After having thousands of conversation (both online and off), I started to compile a 20 question (and counting!) filter to help me decide if my conversation and I are on the same wavelength.
The idea of ‘the airport test’ is to find out if you can endure spending time with someone if you’re ever stuck at an airport (no matter the length of time).
Rather than give you the full 20, I’ll instead opt for a version of the five that can be easily answered without the need to spend a day or two pondering about it.
1. What do you think of the whole introvert/extrovert debate?
This is particularly useful to find out how your conversation partner is willing to be vulnerable. I’ve noticed that there are people who are reluctant to admit that they are one or the other, for fear of being typecast, rather than seeing it as an opportunity to build better relationships (the right friend would understand that you need time for yourself — or need time to be with people who draw energy by spending time with others)
2. Did you have a good belly laugh today?
I’ve learned that relationships are built (or broken) depending on the existence of shared humor. Did your potential bestie also lose it while watching the scene from The Good Fight when Maia Rindell sent Lucca Quinn the garbled text message during their police ride-along?
3. What do you think of (insert current news headline or a philosophy)?
This gives you an idea if the person is positive or negative about anything that happens to her. If you can pick something divisive…all the better! Or you can even mention a film that you weren’t crazy about.
4. Do you ever get bored?
The alternate version of this question could be: When was the last time you felt bored? What seems to be happening at the moment is there are those (particularly those who rely on others for their happiness) who are constantly looking for entertainment. Some examples are here and here. If you’re the type who is searching for your next ‘life level up’, it’ll make it slightly more difficult to get to your eureka moment.
5. When was the last time you lost track of time?
Simple way to find out what your conversation partner is passionate about. Also, depending on how negative or positive it is…you’ll also find out how much of a planner she is (was there a specific stretch of time allocated for activities that activate ‘flow‘).
I’ve found the best time to ask is, once you’ve established that you’re both able to build up a conversation on one topic (it could be while waiting to grab your takeaway order or while at a bookshop).
Just in case you do run out of time, there’s always the option to use: ‘Would it be weird if I grabbed your email?’