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Life is a kaleidoscope of colors. Nothing is really black and white. Questions can never be answered by a mere yes or no all the time. We all need to express ourselves in more than just a few syllables to be able to truly connect with one another. The challenge is how to initiate long, deep, and meaningful conversations that could tickle the essence of being human.

Not every person in this world is as confident or as affluent as sensational conversationalists and public speakers. Mere mortals like us find it a bit harder to express ourselves and make our ideas and feelings known. Admit it, you also need a little nudge to really get yourself out there and connect with people, right?

One great way to start a conversation is by asking appropriate and interesting questions like open-ended questions. So you should first familiarize yourself with this type of question!

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What are Open-Ended Questions?

Open-ended questions are questions that require the person you’re talking to reply more than just one word. His/her answer can be a few sentences, a list, a few paragraphs, or even an essay!

This type of question requires the other person to really pause, think, and reflect on the question before giving his answer. He can’t just answer yes or no without giving an explanation. The answer to this question is usually lengthier and deeper. They usually involve personal feelings, opinions, or ideas about a subject.

Open-ended questions are usually asked to find out more about something or someone. They are usually used as follow-up questions to a previous question. You can use them when you’re conducting a job interview, trying to earn new friends, or curious about some stuff!

How to Ask Open-Ended Questions

The most common open-ended questions usually begin with the following words listed below:

Why

Use this when you are trying to know the reason for something.

How

Use this word when you are trying to find out the process of how something came to be what it is right now.

What/Who

Use this when you are requiring a list of things or people for the answer or you can also ask this to know the reason.

What if

Use this if you want to create a situation that has not happened yet or will never happen and you want to know what the other person thinks.

Tell me about

Use this when you want the other person to narrate something or his/her view on things.

Describe

Use this when you want a complete description of something from the person you’re talking to.

What do you think

Use this when you are curious about the person’s opinion about something.

Can you

Use this when you are trying to let the person do something like explaining himself/herself more.

In order to really master the art of asking open-ended questions, you should be able to familiarize yourself with those words and how to use each of them properly in order to spark a conversation!

Open-Ended Questions Examples

Those first words are definitely not enough for you to start getting to know each other through open-ended questions so we have here some sample questions that will get you started!

  1. Why are you so angry?
  2. How did you become so tall?
  3. What are your likes and dislikes?
  4. Who are your most favorite people in the world?
  5. What if you die tomorrow?
  6. Tell me about your childhood.
  7. Describe how it feels to be the champion.
  8. What do you think is the worst thing that could happen?
  9. Can you believe how lucky we are?
  10. How did you reach his decision?

20 Open-Ended Questions for Kids

It’s essential to really encourage children to speak up so that they may grow out of their shells and make new friends! You should ask them questions that are appropriate for their age, fun to answer, and not very hard to understand.

Here are 20 child-friendly questions that will make kids speak out and level with you:

1. Why is mommy/daddy your favorite?

This is a common thing people usually and kiddingly ask kids. This could be a follow-up question to “Who is your favorite, mommy or daddy?”.

2. What are your favorite TV shows of all time?

Kids will enjoy answering this since their minds will be filled with all the shows they like. You can ask them afterward which is their favorite among all the shows they mentioned!

3. Tell me about the award you got from school.

Young as they are, they should be able to express how happy they are for something they’ve done well.

4. How do you like your eggs for breakfast?

Kids like to talk about food, too! This question might also inform them that there are a lot of ways to cook an egg.

5. Describe your dog.

Aside from food and shows, kids enjoy talking about their pets. This question will make them open up, especially if he/she is an animal lover!

6. What do you think is the most useful subject in school?

You should also egg them on to talk about school, from time to time, so that they will be more inclined to do well in their studies.

7. Who are your best friends?

They will be excited to share about their buddies and you can even ask how they met!

8. What made today the best day ever?

A teacher or parent can ask this after a fun-filled day in school or at home!

9. What if your seatmate forgot to bring his lunch, what would you do?

You can ask questions like this that would surely boost their morale and teach them the right thing to do at all times.

10. If you had a pet lion, what would you name it and why?

Questions that encourage creativity are great questions for kids.

11. What makes you truly happy?

You’ll be amazed by the answers of kids to this question. You’ll realize how simple and innocent they really are.

12. Who is your favorite teacher and why?

You deserve to know how your kids feel about others, too. Asking them about other people can be helpful not only to your parenting but also to their feelings.

13. What are your favorite games to play with your friends?

Kids would be excited to answer this. To make them open up more, you can offer to play those games together!

14. Tell me about your least favorite subject in school.

Aside from what they like, also try to know what they don’t like so that you will also be aware.

15. What’s your favorite storybook and why?

This will open up a topic about fantasy and fiction that you can offer to read to him/her afterward.

16. Do you think animals understand us?

Weird questions like this are fit for children since they would be more than willing to answer without any nonsense.

17. How do you spend your weekends?

This is a great essay question for kids so that the teacher can then suggest fun and informational activities for the kids to do at home during weekends.

