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30 Ways to Get to Know Someone, Open Up to Them & Create a Genuine Bond

Learning how to get to know someone might seem complex, but it’s actually far easier than it seems. Be brave and ask some questions! 

how to get to know someone

If you want to know how to get to know someone, then you already know the challenge ahead of you. Whether it’s a friend or a love interest, when you feel a connection with someone you will want to explore it more. But how do you take the relationship to the next level?

It might also be that you simply want to be more comfortable in social situations. That’s totally understandable; we all want to have more friends and live the life of a social butterfly!

Learning more about other people is part of the journey, and you’ve already made it that far. Now you just need to learn a few tactics to help others open up to you.

Soon you’ll have an army of friends and acquaintances, or be able to get to know that special someone you’ve met. [Read: These revealing questions will help you get to know someone better]

Why is it so hard to open up?

Not everyone finds it easy to strike up a conversation and be open with new people. Perhaps you’re simply an introverted person, or maybe you’re shy. Either way, learning how to be more open with people you don’t know can bring major benefits to your life.

Of course, it could be that you’ve met someone that you have a real interest in and you’re keen to learn how to get to know them better. That’s a great move!

From there you can find out whether this is someone you might want to pursue a relationship with or not.

For some people, it is tricky to open up to others after having been burned in the past. Whatever your reason is for not feeling socially open, it’s important to take steps to rectify the situation.

It’s not extremely difficult to get to know someone, but you do need to be able to hold a conversation that bounces back and forth. The good news is that we have some tips to help you do just that! [Read: How to stop being shy – 20 ways to kick your shyness to the curb]

The importance of getting to know someone deeper

Superficial friendships are fine. You know a few things about that person and you can have a conversation, but it doesn’t really go any further than that. But getting to know someone really well is something special.

We’re moving into ‘best friend’ territory in some ways, but it doesn’t have to be that way either. Getting to know someone deeper means you understand them better, you can have really interesting conversations, and your bond will last a lot longer.

Deep friendships are bonds that last a long time, but if we’re talking about a relationship here, well, it’s vital that you know them deeply, isn’t it? Without that kind of familiarity, the relationship probably won’t last that long. [Read: 16 types of friendship, benefits, and how many you need to be happy in life]

How to get to know someone without losing your nerve

Meeting people is somewhat easy, what’s hard is getting to know them. Are you ready to do the work?

1. Figure out if this is someone you actually connect with on some level

Sometimes, we want to have a relationship with someone when we don’t actually feel a connection with them. If this is the case, then you should know up front that it’s not going to work.

You can’t build a genuine relationship with someone that you don’t feel a connection with. If you’re not feeling a connection, then don’t try to be friends with this person because it’s not going to last. [Read: How to make new friends the right way]

2. Small talk

Listen, if you think that you’re just going to jump into a deep relationship with someone without passing through the small talk phase, you’re wrong. The small talk phase may seem annoying but it’s actually crucial.

This is the time when you get to see the commonalities with this person and see if this is someone that you want to get to know on a deeper level. Basically, this helps you decide whether or not you’re going to let your guard down. [Read: How to make small talk without feeling awkward]

3. Do the talking first

Maybe you’re not a huge talker, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be a social butterfly, but if you’re trying to get to know someone, you’re going to have to ask questions.

Though people may initiate a conversation with you, it’s important that you reciprocate. Show that you’re interested in them.

4. Don’t rush the process

Listen, everyone is different. Some people don’t mind diving right into deep conversations about their personal issues while others have their guard up. Getting to know someone, their real self, can be a long process.

Through frequent interactions, you’ll gain their trust and they’ll lower their guard. This is what actually allows you to get to know them. So, take it slow. [Read: Ways to emotionally connect and feel closer to anyone]

5. Don’t be afraid to be a little vulnerable

If you want to get to know someone, you’re going to have to open yourself up and be vulnerable. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with them will help build trust between you both.

With that being said, you don’t have to share all your personal information right away. You also don’t have to talk about anything too personal, but you should let them into your life.

6. Make plans to go out with them

To build a relationship and get to know them, spend time with them. This is a great way to get to see what they’re interested in and if you have things in common.

You can go for dinner, grab a coffee, or head to a bar where you both can relax and have a good time in each other’s company. [Read: 40 ways to have fun with friends, beat boredom, and create new memories]

7. Talk about yourself – in moderation!

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to spend every interaction blabbing on and on about yourself; come on, you know that’s boring. But this is a good chance for you to open up and for them to listen.

