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When you’re shy, it can be really hard to meet new people and make friends. I remember when I was younger, it was difficult to meet people each time I started a new school. Finally, I discovered the best way to get people to talk to you is to ask them a question.
Psychologists say the best type of question for starting a conversation is an open-ended question, which is a question that doesn’t just have a yes/no answer. You may know it as a “this or that” question.
What Are This or That Questions for Teens and Young Adults?
This or that questions are open questions that help your teen or young adult learn about other people. It’s a great way to connect and enter conversations when you are shy or if you feel overwhelmed. You may think of it as “conversation starters” that can help you smoothly move into a group of unfamiliar people.
As a teen, it can be really overwhelming to start a new school, join a club, or just meet new people in general. Your teen will need all the help they can get, which is where this or that questions come in.
Benefits of Using This or That Questions at School and in Life Include
There are many benefits to using this or that questions, and best of all, there are no cons to using them. Benefits include:
119 Fun This or That Questions for Teens and Young Adults
While you don’t want to walk up to a stranger and pose an oddball question, you can use the following this or that questions when you are in a situation where you need to spend time with someone.
Long rides on the school bus, evenings at summer camp and classroom discussions are great places to use these questions to learn about others and share about yourself.
Food and Entertainment
Food is one of the areas where we can really share and have fun. Entertainment is usually the companion to food, so explore, share, and have a great time with friends.
1. What is your favorite food from your early childhood?
2. Can you please explain how your mom used to make your sandwiches when you were in grade school?
3. Which food did you hate the most as a young kid, and how did you get out of eating it?
4. Would you rather eat something entirely new or eat something you don’t like so much with friends at a restaurant?
5. If I made you an omelet with a kale and white sauce filling, how would you get out of eating it?
6. When you go out for pizza, what is your favorite entertainment: movies, a show, or just hanging out with friends?
7. What was your favorite game to play with friends in grade school?
8. Do you like boy bands or punk rock?
9. Do you talk during a movie, and if you don’t, do you mind if other people do?
10. When at the movies, what is your favorite snack food?
Fitting in and Dating
Teens start to find themselves in the world, and that includes making friends and dating for the first time. Whether it’s just puppy love or a more serious love that started in the sandpit, your teen will need to ask questions of their potential friends and partners.
11. What do you look for in a good friend?
12. If a friend makes fun of you, how do you tell them to stop doing it?
13. What is a deal-breaker for you when it comes to new people?
14. How do you feel about holding hands or kissing on a date?
15. If your friend did something really bad, would you cover for them or help them do the right thing and admit to it?
16. Do you dress up or down for a date?
17. Where do you go when you take a girl out or get asked out by a boy?
18. What do you think makes for a successful relationship?
19. A friend wants to skip school. Do you go with them or pretend not to know anything and go to the next class?
20. Would you defy your parents to go meet a friend they don’t approve of, and how do you explain your choice in friends to them?
Fun Places to Hang Out
We all have our favorite places to hang out, and what we choose says a lot about us.
21. Which do you prefer, the beach or the mountains?
22. Do you prefer a summer vacation or a winter get-away?
23. Where do you love to hang out during the morning?
24. If you go out at night, which is your favorite place to go?
25. Someone asks you to go to a place you know is off-limits to you. Do you go with them or stay home?
26. Do you like busy places or quiet places?
27. Are places with fun things to do better than places where you can chat with friends and just chill?
28. Have you ever been asked to leave a social place like a park or theater? What happened?
29. Which is better, home or a new place?
30. When you go to a fun place, do you prefer to go with friends or alone?
Friends and Frenemies
Teen years and when you are still young are the years when you make friends and also enemies, and sometimes the friends become frenemies too.
31. What do you look for when you make a new friend?
32. A friend asks you to lie for them. Do you tell them no, or do you consider why they want you to do it and do it or advise them of a better way?
