50 good questions to ask yourself and others

The Thinker by 4johnny5 on Flickr

Oh, the joy of a good question.

I recently re-discovered an entire list of them when I switched over to Facebook timeline.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I spotted “The Complete Book of Questions” – a little book tucked between texts that were twice its size — while working at a public library.

I was so delighted by the book that I read all 1001 of them, then selected 50 to pose to my friends on Facebook.

I think the list is worth re-posting, and re-pondering.

I can’t remember which questions are verbatim and which are paraphrased, or if they even appeared in this order, but I do know they start simple and get more personal.

I’m really curious about which questions will pique your interest. Please feel free to tackle them in the comments below!

50 good questions to ask yourself and others

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

25. What do you think about more than anything else?

26. What’s something that amazes you?

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?

28. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest?

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?

30. Do you have a catchphrase?

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?

32. How and where do you prefer to study?

33. What position do you sleep in?

34. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why?

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?

41. What do you consider unforgivable?

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?

44.Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.

46. In what area of your life are you immature?

47. What was the best news you ever received?

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?

50. When do you find yourself singing?

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21 thoughts on “50 good questions to ask yourself and others

  1. Fab, I went a little overboard here – but these questions are just too good, and nobody else posted anything, so I thought I’d give you something to read. That, and I miss those stupid questionnaires we did in middle school, except that I always wished they would be more like this.

    3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
    My doodles usually look like whatever I’m talking about. For example, in class, while talking about a book focused on ships, I will draw a ship – cartoonish, but with water, sails, everything but people. If it’s a religious book, lots of religious icons, etc.

    7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?
    My grandmother. She buys things at garage sales whenever she visits from Russia like nobody’s business. I eventually told her that she’ll need to have a garage sale of her own to get rid of all the shit she bought before. She laughed, but appeared nervous that I would actually convince her to do it. Hah.. :P

    8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
    If I know the people at the party, I will walk in normal and say hello to everyone as I walk by. If it’s a party where I don’t know anyone, I will probably turn into a very small animal and hide in a corner. Or, grab a drink and make conversation with someone who appears to be drunk enough to forget awkwardly meeting me.

    12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?
    Playing Sims.

    13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
    Probably my boyfriend. The dude seems harsh a lot of the time but he never brags about anything. It’s almost frustrating because you are looking for credit to give him, and yesterday he could have like, dropped by a soup kitchen or driven an old lady to church, but he won’t tell you.

    16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?
    Engage. Unless it’s something super, super-delicate and then I need some time to plan how to approach the situation. But I won’t be easy unless I’ve confronted and dealt with it.

    17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?
    Someone I knew in passing just told me they thought I was a good writer, and I didn’t even realize they had read anything I’ve written. A surprise blog reader of mine. It’s like a dream come true.

    18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?
    I enjoy being right, and I like to let people know that my opinions are the right ones. Not in a rub-in-your-face way, and usually not to the general public (only close friends/family) but I’m sure it gets on everyone’s nerves. Unless I have some sort of psychotic break, I foresee this as a “forever” thing.

    19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
    If I have all the time in the world, for example, this holiday break, which lasted, for me, from December 6th to January 3rd, I will stay in for weeks at a time if I don’t have to go to work. I will play sims, watch tv, eat food. I will consequently sleep way too late, but it will continue on until I realize I have 600 pages of reading to do the day before class.

    20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.
    Nope. If I can afford to walk out the door with wet hair, I will do so. That being said, I try to keep my aesthetic regimen to a low time anyway, but sometimes you need to give yourself the special attention.

    22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?
    Few close friends. I don’t know what acquaintances are good for, really. All my close friends “serve a purpose”, to put it bluntly. I go shopping with a few, I go out to eat or go dancing with a few others, sleepover/party with a few more. Rinse and repeat. I can talk to ALL my friends – acquaintances, not so much. Unless I see the possibility of a person being super interesting and fitting in, I probably won’t make much of an effort. Then again, I’m kind of a hopeful keener, so I will most times make the effort and try not to be disappointed when someone doesn’t reciprocate.

    25. What do you think about more than anything else?
    My future. How everything I want will fit together. If it will fit together at all.

    27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?
    Shoot straight. Don’t BS – nobody has time for it. Honesty is the only thing I respect, even if I’m upset by it.

    31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?
    I usually enjoy people with strong beliefs that can argue them well and give ME things to think about that question my own beliefs. If their reasons are dumb, then it’s no fun to argue because I discount what they say from the very beginning. Also, if I see they’re completely unwilling to budge on their opinions. I, while being right 100% of the time (see 18), like to change my opinion often, according to good arguments.

    32. How and where do you prefer to study?
    With background noise and a latte. No internet.

    35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?
    Kindness, humour, debate skillz.