Let’s face it, they need to learn about you as well. [Read: Steps to keep a conversation going and make anyone love talking to you]

8. Spend regular face-to-face time together

Really, this is the only way to get to know someone. You need to spend time with this person to get to know their personality, jokes, quirks, and flaws.

Yes, you can talk on social media, but it’s not the same as being face-to-face with them.

9. Look for common ground and mutual interests

If you’re wondering how to get to know someone more intimately, then it’s best if you try to find out some mutual interests. That way, you have something to build your relationship on.

If you both love movies, you can head to a festival and have movie nights together. Through this, you’ll be more comfortable chatting with each other since you both know what you’re talking about. [Read: 32 fun ideas to build and grow intimacy in a relationship and feel more loved]

10. Ask deep questions, but don’t delve too deep too soon

Eventually, you will need to cross the boundary from small talk to deep conversation. Of course, this will naturally happen when you both feel comfortable enough to share personal information.

You’ll then want to ask or answer some deep questions. Make sure that if you ask them something, it relates to them or yourself. [Read: Do you really know this person? 20 questions to get to know them]

11. Make use of social media

It’s true that, in some ways, social media makes us less social. However, you can absolutely use social media to your advantage here!

If you follow each other on social media, you can send each other funny posts, chat, and keep a connection going when you are not seeing each other face-to-face.

12. Look out for one another

Now, we don’t mean that you should basically jump on them and make them carry you through life. But to create a strong relationship, you both need to depend on each other in some way.

You need to be there when they need help and vice versa. Surprise them occasionally and give them space when they need it. [Read: How to express yourself and share your feelings the right way]

13. Relax and let the process happen naturally

Don’t put too much pressure on getting to know someone.

If you’re doing everything you can to build a relationship and they’re not reciprocating, there’s no point pushing it. If they don’t want to let their guard down, that’s not your fault.

14. Don’t ask too many questions

It’s important to ask questions to get to know someone, but don’t want to make them feel like they’re in a job interview. Be sure to mix up the number of questions you ask by giving your own answers and allowing random subjects to pop up naturally.

15. Be wary of your body language

It’s entirely possible that someone may not want to talk to you simply because of your body language. Make sure that you’re not accidentally displaying negative body language.

Instead, make eye contact, keep your posture relaxed, avoid crossing your arms over your body, and don’t fidget! [Read: Clearly noticeable signs of body language attraction]

16. Only bond on positive subjects

One mistake that many people make when trying to get to know someone is to find common ground through negative means. For instance, do not try and bond over a mutual dislike of someone.

It might work in the beginning, but it will come back to bite you on the butt in the future. Instead, if you bond over positive subjects, the potential friendship has a better chance of lasting longer.

17. Don’t come on too strong

If you want to learn more about someone, be careful that you don’t come on too strong.

Don’t stalk their social media and make it obvious with constant likes. Don’t seek them out every time you see them.

We mentioned being relaxed so you don’t become nervous, but you also need to be relaxed so you don’t scare them off! [Read: How to stop pushing people away]

18. Make sure you really listen

Not that many people know how to actually listen properly. We tend to hear the words with our ears and then let them drift away from our memories. However, did you know that you can listen by other means too?

You can look for clues in their body language, their tone of voice, speed of their speech, their facial expressions, and their hand gestures. These clues will give you information on the real meaning of their words, helping you to get to know them better. [Read: How to enrich your life by building meaningful friendships]

19. Work to understand their feelings

Showing empathy isn’t just something you should do to be nice; it’s a way to understand someone deeply and build a bond. Try to understand how they’re feeling and that will help you to connect with them better.

Of course, that also means listening very well to what they’re saying and picking up on non-verbal cues too.

20. Resist the urge to deflect

What many people don’t realize is that learning the ways to get to know someone means allowing them to know you too.

So, when you’re having a conversation, open up. Don’t try and deflect the attention away from you or downplay your achievements.

You have to let them in too; otherwise, what’s the point? [Read: How to build self-confidence]

21. Give them time

Maybe they’re having a rough time at the moment or they’re just really busy. Sometimes you need to let people come around in their own time and that means just doing what you can and letting them breathe.

Maybe you’ll start chatting with someone, you don’t hear from them for a while, and then suddenly they enter your life again and you’re great friends.

Remember, the timing isn’t always right. [Read: Do you have the patience for dating or are you frustrated by it?]

22. Observation is your friend

You can learn a lot about someone by watching them. No, that doesn’t mean being creepy, it means just being aware. Do they seem nervous? How do they react to certain subjects?

By observing them closely and how they react to things, you can understand them better. [Read: How to tell how your partner feels and learn to read their mind]

How long does it take to get to know someone?

