When I lived in Denver and worked in a co-working space for a tech recruiting company: it was Bro City. The other companies entered around action sports or had a passion for them. For a while, besides my dear friend Matt, I didn’t feel like I would meet anyone who could relate to me. Sounds kind of familiar, eh? The people I knew were nice and interesting in their own ways, but that doesn’t mean that I’d want to take a road trip them.
There was one guy in the co-working space though, who I always had the best conversations with. He had a girlfriend, so don’t even go there. We were not close, but I felt like we were always on the same page. One night, after an event at the office, I we were hanging around helping put things back and we got quickly got into this deep conversation. He pulled back and said “whoa, sorry—I didn’t mean to just tell you my life philosophy!” Of course I told him it was the perfect thing to tell someone about yourself. Later, he brought up this article he’d read before on—some of my friends will see this coming a mile away—marine biology facts. Perhaps being way too self aware, we agreed this how all conversations should go.
And I was completely serious.
If I could, I would love to get at the heart of what people are interested in. It’s selfish, but I just want to know if if what makes you tic makes me toc. (talk?!—;) )
Here are the five questions (or prompts) I have or would ask someone in order to try to speed things along:
(Still counts as Friday because I started writing this on Friday!)
What’s your life philosophy?
Like, the ‘rules’ or principles that motivate you to act the way you do. To be honest, people are usually taken aback by this and don’t know how to answer. I usually have to give them an example (mine) and they’ll maybe they’ll give me theirs. I must be a bad listener because no one’s stands out to me in my memory.
Tell me a marine biology fact.
I guess this is more of a demand. But if they don’t want to reveal too much about themselves or need to bide time, I like them tell me a impersonal fact. Because at least then I’ll learn something!
What about you do you want to stay the same?
Like, looking down five or ten years, who do you not want to be. What quality about yourself or value you hold? Even if you are a self-deprecating bastard like me, there has to be things that you hold dear that you don’t want to change about yourself. We focus a lot on what we want to change about ourselves, but we express a lot of our values in our day-to-day that we might overlook. My biggest fear right now is making sure that I don’t turn into a spoiled tech-company brat.
What’s something that people wouldn’t expect to find out about you after meeting you?
I’ve pilot tested this a bit and it also hasn’t gone over really well so I might stop. It ends up feeling to much like asking someone to tell me a fun fact about themselves. Although why aren’t we telling people the fun facts about ourselves instead of all the crappy ones like where we grew up and how long we’ve been in the city?!
Describe your relationship with your best friend.
Describe them and why are they your best friend. How do you act with them that’s different than your other friends?What makes them special that other people don’t appreciate enough? Why are the great?….things like that. It’s a question about another person, but I think it’d be revealing of what this person likes and I feel like how they describe other people can tell a lot. I think this was inspired by how much I really love my friends and how I would try to explain them to someone else. I haven’t actually tried this one.
If you could have or try another profession for 3 months what would it be? (assuming you magically get all the necessary training/skills you need)
I just find this one interesting. In my head it’s kind of like your secret wish more than a dream job. For me, an alternative career path I’d be interested in is a product designer or industrial designer. Think Jony Ive. The job I’d like to just swoop in a try for a couple of months would be writing for a comedy show/sitcom. It’s kind of random, but I think it would be really fun try working on a creative project in a group with a bunch of funny people. What do you think? Embarrassing?
I should actually just stop moving so I wouldn’t have to keep making new friends.
Feel free to tell my your answers in the comments, you lurkers! :D