We pride ourselves on knowing everything about our best friends. Their favorite foods, favorite movies, favorite memories. But there are always ways we could know our BFF even better. Dr. Irene Levine, “The Friendship Doctor,” advises readers of her post to be the friend you would like to have. This means listening, being there in times of need, and understanding what makes your relationship the best it can be. There are some topics that are hard to bring up in conversation or hard to talk about in general. But once the answers are out in the open, the bond between you and your BFF will be stronger than concrete.
Here are some questions you should ask your best friend if you want to bond and get to know each other even better.
1. What are you most afraid of?
We’re not talking about spiders or monsters under the bed that are waiting for your feet to be free of covers (even though we know those are totally real). The death of a certain loved one? Being completely alone? Telling others fears and anxieties can help you overcome them because you’ve created a support system. They can help you step outside your comfort zone and get closer to feeling positively about your fears rather than let them get to you.
2. What is your biggest insecurity?
It’s hard to talk about what makes us feel bad about ourselves, but sharing your insecurities with your best friend can actually strengthen a relationship tenfold. Dating expert, Samantha Joel, says that sharing insecurities with friends or romantic partners can sometimes lead you to “subsequently worry that this person thinks of you as an insecure person, which could then lead you to doubt the nice things they tell you.” But she explains, “those beliefs are more likely a projection of your own feelings than they are an accurate assessment of how the person feels.” It may be difficult to realize, but close friends love you and want to provide you with positive vibes. If you both share your feelings, then perhaps that will even the playing field and you can help each other boost your self esteems.
3. What is your biggest pet peeve that I constantly do?
This is a great question to ask, especially if you are about to move in with a BFF and start seeing each other on a daily (or minutely) basis. If they haven’t already yelled at you not listening to them or leaving dirty dishes in the sink, then this question will help you find out what they cannot stand about you or about a roommate in general.
4. If you’re upset, what’s the best way to comfort you?
Students who attended college in 2000 or after are 40% less empathetic than their predecessors. That means we have to work on being less narcissistic and more open to comforting those in need. To improve our sense of empathy, we have to spend time to figure out how our friends like to be consoled when sad or angry. Do they like to talk about their feelings? Or do they prefer to be left alone for a while until they are ready to talk? Maybe they like to ignore the situation until asked about later. Ask your friend to be honest about how they want you to react to their upset. Added stress and tension will be avoided, and you’ll be more empathetic towards them and others.
5. If your house caught on fire, what is the one thing you would absolutely take with you?
This question can reveal a lot about a person. If they answer with something like a card you wrote them in the 3rd grade or the scarf their grandmother knit them, then your BFF is super sentimental and cares more about the intangible value of tangible objects. If they would rip their Keurig off the counter and run for the hills, hey! That’s a fair answer too. You just now know that you’re friend cares about the material things in life. Or maybe they really can’t survive without a cup o’ Joe.
6. When was the last time you cried?
You are your most vulnerable when you’re crying, even when you are just crying at that last scene in the Notebook. The tears start coming just picturing it, really. But being able to tell someone about the last time you cried lets that person into the inner workings of your emotions and reveals what makes you sad. “Crying is a signal you need to address something,” Dr. Jodi DeLuca says. Crying is a response to frustration, being overwhelmed or trying to get someone’s attention. All of those reasons give explanation as to what type of person you, or your best friend, really are.
7. As an 102 year old woman, what do you want to say was your biggest achievement in life?
We all picture ourselves in 80 years, sitting on our front porch with the love of our life next to us, remembering the good old times. When you’re sitting there, what’s the thing you are the most proud of accomplishing? Raising a family? Writing a best selling book? Eating 100 marshmallows in five minutes? It’s always fun to talk about life goals with a best friend. Ideas start flowing, plans are made, dreams come true.
8. Is there anything I could do that would cause you to never talk to me again?
There are obviously some unspoken rules amongst friends. Don’t date an ex (unless it’s totally, 100% cool with all parties). Don’t lie about anything important. Don’t steal my food, etc. But is there one specific thing that is so drastic that it would cause the friendship to end? Knowing what this boiling point is could help a pair of friends avoid a tumultuous end to their relationship.
9. What is your favorite memory from our (insert how many years) of friendship?
Every dynamic duo has an arsenal of memories that they love to mull over when together and laugh about. Even so, learning what your BFF’s ~fave~ memory from your friendship has been thus far can make for touching conversation. Alongside the multitude of inside jokes, it’s important to remember the moments that made you guys fall in friend love with each other. Read this really cool study in The Atlantic about shared memory networks between friends. “Transactive memory systems” are basically brain links between best friends. A little spooky, but really awesome.
10. What is the one thing you want me to know?
This answer could take the conversation down several roads. Perhaps your best friends wants to tell you how much they love and appreciate you. Or maybe they want to tell you that they aren’t as confident as you think they are. It’s all up for personal interpretation, but it’s a great “ice-breaker,” if you will, for friends that think they have already covered all the bases.
11. Do you believe in an afterlife?
We can’t guarantee that this conversation won’t get extremely existential, but we can assure you that you’ll learn a lot about your BFF’s beliefs on the existence of heaven or an invisible dimension. Do they believe in ghosts or the paranormal? Perhaps they believe in reincarnation? Are they religious yet disagree with what their religious text tells them about the afterlife? You won’t know until you ask!
12. What is your most embarrassing memory?
Depending on how seriously your best friend takes themselves, this question could lead to laughs or tears. It’s one thing if they share the story about calling their teacher mom in front of their high school biology class. It’s another thing to have worn white pants and walked around school all day without knowing you were on your period. But in any case, it should make for a good story-swappin’ session.
13. What do you look for in a romantic relationship/Who is your “type”?
One part about being a best friend is that you’re automatically your BFF’s wingman/wingwoman. So, with that being said, it’s important to know what they are looking for in a significant other, or romantic partner. What does the person look like? What personality trait is your friend looking for in someone? All necessary info to gather and share if you’re aiming to help each other out next time your mingling at your local hangout spot.
14. What was the cause of your BFF’s last relationship – romantic or friend.
Understanding what ended a significant relationship in your friend’s life is important for obvious reasons – you’ll learn what not to do in the future. But maybe if you start talking about why their last romance fizzled out, you can help your friend do some soul searching and really get to the bottom of what went wrong so you can offer advice to them when they enter their next romantic partnership.
15. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Maybe it’s something you did for them a year or two ago. Or maybe it’s when their mom gifted them her pearl necklace. Knowing what really makes your BFF appreciative will help with future gift-giving, comforting when they’re down, and will overall just make you more aware of how to be a good friend to them.
16. Who, in your family, are you the closest to?
Mom? Dad? Grandma Sue? Auntie Joyce? If you haven’t grown up with your best friend, then you might not be aware of who it is that they are the closest to. This person will be your emergency contact, and can explain a lot about how your best friend’s personality works. If your BFF and her mom are super close and share everything, then this explains why your friend has always been an open book. And if you’re most likely going to be a part of your BFF’s life forever, then you better get to know the family!
There you have it! Some personal (*and somewhat intense*) questions for best friends. The answers can lead to laughs or cries, but definitely stronger bonds.