Getting to know someone: Do you ask or wait to be told?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    This issue has come up for me with different people at different times. It was partly the inspiration for my crazy thread. I'm curious to know how other people handle this.

    When you meet someone and want to get to know them, whether for friends or something more, what do you do? Do you ask the person questions about themselves to get to know them better? Or do you wait for them to tell you about themselves?

    Here's my take. When I want to get to know someone, I tend to ask questions. Sometimes, I have to start with cliche questions like "What's your favorite movie?" or "What do you do for a living?" To me, it seems natural that if you are interested in something or someone, you want to know more. It can be problematic to know when I'm asking too many questions or asking the wrong kinds of questions. Sometimes, I encounter someone who doesn't seem to like getting asked questions at all. I'm not sure what to do with them.

    I've always assumed that other people are the same way. If someone doesn't ask me questions, then I assume they aren't interested in me or don't care. I'm not the type of person to just start telling a stranger about myself out of nowhere. I have know idea if they want to know anything about me or if they want to know anything at all.

    If everyone has a different approach, then it doesn't really work. If I'm waiting for a guy to ask me questions and the guy is waiting for me to tell him something, then nothing ever happens.

    What's your opinion on this? How do you approach these situations.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 25, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    I'm bumping this because I wanna know the answer. This is something I am just not good at. Seems like a group setting is handy if you can land it. It gives you time to make a couple of remarks without being tied down. Also good to DO something rather than just talk, like lug stuff around for the host at a party, or get help with moving something or whatever.

    Please all of you socially skilled types, respond.
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:24 AM GMT
    I don't think anyone is going to see this. It didn't get bumped to the front page. icon_neutral.gif

    EDIT: As soon as I posted this, it got bumped to the front page. I know magic! icon_eek.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:31 AM GMT
    I try to just get a conversation going. I don't ask to many questions and instead let them lead me to things they want me to know. Usually the stuff that makes them look the best.

    Oddly though a lot of guys think going out and partying every week, taking drugs, getting drunk and being bitchy makes them look good.

    I must be old hahaha
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:34 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidI try to just get a conversation going.

    How do you keep the conversation going if you don't ask questions? Do you talk about yourself? Other topics?

  • Oct 25, 2012 5:37 AM GMT
    I reckon one way or another if one is interested he won't be able to resist showing some form of appreciation. When I like a person I crave to know more from them. I can't help it. Perhaps for those who are more shy, they will show in other forms: perhaps nervousness, looking worried. Either way you should be able to pick it out. A rule of thumb is that if you have to question whether or not he's interested, chances are he's not.
  • RaggedyMan

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    Oct 25, 2012 5:42 AM GMT
    I ask questions like: what do you do for a living, how was your day, is there something interesting going on in your life right, etc. Usually these questions have answers that lead to other questions.
    What I wanna know is when to stop and cut your losses. Most of the time I can tell when he is being "nice" and just starts answering with 1 or 2 words emails (im assuming emails, not in person cuz I have yet to interact with a guy in person who knows im gay and hes gay as well)
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:43 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    lilTanker saidI try to just get a conversation going.

    How do you keep the conversation going if you don't ask questions? Do you talk about yourself? Other topics?


    In person it's easy, you ask a question about what they've just talked about

    Leave it open and eventually they end up where ever the hell it is they are going.

    if you genuinely appear to be interested they keep talking
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:44 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidIn person it's easy, you ask a question about what they've just talked about

    Leave it open and eventually they end up where ever the hell it is they are going.

    if you genuinely appear to be interested they keep talking

    OK, so you wait for them to bring a subject up and then ask questions based on that? How do you start a conversation with someone?
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:51 AM GMT
    Oh... this I don't know... I guess what ever happens, happened.icon_redface.gif
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    Oct 25, 2012 5:56 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    lilTanker saidIn person it's easy, you ask a question about what they've just talked about

    Leave it open and eventually they end up where ever the hell it is they are going.

    if you genuinely appear to be interested they keep talking

    OK, so you wait for them to bring a subject up and then ask questions based on that? How do you start a conversation with someone?

    Yes.. that's exactly how I do it.......

    No..

    Hi, I'm Ben

    Which usually gets you a hi I'm suchandsuch in return. Then you ask the question.. depending on the situation.. My most recent was "And how do you know suchandsuch"

    Which devolved into shit slinging our host and telling stories about the crap he'd gotten up to. Along the way I learnt a shit ton about the person.. I asked one question and ended up having a three hour conversation that involved 13 people that where joining in and falling out as and when they chose too.
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    Oct 25, 2012 6:02 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidYes.. that's exactly how I do it.......

    No..

    Hi, I'm Ben

    Which usually gets you a hi I'm suchandsuch in return. Then you ask the question.. depending on the situation.. My most recent was "And how do you know suchandsuch"

    Which devolved into shit slinging our host and telling stories about the crap he'd gotten up to. Along the way I learnt a shit ton about the person.. I asked one question and ended up having a three hour conversation that involved 13 people that where joining in and falling out as and when they chose too.

