Last spring, I wrote this post about my newly determined “identity”. But after trying it out for the last year, I’ve decided that it isn’t the answer I should be struggling with, it’s the question. Why should I care that anyone understands, gets, agrees with, feels good about what I do? Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of the question myself, but I’ve made a conscious effort to change my habit over the past few months and I challenge you to do the same. Google search the phrase “asking what do you do is rude” and you get a host of articles explaining how and why our culture is obsessed with labeling people and fitting them into neat little boxes. Another questions I hate is “where are you from” – let’s get rid of that one too.
Here are questions that are certainly more fun to answer and can open up an exciting dialog if asked with the right intent (let’s face it, some of these could come across creepy in some situations, so use with caution!) Since most of these conversations (for me at least) happen at bars or on planes, this presumes you are meeting a perfect stranger in a public place rather than business associates or distant family at a funeral – but they really could work anywhere:
- What was the first flight you ever took?
- What is your last passport stamp?
- Where did you wake up this morning?
- Cats or dogs?
- What was the best idea you had yesterday?
- What project would you like to be working on right now?
- Where did you go on your longest car ride?
- What’s the best food you’ve ever tasted? The worst?
- Mountains or ocean?
- The last book you read for entertainment?
- What’s on your favorite sweatshirt?
- What was your favorite childhood movie/fairytale/fable?
- Is this your first beer today?
What questions would you love to answer?