Get to Know the Real You

Day in and day out, we cry and even plead — “will anybody ever really know me?” But what if the root of the problem lies within your own lack of clarity? Here are some quick questions to help get to the bottom of what makes you tick. Once you know yourself better, have others give it a whirl to see how well they really know you and vice versa. Will they understand the real you, or worse, understand you better than you know yourself?

Keep it Simple
Don’t over-complicate things — we are all simple beings, so start there. If you had to describe yourself in only four words, which would you choose? Consider areas of your life that have a profound affect on your ‘being,’ as opposed to things like, ‘I love chocolate cake.’ If you were gone or unable to speak tomorrow, what would you want people to know? Are you spiritual or scientific? Are you motivated by a power higher than your own? Do you believe in fate? What motivates you to get up in the morning and what drives you through your days?

Getting to Know a Potential Partner
These are also questions that can help you get to know someone else better — perhaps even someone with whom you are interested in pursuing a relationship. To be clear, this probably isn’t first-date material — in fact, it’s likely to scare some people off in that situation — but after you get past the typical, lighthearted background stuff, give it a shot.

Getting deeper still, “What moment in your life would you like to relive if given the chance?” Observe their behavior. Do they squirm at the thought of such a question? Is the answer off-the-cuff or contrived? Is the response steeped in regrets or in the optimism of future potential? A question like this lets you quickly discern between one’s contentment or torment levels in life.

Next, ask the following question and write the answers down on a napkin. (You will swap at the end of the night.) “What three accomplishments are you most proud of?” Take note of the answers, as they will of yours. Are they all over the map or is there a logical progression? Do they cover matters of work, physical traits, money, or spirituality? Is there a balance? Any red flags?

Improving an Existing Relationship
Been coupled for a while? Ask the two previous questions as you snuggle up for the night and drop your answers under each others’ pillows. Sleep on it. When you wake up with fresh morning thoughts, do your answers still stick, or change? As you reveal your bedmate’s responses, do you learn that they are still who you thought they were, despite the passage of time? Have you both changed and if so, for the better or the worse?

Asking Friends and Family
Mealtimes with family and friends can be a hoot or a challenge, depending on the parties involved. Sick of all the dead-end conversations? Spice things up by playing a variation of this game. Back to the napkin. Ask the following questions: “What are your ideas of true happiness?” “Your most hounding fears?” “Your proudest accomplishments?” Once everybody has written down their responses, collect all the scraps in a basket. Shake it up and have everybody pick a napkin. Take turns guessing which responses belong to which people. You will be surprised by what you learn about them — and about yourself.

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