18. What do you think is the yummiest juice of all?

Kids love to drink juice! They will perk up at this question. You can make them their favorite juice after!

19. What’s the best piece of art you’ve made and how did you make it?

You should always encourage kids to talk about their talents so that they may be encouraged to develop them.

20. Can you think of the weirdest dream you’ve had and share it with us?

This is an interesting question to really know more about what goes inside the mind of a child.

20 Open-Ended Questions for Teens

When one becomes a teenager, the need to connect with others intensifies because during these years, you are trying to find yourself and where you belong. Thus, it is crucial that teenagers are able to mingle and strengthen the bond between them and their family and friends.

Here are some great questions you could ask teenagers in order for them to open up more to you!

1. Who is your most genuine friend and why do you say so?

Friendship and belongingness matter so much to teens. It’s even hard to find true friends whom you can trust during this age.

2. Why are you always alone?

You can ask this question to shy and aloof teens so that they may open up a bit. Try to understand their side.

3. How can you become a better version of yourself?

This is a tough question but when you figure this out, your life would be much better.

4. What are the three things you’re most grateful for?

At this point in your life, you are no longer a child but not yet an adult, you’ve grown and experienced a lot already that you could be thankful for.

5. Describe yourself.

Self image is important to most teenagers. How you perceive yourself affects your personality, attitude and behaviour.

6. If you would be famous someday, what do you think you’d be famous for?

Some teenagers really do aspire to be known among their peers, that’s why everyone is crazy about how many likes, views or retweets. This is going to be an interesting question for teens!

7. What are the things that you usually do when you cannot sleep at night?

Insomnia is common among young adults, mainly because of too much screen time. You can advise something useful to them after they answer this question.

8. Do you think you’ll be successful someday?

This is not only a question. This is a challenge to work and study harder so that you will grow up to be someone you’re going to be proud of.

9. If you had a time turner just like Hermione in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, what would you change?

Everyone loves Harry Potter and asking something related to the movie will really entice the teenager.

10. Why is your family amazing?

An issue among teens right now is that they tend to be closer to their friends than their own families. Reminding yourself how lucky you are to be a part of your family can really change your perspective.

11. Do you think you can help someone today?

This is a challenge to pay forward kindness in whatever way you could even at a young age. A small ripple can turn into a large wave.

12. What are the best places you’ve ever been to?

You will be opening up a topic about vacations, foreign places and travels with this one.

13. Tell me about your favorite Youtube vlogger.

Vloggers and gamers are all the rave for teenagers right now. A topic about them will start a conversation that could last hours!

14. Do you think you could pinpoint the very last day you’d be considered a child?

Teenagers encounter and undergo a lot of changes. This question will have them looking back and sharing their opinion about when a child is no longer a child!

15. Describe your ideal boyfriend/girlfriend.

Romantic relationships start during your teenage years. This is a common question but a classic favorite!

16. Can you think of something that really defines who you are?

Teens will have a hard time answering this one since you are at a phase wherein you’re also discovering yourself. This question might help!

17. How do you move on from a heartbreak?

There is no one more crazy about love and relationships than teenagers. This question will have them giving advice from personal experiences or just their opinions on how to move on.

18. It’s the last day of summer break, how will you spend it?

Thinking about hanging out with friends or family, or going shopping or anything that spells F-U-N will have teenagers talking nonstop.

19. Describe your worst day ever.

It’s no question, teenagers can be a little bit over dramatic so guaranteed, you’ll be amused or affected by their answers to this!

20. Who are the three persons you would trust with your life?

You can bet that a teenager would answer his/her girlfriend/boyfriend, parents and maybe a sibling or best friend! Make sure to always ask for an explanation!

20 Open-Ended Questions for Adults

If you think adults have already mastered the art of making conversation, think again! Adults are just as clueless and helpless. It’s never too late to try, though, so you should just work on your people skills and be confident enough to ask the right questions, nod, smile and laugh at the appropriate time and things.

Here are amazing questions you can ask an adult that would surely bring out interesting and inviting conversations between the two of you!

1. What are your all-time favorite classic songs?

Adults also have time to jam, talking about music will bring out your old school souls. You can listen to those songs together, too!

2. Can money really buy happiness?

Not everyone will have the same opinions as you so be more mature and understanding with their answers.

3. What are things that you’d like to improve about yourself?

Life is all about growth and development. You cannot afford to be stagnant. Challenge and allow yourself to grow!

4. What are your next steps in life?

Planning for the future is a very adult and mature thing to do. Talking about your plans will help you visualize it more.

5. Describe the perfect day for you.

You are going to be happy enough even just imagining your perfect day. This conversation will be a happy one!

6. How will you be able to make your dream home a reality?

Adults usually dream of having the best life. You work hard to afford that car or that house. Talking about your life strategy will make you become more motivated to work harder.

7. Have you ever regretted doing something in life?

Take time to talk about hard stuff and you’ll reap the benefits of it after. You’ll find that you’ll be feeling better, you can sleep more soundly and you are not as stressed.

8. Tell me three good jokes you know.

This is going to be the start of a feel-good conversation that you so desperately need!

