Three questions for knowing someone

There should be a better method to avoid that ‘what do you do?’ that people usually throw at each new acquaintance. When someone asks me ‘what do you do?’, they don’t really want to know who I am. They expect a simple, concise job title that they can then tag to a mental box with my name. Everything I say afterwards will go straight to that mental box and the person will just nod, whether I talk about the awesomeness of ant’s self-organizing behavior or about Thailand’s politics. That’s idiotic. We have universes within and yet most are happy to be boxed into false categories of life.

On top of it, what should I reply when I don’t construct my life around a job?

A proper method to know someone new should be somewhat like Rick’s in the Walking Dead. When meeting a stranger, Rick asks three questions:

1 – How many walkers have you killed?

2 – How many people have you killed?

3 – Why?

Walking Dead

I don’t imagine that asking these particular questions now will be productive, but the method stands. The questions just need to be adjusted. Perhaps like the following:

1 – What are you excited about now?

2 – Who’s your third favorite person all time?

3 – What would you tell yourself from 5 years ago?

They are all very self-explanatory, except maybe the second one. I’ve added that third detour to invite the person to really think about the answer. This way, not many will answer Mom and Dad.

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