    36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?
    I became an older sister at 11. I was already the precious princess for 11 years when I had to learn how to be the older support. It kind of sucked for a few years, but I really love the role I get to play in her life now. It made me really learn to be unselfish in the big decisions – I want to be a good example for her, instead of just wanting everything for myself. That’s not a good role model, someone who hoards. For the good of the many, and all that. That’s what I try to show her, because I’m pretty sure she’s got the younger sibling problems of wanting everything first.

    37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?
    Time? I want to travel, but I feel like the life plan that the world forces down your throat doesn’t let you take a lot of time off in between education/work/family. I want a year expanded into 10 so I can travel the world and not worry about putting off the rest of the things I want.

    39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
    Some romantic name, like Isabella, or Ava, or Zoe. That’s totally what I’m going to name my daughters. When I worked at camp, and met a kid with a cool name, I wrote it down. They always tend to be amazing kids too, cause parents who name their kids funky names are generally pretty down-to-earth.

    43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?
    Difficult. I can forgive them, but I usually slow down the contact too. I’m very bull-headed in that way. The one problem with this is my family. A lot of times we disagree and it never gets resolved, but I have to live with them anyway. :P

    44.Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?
    Probably the people I love. I don’t know that that’s the sort of conviction you mean, but if anyone wanted to hurt my family, I would die rather than watch them get hurt and have to suffer.

    45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.
    I flip-flop about this all the time. On the one hand, sometimes it feels like out of the 6 billion people on the earth, 5.99999999 are idiots. On the other, when you are festooned in kind people for a few days, you really start to love humanity. My nature makes me trust people, but not so much as to leave my banking passwords to people I’m riding the bus with. But I generally trust in people being good first, until proven stupid.

    46. In what area of your life are you immature?
    My fashion obsessions. My feet are size 11 so it’s been a struggle finding nice shoes my whole life – so sometimes I feel too involved (as measured against the person I see myself being) in fashion blogs etc. Too much aesthetic, not enough philosophy. I feel like that’s definitely one of my immaturities. BUT I am an incredibly visual person, which is why I love art, photography, etc, so I’m hoping that those blogs play a little bit into that, as well, decreasing the immaturity of the whole thing.

    47. What was the best news you ever received?
    Not sure, really. I feel like anytime someone has a health scare in my family, and it turns out to be a lot less severe, is the best news. My boyfriend was having health problems last year, and we thought it was prostate cancer for about a month. Worst month I can remember in a long time. When it turned out to be something simple, easy to fix? BEST. EVER.

    48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?
    Sometimes I edit out, just because I don’t feel like getting into it. I often wish I had enough gusto to say what I want, regardless of my company. But I’m very aware. I can’t help it, I can’t get rid of it – it’s just who I am. I know where I am, and who I’m around at all times, so if I know, I can’t upset the balance as much as my inner rebellious 15-year-old would like.

    49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?
    I just recently went to a birthday party where I met a girl who I just ADORED. She’s so smart, and so witty, and doesn’t give a damn about whether she goes against the grain. I guess I liked her so much because I wished I could be more LIKE her. I don’t know the long-term result because I’ve only met her once so far, but you never know. I’m hopeful, like I said.

    *PHEW* I won’t hold it against you if you didn’t read the whole thing – promise.

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  6. Hello,

    I loved this post. I am not a journalist or a published writer, but I too found I needed a place on the internet to be free to create. I have started a blog Staying Stacy and am currently working on a 31 Day piece to finding and staying Stacy. These questions really peeked my creative juices and I would love to use them as my backdrop for the piece. The meat so to speak. Please let me know your thoughts about letting me use them. I would definitely give you credit and link back to your site.

    I am really, really new to this whole process so my blog is evolving on a daily basis. But your honesty in creating your space has given me new insight on the direction I want to take.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Stacy

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  11. 38) If you could resort one broken relationship,which would it be?
    If i could resort broken relationship is Will be that of My closed friend will is Girlfriend

  12. 1) My nickames are Brookie, or Brooke. My full name is Brooklynn.

    3) My doodles are what I think about the most. For example, I would draw a tiger if I thought about them a lot.

    4) If I can’t sleep I’ll usually just watch Lets Plays on my laptop or PewDiePie’s videos. Or I’ll either just lay there and eventually fall asleep.

    6) Hmm… If they’re from friends and family, I’ll keep about 90% of them, but if they’re from neighbours I’ll probably only keep about 25%.

    8) Well, I’m a really loud, outgoing, popular teeage girl and I go to quite a few parties, so, I’ll be like really loud to make sure everybody knows I’m there xD

    9) Hmm, my strongest sense is my hearing. If I HAD to give one up it’d be my sense of smell. Because I wouldn’t really mind if I couldn’t smell anymore even though there are quite a few smells I adore, but I hate some smells: farts, sweat, dirt, certain foods or drinks and so on.