    I've had conversations take off like that, but it's rare. Talking to someone online means it's unlikely you know the same people. I sometimes struggle to find something in common to talk about. I start to feel like I'm interrogating the person, but if I'm getting signals that they want to talk, I'm willing to make the effort.
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    Oct 25, 2012 6:09 AM GMT
    I ask questions. If the guy just responds and doesn't ask any questions, I know that we aren't going to be a match. It was the same way when I dated girls. There is a certain rhythm of verbal/non verbal communication that you get into.
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    Oct 27, 2012 11:30 PM GMT
    Generally, people enjoy talking about themselves, although they don't like being interviewed or quizzed. If I meet someone new, I get into a bit of rallying with them (a bit about me and a bit about them). We each should be in concert giving some information and not just one guy doing all the talking. If you do this right, it is fun - and you get a good dialog going. If, on the other hand - the other guy is not able or willing to keep up his end of the conversation, then you just move on to others (at a party setting, for example).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 27, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    Generally, I try not make the focus of the conversation on either one of us when we first meet. I try to feel the vibe and go for subject matter that would mutually be interesting to both of us. Usually, when time moves along on the date, it should inherently start navigating towards talking about each other (if there is a genuine attraction). There is nothing worse starting off on the date being thrown 20 questions.
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    Oct 27, 2012 11:44 PM GMT
    I usually start off asking the common questions, such as, "how do you know (fill in the blank)" or "in what part of town do you live," pretty generic stuff. Sometimes during the beginning of a conversation I try to pick up on something that may be worthy of a question and keep going.

    I must admit that I'm much better at answering questions that asking them. I'm an open book and will answer any question, but I'm sometimes afraid that I'll ask a question they may not want to answer or ask a stupid question. So, all in all, I'd much rather answer questions and hope things go from there.
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    Oct 27, 2012 11:53 PM GMT
    I don't get out much, but when I meet new people I usually follow the same basic routine:
    Whats your name.
    Where you from.
    What do you like.
    What do you do for a living.
    etc.

    I usually try to avoid personal questions until I know them better. But I love having back and forth conversations. Not only for the answers they give, but to get to know their mannerisms and personality.
  • FRE0

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    Oct 27, 2012 11:59 PM GMT
    Ask what they think about Marie Antoinette.
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    Oct 28, 2012 12:06 AM GMT
    cb55_full_view.jpg


    If it's someone I really want to know I'll ask questions about stuff they like and what they do/used to do/would like to do. If you think you're asking too many questions you can make it sound better with guesses or comparisons. Just say some random thing like "You remind me of a drummer friend. Are you a drummer?"

    If the person is avoiding eye contact and giving quick answers you should finish the conversation and leave. They're obviously not interested or busy. Sometimes introspective or shy people do that, but you should be able to notice if they're feeling uncomfortable (in case of shyness) or if the person just likes to be alone (introspective)
  • ftwcycle

    Posts: 111

    Oct 28, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
    I will often ask them about how their families...where are they, do they get along, are you out to them, etc. Sharing family stories, you learn lots about them. If there are resentments or unresolved conflicts, watch out for hot button issues. If things are good, and they treat their family with respect, its a vbery good sign.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Oct 28, 2012 12:27 AM GMT
    OK. Primer on attraction. That slug that sells newspapers and keeps staring at you? Would you ask him about anything personal? Hell no.

    That hot guy at the gym that makes you precum in the showers? Would you ask him about his life? Bet your ass you would.

    That's how you know a guy is into you. Is he asking questions?

    When your bf stops asking questions about you, whether it's been 2 days or 2 decades, it's over. If he's asking, he's still into ya wants to be with ya. Sorry I'm listening to a rap song right now. That ya thing was random.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 28, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    Reminds me of a Dale Carnegie quote:

    “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Oct 28, 2012 12:38 AM GMT
    I read that book! It was SO old, but it was all still so true.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 28, 2012 4:28 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidThat's how you know a guy is into you. Is he asking questions?

    That's what I would think, but I've had guys who seem to like me, at least as a friend, who never ask me anything. I'm not going to blurt stuff out, so they end up not knowing me very well.
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    Oct 28, 2012 4:44 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidWhen you meet someone and want to get to know them, whether for friends or something more, what do you do? Do you ask the person questions about themselves to get to know them better? Or do you wait for them to tell you about themselves?
    It's a give and take, and not everyone is the same. You don't always have grounds to ask questions, sometimes it's your turn to ask a question, and other times its just a matter of relaying meaningless facts in clever ways. I don't like to be ask a million questions by total strangers, but wouldn't mind volunteering some information to guys who I feel I can trust and understand better. This is probably where reading lots of books where there is a lot of conversation helps a lot. You can learn how certain forms of conversation form, develop, and change from one moment to the next. Sometimes, it can be easy, other times difficult to get a conversation started. Your best bet, as in learning speak more clearly, would come in listening to what you yourself have to say. Reread what you've written, wherever you've written it, the best examples come from the fastest flowing, seemingly pointless conversations you can have with a buddy. Know what you sound like, and you can see what you're leaving out.