Sex & Relationships

Ditch the Small Talk: Here’s How To Really Get To Know Someone New

written by HAILEY BOUCHE
Source: @cottonbro | Pexels
Source: @cottonbro | Pexels

As a girlie who has moved around a lot in her life, starting fresh and meeting new people is something I should be really, really good at. But for some reason, getting to know new people is still a little nerve-wracking for me—so if you’re thinking “me too,” you’re not alone! I used to get overwhelmingly nervous and awkward in front of new people—sometimes I still do TBH—but thankfully, my socially awkward phase has slowly (and I really mean slowly) faded as I’ve gotten older. Over the years, I’ve picked up some tricks for how to get to know someone new that have helped me meet some of my favorite people in my life today.

While putting yourself out there and trying to get to know someone in hopes of creating a close friendship, sparking a romantic relationship, or even making a new career connection isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s always worth doing. You never know what could come of it, right? That’s what I have had to tell myself over the years as I learned how to get to know someone new, at least.

With plenty of embarrassingly awkward moments around new people under my belt, I’m here to share the new relationship advice that has actually worked for me in the past so you can learn how to get to know someone new and create genuine relationships from here on out.


Our Top 6 Tips for How To Get To Know Someone New


1. Initiate a conversation

First and foremost, if you want to get to know someone, you have to put in the effort! This means introducing yourself if you haven’t already been introduced and initiating a conversation. There have been so many times when I have met someone whom I thought was really interesting and I wanted to get to know them more, and then I never did anything about it. I never put in the effort to start conversations, so that’s where our interactions ended. So don’t be me! Practice how to approach someone you want to be friends with by initiating a conversation the next time you meet someone interesting.


2. Ask genuine questions

If you’re going to put in the time and effort to talk to someone, make it worthwhile for both of you. While the conversation might start with shorter, get-to-know-you types of questions, the only way to really get to know someone is by asking them genuine questions. An easy way to do this is by following up a small-talk question with a more in-depth one. For example, if they are telling you where they are from, you can say something like “I’ve never been there! What do you like most about it?” or “What was it like to grow up there?”. These questions are a natural way to move from small talk to deeper conversations where people are more likely to share personal information that can help you learn about them, like what their childhood was like, for example.


3. Actively Listen

One of the most important things I learned as I got better at getting to know new people was to stop listening to respond. This means stop planning what you are going to say next while the person is still talking. Instead, really look at them and actively listen to what they are telling you. Then, wait a few seconds to make sure that they are finished with what they were saying before you respond. This ensures that you are engaged and that you aren’t cutting off their train of thought—both of which communicate to the person that you are invested and interested in what they have to say.


4. Spend one-on-one time together

If throughout your conversations with someone you find out that you have any shared interests or hobbies, ask them if they want to get together sometime to do them! Spending time one-on-one, especially doing something you both enjoy, can create a bond or camaraderie that might have taken you longer to develop. If you’re not sure if you have shared interests, asking someone to grab a coffee or a drink sometime is a totally natural and normal way to learn more about them in a no-pressure environment where you can have uninterrupted conversations and get to know one another.



5. Be yourself

You can’t expect to get to know someone for who they really are if you’re not being who you really are. When they ask you questions, don’t just respond with what you think they might want to hear or what you think they might agree with. Be yourself even if that means getting a little bit vulnerable—without crossing the line of feeling uncomfortable, of course. This will help build a stronger connection between you, allow them to get to know you better, and signal to them that they can feel comfortable being their honest self too.


6. Don’t rush it

Because forced conversations and relationships are the worst kinds of torture, remember not to rush your relationship with someone new. As you get to know one another, your bond with them will naturally grow and become stronger, so take it one step (or conversation) at a time. Tip: If you think you might be coming on too strong, you probably are, so take a pause to evaluate your approach before moving forward.


25 Questions To Ask Someone New To Get To Know Them

Some small talk is OK, but if you really want to get to know someone, you need to move the conversation from the standard “Where are you from?” types of questions to topics that will actually help you learn more about them as a whole. To do this easily, try asking a few of these interesting and fun questions.


  • What is a TV show that you can watch over and over again without getting sick of?
  • Do you have any random pet peeves?
  • What’s the wildest thing on your bucket list?
  • What is your favorite book you have read so far this year?
  • What is your guilty pleasure?
  • Who do you enjoy following online?
  • When you’re in charge of picking a movie, what genre do you gravitate toward first?
  • What is one band or artist that you love that people would be surprised that you like?
  • What is a favorite childhood memory of yours?
  • If you could have one thing on automatic delivery to you for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • What is your least favorite holiday?
  • What extracurriculars did you participate in when you were younger?
  • What conspiracy theories can you not get enough of?
  • What is your go-to order at an ice cream shop?
  • If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • What is a wellness habit you swear by?
  • Do you have a favorite season? If so, what is it and why?
  • What is your go-to karaoke song?
  • Who was your first celebrity crush?
  • What is the best gift you have ever received? What about the best you have ever given?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  • If you weren’t in the industry you are in now, what industry would you be in?
  • What is the best career advice you have ever received?
  • If you were to start a side hustle, what would it be?