For better quality relationships, you need conversations with more depth. There are several steps to this.
This article provides a list of questions for emotional connection to help you initiate and maintain conversations with the potential for real depth.
One of the secrets to close relationships is emotional attunement. This means you can talk about your inner feelings and the other person’s response makes you feel heard and validated. The other person doesn’t necessarily agree with your point of view, but they provide a safe space for you to express your feelings without telling you to feel differently.
There are several skills within the process of emotional attunement. One of the initial steps is inviting the other person to share their perspective and emotions. From there, you need to be able to respond appropriately.
Use this list to help you encourage emotional content in your conversations.
List of questions for emotional connection
- How are you feeling today?
- How does that make you feel?
- How do you feel about that?
- What was that like for you?
- How did that make you feel?
- How are you going with that?
- What was your experience like?
- How did that impact you?
- Would you like me to be a sounding board to help you process your thoughts and feelings about that?
- What was that like for you?
- What was going on for you at that time?
- What did you learn from that?
- What was your experience of that?
“The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself”
Asking follow up questions
Show you truly care to understand the other person’s inner world by following up your initial question with another question or two.
- What else did you experience?
- How was that for you?
- What happened next?
- What did that remind you of?
- How is that significant to you?
- Where does that come from in your life?
- Clarify you understood them correctly, by saying, “Let me see if I’ve got that right…” then paraphrasing what they just said.
- Is that common for you?
- What’s your usual experience?
- How does that differ to your previous/normal experience?
- Interesting… tell me more.
- Can you describe that for me?
You can also remain silent, but leave space for them to expand more on their conversation by showing with your body language and attention that you are still listening.
How do the right questions help relationships?
Questions help to guide your focus, guide the other person’s responses and show the other person that you are interested in them.
Benefits of asking better questions include not just the information the questions elicit, but the way it makes the other person feel to be on the receiving end of the questions.
When you ask other people questions about their inner world, you indicate that you are interested in who they are as a person. You show that you want to know about their experience of life.
You don’t just want to know the standard surface level data of their job title and what they did that day. You also want to know *who they are*.
Many people crave the validation of others showing an interest in them.
Think about how good it feels to be the center of attention of someone who is genuinely interested in you in a warm way.
What is it like to feel heard, seen, known, cared about? What is it like when someone indicates that your point of view, perspective or experience is valuable? What is it like to feel like someone else trusts you enough to share their inner thoughts and experiences?
Showing curiosity in other people is a skill you can practice. It is partly about the tone of voice and body language you use, and partly about the actual questions asked.
For better quality relationships, you need conversations with more depth. Use this list of questions for emotional connection to take your conversations deeper.