    10) If I’m at home I’ll look at yself in the mirror about 30 times a day. If I’m out somewhere that has a bathroom, I’ll probably look at myself every time I go to the bathroom. I like to make sure I look pretty! ;) BTW so random but I have long brown hair and I used to have red tips which actally really suited me.

    11) I believed a lot of weird things as a kid but I’m gonna say one of the most stupidest ones. When I was about 6, I used to believe that every single thing on TV was just conveniently caught on camera (and cartoons)! xD

    12) My guilty pleasure is probably playing The Sims, Minecraft or simulation games.

    13) Deffo my boyfriend. He seems like a rebel but he’s actually really sweet :)

    15) Easy. Worms, maggots. They fricking scare the shit out of me. I actually have really bad Vermiphobia (fear of worms).

    21) Idk if I’m answering this right, but, the last time I pushed myself was last week. I was doing a 4 mile run, I have really bsd legs now. :/

    22) I have a LOT of acquaintances (correct me if I spelt that wrong) and also about 20 quite close friends.

    24) It wasn’t really strange. To tell the truth, it was natural. I was only ten (6 years ago) and I started my period and I never really told anbody but my mom found out after a month because I’d been using her pads xD lol!

    25) Now I’m not copying kharlamovaa but I think about what my future is going to turn out like. I sometimes worry as well though about my future.

    26) People who can handle excruciating pain. It just amazes me. Flexible people don’t amaze me in general because I’ve been a gymnast since age 3½.

    29) I’d pay somebody to do my homework. o.o Just because… I’m busy (lol that’s actually true though).

    30) One of my catchphrases (don’t say I googled it, plz, it’s a waste of time.) “the earth without art is just eh” Pretty creative, huh? :)

    32) I prefer to study with some quiet background noises e.g. television, music, voices. I also like to study with a snack ;) (cheeto’s, chocolate or a root beer)

    33) I sleep on my side.

    34) Definitely Brooklyn because my name is Brooklynn (with 2 N’s).

    35) Kindness is the number one thing, loyalty/honesty, humor.

    36) I’m the middle child. I have a older brother 1 year older than me and a younger sister who is 11. I’m 16 and my brother treats me and my sister Skylar like babies! xD He’s really fun though :)

    38) I had a bestfriend but she sorta died. I don’t wanna talk about her :’( (cancer) I really miss her… *sigh*

    39) I like Zoey, McKenzie, I also like Meghan.

    41) Cheating is just unforgivable.

    43) Quite difficult. I can forgive them but it’ll take me a while to regain usual contact with them. xD

    44) I’d die for my kitty-kat Sugarlump. She means the world to me. I couldn’t bear to see her hurt. I’d also die for my loved ones.

    46) I have to admit, I’m ridiculously immature. I’m still a youngster in high school, so yeah. I’m serious when it comes to relationships and family though.

    47) Well since I’m a gymnast, I actually failed one of my routines and hurt my arm. I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to perform or compete anymore, but fortunately I hadn’t broken or sprained anything. I was only 8, so it really did hurt. *shiver*

    48) I usually avoid telling the truth unless I have to. I ampopular soit would be weirdto be unpopular. Of course, I don’t hate popular peepz doe xP.

    49) I instantly clicked with my boyfriend at a party eight months ago.

    50) I sing when I’m alone, in class, in the shower, watching TV, in bed, doing homework, in public, to songs and a lot of other places. I basically sing ten times an hour. I was actually singing when I was writing number 34.

    Missed Out Questions That I’m Going To Answer-

    2) Little Women. My mom bought it for me but I’m not reading it because I’ve read a few pages and it seems boring. Don’t criticize me and say “Tut! be grateful!” or “It might be interesting halfway through!” Because I’m not really a fan of reading, although I do like a few books.

    5) I would last two minutes because I’m impatient lol! xD

    7) My dad is a pack rat. It’s so ridiculous :o

    14) I don’t read newspapers but I read the beauty section in magazines. I also read the juicy gossip… hehe :)

    16) Engage it head-on.

    17) A random kid from my high school was looking over my shoulder and said, “nice handwriting!” I screamed because I didn’t know he was there and I was so close to getting a detention. PHEW!

    19) I love leaving things until the last minute possible. Aaahh, procrastination… ¦)

    PLZ DO NOT HATE MY PERSONALITY, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT :D

    Bonus Story: Embarrasing Alert!

