What do you hate about people?

10 questions you can ask to make yourself better to get to know

Why is the sky blue? Do elephants have a soul? Are clouds made of sugar? With questions, children conquer the world, which works like a miracle on them every day, astonishes them and arouses their curiosity. Curious about life and everything that is behind it. A learning and discovery that seems to be lost in the course of life. Unless you love philosophy and deal with big, existential questions like: "What is love?", "Where do I come from?", "Where am I going?"

At some point, the quality and nature of the questions begins to change. From the “why” to the “how”, to the functional and logical. And the question is often only out of habit, i.e. automatically, because it is “just heard”: “How are you?” Or “Everything is fine?”. The (true) answers are of little interest.

There are actually hundreds of questions that life asks, suitable for every situation in life, suitable for every day. It is a nice idea to create a book with questions for yourself. This way we become observers of our own feelings, motivations and actions - we question and immerse ourselves in ourselves. With the right questions we get to the source of our inner strength, they are the key to "I".

These ten questions (examples) can serve as inspiration and starting points for a conversation with yourself:

  • What was the greatest adventure of my life?
  • What makes a day a good day?
  • Which moment in your life would you most like to frame because it was so beautiful?
  • What traces have you left so far?
  • Where do you feel at home and safe?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What is your best daydream?
  • Which criticism in your life really got you going?
  • When you look at your life so far, what makes you proud?
  • Would you like to be born again?

Knowledge lies in amazement

To ask - yourself, but also other people - is amazement. The amazement about your own life, the world and the people who live in it. "To live and be in the world and not think about this incredible fact would be strange," said the Norwegian philosopher and writer Jostein Gaarder, author of the world bestseller "Sophie's World", at an event many years ago.

To live and be in the world and not think about this incredible fact would be strange.

Jostein Gaarder, author

The book is a novel “about the history of philosophy” and philosophical questioning - as a form of self-awareness. But also the "small", seemingly insignificant questions to the partner, to a boyfriend or girlfriend, to colleagues and the everyday questions to yourself are important in order to learn something - and to develop further. When questions come from the heart and the questioner is interested in the answer, they can make a difference.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in “What moves me” about loving the questions: “It's about living everything. If you live the questions, you may gradually, without noticing it, one strange day, live into the answer. ”What a wonderful thought and symbol for what one calls“ development ”. Or liveliness that can arise when you ask and think about the answers. To ask means to make a change possible - and to be ready and open to new things.

In “Sofie's World”, an anonymous letter writer encourages 14-year-old Sofie Amundsen to think about herself. “Who are you?” Is his first question. At first glance it is easy to answer, for example with: “I am a person”. Or: "I am a young woman". Or, in the case of Sofie: “I'm Sofie Amundsen.” But that's not enough for her, so she thinks ahead and asks herself who exactly Sofie Amundsen is and what relationship she has with the world. That way she looks behind and deeper. She starts thinking.

For this very reason, we should never stop asking questions. Yourself - and others. We need a culture of questioning. However, many people shy away from it - for fear of appearing too curious or presumptuous. And sometimes you just dread the answers that follow the questions. Nonetheless, real questions show real interest - and are an opportunity to "slip into someone else's shoes". Anyone who asks can understand.

Good questions come from the heart

Instead of asking how someone is doing, one could ask, for example, what moves him or what is fulfilling him or what was good and beautiful today. It's about exploring which story would like to reveal itself - this applies to yourself as well as to the other person, from your partner to your parents and grandparents. They are a wonderful source for learning more about yourself. Anyone who asks grandma and grandpa to tell them about their life holds a priceless treasure trove of memories. (Life) stories are thus understood backwards, so that it is easier to move forward. “To love someone means to put yourself in their shoes, we say, to anchor yourself in their story and find out how you can tell their story yourself,” writes Rebecca Solnit in her novel “From the near distance”.

To love someone means to put yourself in their shoes, let's say, to anchor yourself in their story and figure out how to tell their story yourself.

Rebecca Solnit, author

Stories are revealed when we ask, “What do you think it is like to be the silent old man after a stroke? The kid on the scooter? The person who is lying next to you in bed? ”Says Solnit. But questions can also act as keys and get things moving. And yes, they do exist, the “nice” questions, even at a first encounter. A wonderful example of this can be found in the film "Casablanca". Rick (Humphrey Bogart) asks Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) over a glass of champagne: “Who are you really? And what were you before What did you do and what did you think? "