Show your true colors
January 28, 2013 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes someone important comes into your life (a (potential) close friend / significant other or a long lost relative). How to really get to know them? And if you only have limited time?

Can you recommend things to do together or experience together that allow to truly learn about the other person?
posted by travelwithcats to Human Relations (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Not very practical, but get into a life-threatening crisis with them.
posted by goethean at 8:05 AM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]

Could we get a bit more detail here?

* Why do you have only a limited amount of time? Are they moving out of town? Dying? Have they declared that they won't want to talk to you any more after that time?

* What kind of importance could this person hold? Getting to know a friend is different from getting to know a relative is different from getting to know a significant other; because what you need from each of those relationships is different.

* How are you certain they are going to be this important? Or is that what you're trying to establish?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Go on a road trip through a place with a harsh environment, in a car you expect will probably break down.
posted by adamrice at 8:09 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Travel, learning something new together, shared experiences, overcoming obstacles or surviving ordeals are all tried and true paths to forging a deep connection with someone.

There is a reason why college dorm room friends, reality show contestants, boot camp participants and backpackers often make fast, deep, long lasting friendships.
posted by mmascolino at 8:27 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get into stressful situations and see how they react and how they treat you.

Talk to their exes about their weaknesses and strengths. (Must be taken with a grain of salt, but is useful)
posted by Anwan at 11:51 AM on January 28, 2013

What, no suggestion of alcohol yet?

Clearly maximally efficient bonding requires you artificially reduce your collective getting-to-know-you inhibitions with your preferred drink/drug of choice once you get your road trip destination.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:43 PM on January 28, 2013

Observe how they treat waitstaff and how much they tip.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:47 PM on January 28, 2013

Drink and eat and plan the drinking and eating. Travel together to the place with the food and drink. Work on a project with a tight deadline while drinking and eating. Find a common enemy-- an idea that you're aligned against-- that you can do something about. Find their social networking profile and browse through past pictures. Get your picture taken with them.
posted by RainyJay at 2:56 PM on January 28, 2013

Get drunk and go wait for an infrequent bus.
posted by srboisvert at 4:45 PM on January 28, 2013

As the old saying goes: intimacy is shared vulnerability, so open up yourself and see what they say in response.
posted by holloway at 6:03 PM on January 29, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you for your suggestions guys!
posted by travelwithcats at 11:34 AM on January 30, 2013

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