9. What are the most important things in life?

Knowing what truly matters to you can really put your entire life in perspective.

10. How do you face all your fears?

Sharing advice and inspiring each other can really help you become someone stronger. It makes a huge difference when you know that you are not alone.

11. Describe the place you grew up in.

Be it in the city or the countryside, your friends would love to know about your hometown and origin!

12. What’s the most annoying mannerism for you?

Everyone can be annoyed about something. Knowing what annoys your friend or family could help you avoid that when he or she is around.

13. Do you think living in the present is much more challenging than living in the past?

In-depth questions like this will really urge you to think and will say a lot about your personality.

14. How much do you think you need to save until it’s enough for you to stop working forever?

This is a very, very hard question to answer and the execution and fulfillment is even harder!

15. What are the qualities of a great housekeeper?

Talking about the help is common among adults, especially the working class who need people to tend to their homes.

16. How will you spend Christmas now that you’re away from home?

Working adults who live away from their families and are forced to spend christmas on their own will have a lot to tell you!

17. What are the societal issues that concern you the most?

This is going to be the start of a serious conversation. Remember to stay as open-minded as you can be!

18. Tell me about your most prized possession.

You can usually only ask this to your closest friends and family members. If they’re willing to share then you should at least share yours, too.

19. Describe the person you want to be.

Hopes and dreams will forever be with you and will inspire you to become better so hold onto them.

20. Who are people who were once your priority but not anymore?

Regrets are not always actions we’ve done but also the people we’ve met. Sharing your heartbreaking stories to others can help in the healing process.

20 Open-Ended Questions to Ask a Girl

There are guys that may seem all tough and strong on the outside but they’re actually very nervous when it comes to talking to girls, especially girls they like! Talking to a girl is a very challenging task because girls can be very observant and you need to put your best foot forward in order to interest her and get her talking, too!

Here are unusual yet engaging questions you can ask a girl to really get to know her!

1. What do you think is the most immature thing your parents have done?

Maturity does not always go hand in hand with age. Our parents are still as confused about life as we are!

2. Tell me about something that has increasingly become socially acceptable to others but not to you.

This question will reveal if she is an open-minded person who has adjusted to the modern era of how things are. Don’t judge her, though, let her explain her side!

3. State and explain the part of your culture that you are most and least proud of.

If you really want to know her, ask her deep things like this that she won’t expect. You’ll receive the most raw answers that could leave you in awe of her.

4. What are the things you hate about being a woman/girl/female?

Asking this question will make you seem very supportive of her if you ask it right so make sure to make her feel that you are a pro-women and that you want to know her side, too.

5. Describe your preferred fashion style.

Ladies love talking about clothes, shoes and anything about fashion. You’ll spend hours talking about this.

6. How do you usually address people you don’t really like?

Everyone loves the polite and nice type of girl but you never know when you’ve found the woman who can be really feisty!

7. Do you have a weird family tradition?

Getting silly could also earn you points and would do wonders to your conversation with her!

8. Who do you think is the craziest person you know?

Talking about something funny can lighten the mood of your conversation and would make both of you happy.

9. Who are your favorite actors and actresses?

Ladies enjoy a juicy conversation about their favorite celebrities in showbiz!

10. Tell me what could make you stop crying.

This is a very sweet line that you can use on a girl that could instantly make her like you even more.

11. Tell me more about that hobby you have that is usually not done by most women.

She’ll be proud and happy that you mentioned this. Boosting a girl’s morale can earn you some major points!

12. Can you tell me about one simple mistake you’ve made that had dramatic consequences?

After asking this, share your mistakes, too, that would make her feel a lot better!

13. What are the things you have done that have given you a lot of satisfaction?

Talking about the good stuff can uplift both of you. You can even suggest doing those things again together!

14. What are some things you wish you already knew when you were younger?

Getting into a throwback thursday kind of conversation can make you both wistful but at the same time hopeful for the future.

15. Tell me about your story.

This is another way of asking a girl to tell you more about herself. You can sit back and just let her start and then you can insert follow-up questions from time to time.

16. Has your curiosity ever killed the cat?

Of course you really don’t mean this literally! You’re just asking if she’s ever done something unnecessary that has led her to trouble. Ladies actually love talking to someone who uses proverbs and idiomatic expressions!

17. Tell me about an exciting way to meet new people.

Girls are the more social beings compared to men. They usually are more excited about dating and mingling with other people.

18. What are the things that you love about yourself?

After she mentions all the things she loves about herself, flatter her but be genuine about it. Tell her you also love this and that about her.

19. What do you think is the worst trait that a person can have?

This is another way of knowing what you should avoid doing that might displease her. Clever!

20. Do you think there’s something weird about you?

Let her know that what she finds weird about herself is just adorable to you. She will surely melt.

There you have it, folks! Those questions will surely get you to open up to your family and friends about things you never even talk about before. Just make sure to be nice, warm, and open to really talk about your feelings and listen to what they have to say!

Wanting more conversation starters and questions you can use? Follow this link and have some fun! Conversation Starters

✍️  December 2, 2020

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