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How to Get to Know Someone: 18 Ways to Open Up & Make True Friends

Whether you’re aiming to befriend a special someone or you just want to be more sociable, learning how to get to know someone is easier than you think.

how to get to know someone

If you want to know how to get to know someone, then you already know the challenge it poses. Whether it’s a friend or a love interest, when you feel a connection with someone you want to explore it more. But, how do you take the relationship to the next level? A relationship that goes deeper than an acquaintance.

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

The good news is that being open to learning more about other people is part of the story, and you’re already there. Now you just need to learn a few tactics to help others to open up. You’ll soon have an army of friends, 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 simply 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 know 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.

Some people may have been burned in the past and now find that opening up is tricky. Whatever your reason for not feeling so socially open, it’s important to take steps to rectify the situation. It’s not extremely difficult to get to know someone, but it does mean that you 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]

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 hard work?

1. Is this 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. You’ll have to go through the small talk phase

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. You’re going to have to do the talking at 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 figure how to get to know someone, you’re going to have to ask questions. Though people may initiate conversation with you, it’s important that you reciprocate. Show that you’re interested in them.

4. Don’t rush the process

Listen, people are all different. Some don’t mind diving right into deep conversations about their personal issues while others have a guard up. Getting to know someone, their real selves, can be a long process. Through frequent interactions, you’ll lower their guard and show them that you’re trustworthy. This is what actually allows you to get to know them. So, take it slow. [Read: 14 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. Share your thoughts and feelings with them which helps build trust between you both. With that being said, you don’t have to share all your personal information right away. You 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 some drinks, or head to a bar where you both can relax and have a good time in each other’s company.

7. Talk about yourself – in moderation!

#7 Talk about yourself. 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: 3 steps to keep a conversation going and 8 things to remember in your conversation]

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 in order to get to know their personality, their 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 can build your relationship off of something. If you both love movies, you can head to a festival and have movie nights together. Through this, you’ll be more comfortable talking to each other since you both know what you’re talking about.

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’re going to 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 is making us less social than before, however, it can be used to actually create a bond between people. If you follow each other on social media, you have the ability to 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 in order 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 so 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. They don’t want to let their guard down, so, that’s not your problem.

14. Don’t ask too many questions

It’s important to ask questions to help to get to know someone, but don’t make them feel like they’re in a job interview. Be sure to mix up the amount 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 to make someone not want to talk to you simply because of your body language. Make sure that you’re not displaying negative body language accidentally. Instead, make eye contact, keep your posture relaxed, avoid crossing your arms over your body, and don’t fidget! [Read: 10 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 to start with, but it may come back to bite you on the butt at some point in the future.

17. Don’t come on too strong

If you’re trying to get to know someone you like and you want to learn more so you can work out whether you’re a good match, 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 body language clues, read the tone of their voice, the speed of their speech, and watch their facial expressions and hand gestures. That 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]

Now that you know how to get to know someone, it’s time that you went out and started to build your relationship with this person.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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