General Question

wundayatta's avatar

If you could know whatever you wanted to know about someone else, what are the things you would want to know?

Asked by wundayatta (58571points) May 28th, 2009

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be worth knowing everything, because it would just take too long. But you might want to know a few things—the things you think are most important. And you might want to know different things, depending on your relationship with the person.

So—
A person you just met
A person you’ve been in a relationship with for a long time
A colleague
A friend
An acquaintance

You could answer for all of them, or only one of them, but if you could know anything you wanted, what kinds of things would you want to know first?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

Syger's avatar

I’d ask about a major event in their past, so I could avoid offending them by saying something silly. Even though I’d not really know I’d prefer to avoid the awkward “oh god what have I have” moment that I’m sure everyone’s had at least once with a situation like this.

Darwin's avatar

Whether they are honest or not, whether they smoke or do drugs, and whether they view me as an equal or an inferior.

oratio's avatar

Everyone has something that is interesting. I would want to know what they think is important, what they value. What their opinion is about what I value.

Grisaille's avatar

This question is yet another chilling reminder that I am a miserable loner.

Harp's avatar

In the case of a first encounter, I’m usually looking to see how open a person is. Are they locked away into their own world, or are they drinking the wider world in, engaging with it? Do they have an agenda? Are they armored or at ease in the world? Are they responsive or on auto-pilot? Are they putting up a facade, or showing their true face?

Fortunately, this information usually doesn’t require a lot of digging to obtain. People wear the answers to these questions for anyone to see.

ubersiren's avatar

One day I hope to get the courage to ask my Dad about his life before I was born. Even as a young kid I can remember his heavy drinking (which he has bravely conquered). I know he has some deep dark secrets, but it seems almost morbid and I’m afraid to ask. He has some serious issues from his childhood that aren’t clear to me and he was in Vietnam. He is a fantastic man, but he’s not alright in the old brain pan.

marinelife's avatar

How they act in a crisis.

What kind of work ethic do they have.

What makes them laugh.

Whether they think about and care about the others on the good ship Earth.

zephyr826's avatar

I have a close male friend, for whom (at one point) I had serious feelings. I’ve always thought that he was interested in me too, but neither of us ever pursued it – timing and location was wrong. I would like to know how he felt about me, even though it was in the past. (just curious, I guess)

CMaz's avatar

Not to know whatever I wanted to know about someone else. We have boundaries for a reason. I have been there. It does get ugly. I am happy knowing what I need to know.

But for the exercise….. I would like to know where they buried the jar of money in the back yard.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

whether the cute truck driver I am attracted to would ever reciprocate my feelings.

@Darwin I view you as an equal; never inferior. You are awesome.

Darwin's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebraThank you for that. Likewise I’m sure.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Most people: I’d like to know if I’m physically safe in their company. This is something I use my gut feeling for since I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking if each acquaintance, friend or co worker has a violent past… or present.

Relationships: I have learned the hard way to “Trust but verify.” I definitely do ask about my potential partner’s sexual health (STD’s are a deal breaker), marital status (people lie). What I would like to know right off without asking is about any addictions because finding yourself with a sex addict, gambler or drug addict after falling in love is heartbreaking.

GAMBIT's avatar

Are they truthful and are they honest. Is what I would want to know.

pikipupiba's avatar

How do they see me… In great detail.

janbb's avatar

I’d like to know what my husband is thinking about when I ask him and he says “nothing”!

Darwin's avatar

@janbb – That would probably be nothing, sex or sports. Or sex.

janbb's avatar

@Darwin Well, he’s not very interested in sports

Darwin's avatar

Well, that cuts it down to nothing, sex, or sex.

hitomi's avatar

@janbb sometimes…the answer really is nothing…or at least the close equivalent to it…like “My butt itches” and that’s really just not worth sharing

As for me…I would like to know what people think of me…first impressions and long standing relationships…it would just be nice to know whether people are being honest with me, and if not, what they really think and what I can do to improve (or get the hell away from them)

janbb's avatar

@hitomi Thanks for the explication!

hitomi's avatar

@janbb not a problem…I have it on authority from a lot of male friends and relatives :-D

Blondesjon's avatar

Why can’t you just be comfortable being you?

hitomi's avatar

@Blondesjon if that was directed at me…I am fine being me, but I do believe in self-improvement. If there is someone whose opinion I value who has noticed something obnoxious that I do, but is too polite to say something I would like to know so that I can work on bettering myself as a person.

noelasun's avatar

I’d like to know what they hold most in esteem.

MacBean's avatar

I want to know why my mother doesn’t like me. She doesn’t even know most of the stuff that I think would make her hate me.

DarkScribe's avatar

The location of the next local government land redevelopment area. I could get some put options in place.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

What is important to them ,their outlook on life tells you everything you need to know ;)

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