    So,I was really drunk and I was at a casual party. I was wearing a hoodie on with nothing on underneath, and since I was drunk I didn’t remember. So being me, I unzipped my hoodie and my friend was like, “BROOKLYNN WHAT THE FUCK!” I looked down and I was like oh, dayum! Nobody saw except by friend Jenna and we laugh about it now. That was the party where I met my sweet boyfriend :D

    Oh, also say #BROFIST if you like pewdiepie! (sorry for a long comment)

  13. CORRECTION

    48) I usually avoid telling the truth unless I have to. I am popular so it would be weird to be unpopular. Of course I don’t hate unpopular peepz doe xD!

  14. 1) M full name is Christina but people usually call me Chrissy.

    2) There are quite a few books on my shelf that are waiting to be read actually.

    3) I draw absolutely anything!

    4) I’ll sing until I drift off to sleep.

    5) I could last for an hour, I’d just have imaginary conversations in my head.

    6) I usually keep them.

    7) Definitely my grandfather.

    8) Hm… If there are people that I know there, I’ll go and hang out with them but if not I’ll just make some new friends :)

    9) My strongest sense is my taste. I’d give up my smell.

    10) Well, most people (including me) think I look pretty, so I’d say I look in the mirror about five times a day.

    11) I was a very weird child :) I used to believe that my pants would catch on fire if I lied up until the age of 8… I also used to believe that if I fell asleep in the bathtub, I’d wake up in the Atlantic Ocean.

    12) Playing stupid video games that waste my time, lol. I like The Sims 3 as well.

    13) My brothers best friend is really kind.

    14) Sometimes if the newspaper is lying around, I’ll pick it up and quickly flick through it.

    15) Well the other week I was standing next to my school-bus, waiting to get on. There was a bird sitting on top of the bus with it’s butt hanging over the edge. After a few moments, the bird pooped a split second before I was going to get on the bus. I’m so lucky!

    16) I’m most likely to engage it head-on.

    17) I was at the mall shopping for jeans, and the woman told me I looked nice in them.

    18) I need to stop eating junk food before I get overweight (I’m actually not overweight at all considering the amount of junk food I eat).

    19) I procrastinate a lot. I really need to stop. Sigh…

    20) Yes. I could never dream of going outside, without brushing my hair or washing ny face. So yeah, I’m high maintenance.

    21) Correct me if I’m answering this in the wrong way. The last time I pushed myself was when I was in a swimming race formy school. My arms hurt but it was worth it for a gold trophy :-)

    22) I don’t really see the point in having a lot of acquaintances. I have a medium sized group of close friends. It’s easier to hang with them.

    23) I’d “Build my own empire”

    24) Three years ago when I wa thirteen, I went into my brothers bedroom, to ask him something but he didn’t hear me come in. He was fifteen at the time and he was licking his carpet… Hah…..

    25) About what other people are doing. I’m weird, don’t worry.

    WE’RE HALFWAY!

    26) Flexible people.

    27) Shoot straight. I don’t have time for any bullsh*t.

    28) Somewhere pretty, like the park.

    29) I’d pay somebody to wake me up on a morning.

    30) “How do I look?” My classic catchphrase… Haha.

    31) I don’t really have a reaction…

    32) With music in the background.

    33) On my left or right side.

    34) Los Angeles because it’s always hot there. I also live there. :-)

    35) Most girls just don’t know what love is and all they care about is looks and wealth. Number one thing, kindness. Number two, humorous personality, and finally people who don’t brag.

    36) I have one younger sister, called Zoe. That means I get to be in chaaarge! :-D

    37) This is one question I actually don’t know yet

    38) It’d be me and my ex-boyfriends relationship. I’ve just been too careless to fix it… Sigh…

    39) I would change it to Makayla (spelt anyway) or Melissa. Very cute names in my opinion.

    40) Ignorance is CERTAINLY not bliss. Ignorance is just plain rude in my opinion.

    41) Lying and disloyalty.

    42) Yes, I have forgiven nyself. I just can’t stay mad at myself lol :-)

    43) I’ve never forgiven somebody. I always wait for THEN to apologize to ME. That’s the way it works with meh.

    44) My family.

    45) I trust people and I expect them to tell the truth to me, no matter what the condition is. I don’t care, even if it will insult me. But I wouldn’t trust somebody to an extent that I’d give them my bank details though.

    46) I’m immature but not in serious parts of my life.

    47) That my mom didn’t have cancer. Oh thank the lord!

    48) As I said, I’ll tell the truth ALWAYS! Even if they make me sound stupid. But it is difficult to be honest.

    49) I met my best friend when I was eight. I absolutely adore her :-)

    50) I cannot explain how much I sing. Once I lost my voice… Lol :-)

    Aww, unfortunately there’s nothing left for me to answer. :-(

    ZebraOnToast xoxo call me chrissy if you wanna reply to this :-)

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