The truth is, getting to know someone varies on two factors: that particular individual, and you. Yes, you. Everyone opens up at their own pace.

While some people take months, others take years. The longer you know each other, the better. But none of that matters, because you won’t see them for who they are unless you stop being blinded by your first impression.

There is no real rule of thumb as to how long it takes to get to know someone. It depends on how open they are with you and the circumstances at the time. But it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. [Read: How to make friends in a new city – 15 ways to feel at home again]

How do you know when you finally know someone? 

There are a few simple questions you could use to double-check whether or not you know your friends, partner, or that hottie you’re thinking of dating seriously. Here are those questions:

1. Have you ever had an argument?

This may sound counterproductive, but having an argument or two is needed in order to really get to know someone.

People who have never argued either don’t care enough about each other, or they simply bottle up their bitter feelings because they don’t want to be honest.

When you know someone, you also know their ugly side. [Read: 23 dos and don’ts of relationship arguments]

2. Has this person ever let you down?

Again, it sounds strange, but this is beyond needed. When someone, anyone, lets you down, it’s because they fall short of the expectation you’ve put on them.

If you’re blinded by your own perception or expectation of who they are, there’s going to be that defining moment where they let you down.

Most people put the blame on the person letting them down, but in reality, they should be pointing the finger at themselves. Rather than being upset, take this moment to pull off the blindfold and really see the person for who they really are.

[Read: Falling out of love – Why it happens, 23 reasons, and signs to see it ASAP]

3. Have you ever felt like they’re a total stranger?

This is an awful moment, especially when the stranger is your partner. After the blindfold is off, there will be a period of adjustment, where the person will be a complete stranger.

Things may or may not be awkward. Your memories will be tainted for a bit. But this is actually for the best.

This is a transitional period and a one-way ticket to finally coming to terms with who a person truly is. [Read: How to feel better about life]

4. Have you known this person for the last three years?

Yes, it seems like a long time, but this is an unspoken rule. A lot of things happen at the 3rd year mark, both in friendships and relationships. By the third year, you’ve already gone through a lot of different experiences together, both good and bad.

By the third year, friends either disappear or get closer. Partners argue, get to know every side of each other, and often break up. For couples who are either lucky or persistent in making things work, the third-year mark can be the test that will make their relationship stronger.

It sounds worse than it is, but this is the moment when you know who’s here to stay, and who isn’t meant to be a permanent fixture in your life. [Read: How to know if it’s time to end a friendship]

5. Have you spoken about how things were before you really knew each other?

This is a given. At some point down the line, your friend or partner will mention how shy, naïve, blind, or immature you both used to be in the past. You’ll talk about past arguments, maybe even past views on each other, and then some.

At this point, it’s safe to say you’ll know that they’re being genuine, and you’re no longer blinded by mere infatuation or naive optimism. [Read: 60 get-to-know-you questions for a new romance]

6. Have you ever spent time apart?

Remember, spending time apart helps you reflect. This is something most people forget, but when you spend time with someone all the time, you develop tunnel vision. All you see is that person, and all interaction revolves around them.

What you think, feel, and analyze about that person when you’re alone actually helps put things into perspective. [Read: Does absence make the heart grow fonder or wander?]

7. Have you faced a serious obstacle together?

It’s one thing to see someone on a good day. It’s a whole other thing when you see that person respond to problems.

A person may seem easygoing and carefree, but they may actually become very volatile when faced with a stressful situation.

As mentioned earlier, getting to know someone involves knowing both their good side and their ugly side. By going through a serious hurdle together, you can then see how they react, and you can see if the way they act during this time will jive with the way you would handle the obstacle.

[Read: How to get through a rough patch in a relationship]

8. Have you ever taken a trip together?

Going on an adventure together opens up a whole new side of both of your personalities. By leaving a familiar setting, you’re seeing someone as they’re exploring new territories.

Are they willing to explore? Do they want to just stick with something familiar? How do they handle new situations?

These are questions you’ll inevitably answer when you go away to unfamiliar places. [Read: Is it too soon to start traveling with your partner?]

Remember, connections are about quality, not quantity

Now you know the ways to get to know someone, you might want to go out there and expand your friendship circle tenfold. That’s great, but know that not every single person you meet will end up being a close friend or lover.

Your social circle is about quality, not quantity. It’s no good having a million friends if you don’t really get along with them that well. You might think you know them, but do you really? Focus on a small number of people you really vibe with.

That’s how you get enjoyment and satisfaction from those around you.

[Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting relationships]

Now that you know how to get to know someone, it’s time that you went out and started to build relationships and friendships with new people.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...