. It's why the people I'm most attracted to are the ones who aren't afraid to own their emotions or share their feelings. It's why I've consciously been trying to create a safer environment for that. And it's why I've been working at reciprocating and doing the same. 

At the end of the day, all we have left is our experiences and our relationships. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not spend it on surface level connections when there are depths to explore. What kind of questions do you like to ask people?

Life Lessons in Aisle 9

Life Lessons in Aisle 9

Your Board of Directors

Your Board of Directors