33. Someone you don’t like asks you for a favor. Would you help them or get even?
34. Which do you prefer: many friends, a few good friends, or one dear friend?
35. A friend wants to come over while you need to study. Do you tell them to come study with you, or do you study the next morning before your test instead?
36. What makes you dislike people the most?
37. Why are you a good friend?
38. What do you consider the worst betrayal by a friend: lying, cheating, or stealing?
39. How important is it to you to keep a good relationship with everyone so you don’t have enemies? Would you choose no enemies and many friends, or a few enemies and one good friend?
40. Which is more important, being kind or getting even with someone who has been mean to you?
Activities and Sport
Your take on physical activity is as important as your view on academics. Both build your character.
41. Do you prefer active sports or single-person challenges like playing chess?
42. Are team sports better than individual sports?
43. Would you cheat to win a game for yourself? And for your team?
44. Do you like ball sports or sports that involve strategy?
45. Which is more important, winning a game or acing a school test?
46. Do your parents attend all your games, and do you want them there or not?
47. Your crush attends your game for the first time, do you wave at them from the field and then continue playing or work extra hard to score a goal or help your team win, and then walk up to them after the game?
48. If a friend is no longer able to play the same sport as you, would you still be their friend and do new things with them or make new friends, since you won’t have time for them any more?
49. What are your favorite activities to do on your own when you have free time?
Animals, Pets, and People
Our relationships with people, animals, and our pets can tell others a lot about us, and asking them about the people and animals in their life can help you decide if they are your type of person.
50. Do you prefer a furry, feathery, or scaly pet?
51. What was your first pet as a kid, and what happened to them?
52. Which of your relatives had the biggest impact on you as a person?
53. Would you prefer to come back in your next life as a whale or a shark?
54. If you could choose, would you rather hug your pets or a relative you don’t know well?
55. When you go to a new place and there are animals, do you go up to the animals to say hi or keep away?
56. If you could choose, would you be an eagle or a horse?
57. Would you be a predator like a lion or a prey like a gazelle?
58. What are some of the things you do with your pets?
59. When your family goes away on holiday, do you leave your pets at home or take them with you?
Studies, Hobbies, and Chores
For most of your life as a teen and young adult, you are studying, practicing a hobby, or helping your parents with chores. Finding out what other people your age do helps you fit in and understand different families.
60. Do you take turns cooking in your house? What do you like to make when it’s your turn?
61. Have you got a journal at home, and what do you write in it if you do?
62. What do you collect, and why?
63. If you don’t do your chores at home, what do your parents do?
64. Which chores are your favorite to do?
65. What are some hobbies you enjoy?
66. Which is your favorite subject at school?
67. When you study, do you prefer absolute silence or do you play soft music?
68. Have you ever failed a test? Which subject was it, and how did you feel?
69. How does your family decide who gets to do the chores?
Dreams and Hopes
When you know what someone hopes for, you know them, and when you know what they dream of, you understand them.
70. What is your favorite type of dream to have at night?
71. Have you made any of your dreams come true?
72. What is your biggest hope, and what would you do to make it happen?
73. Do you believe it’s important to have dreams, or should you rather be realistic?
74. Are you a hopeful person, or do you easily give up?
75. What would you say is the difference between a dream and a goal?
76. If there were no restrictions in life, what would your biggest dream be?
77. How have you had your hopes dashed before?
78. Which is best, a dream come true, or a goal reached?
79. When do you think it’s okay to give up on a dream?
Money, Saving, and Spending
Money can change a life, or ruin it, depending on what you believe about money.
80. Do you get a monthly allowance, and what do you do with it?
81. If you were to pick up a wallet filled with money, would you keep it or find the owner?
82. You need lunch money, but your mom didn’t give you any. Is it okay to take some from a friend without asking?
83. Do you save money every month or only when you have extra?
84. Do you spend all your money each month on random shopping, or do you have specific things you need to buy?
85. Would you give away all your money to charity or to help a friend?
86. Have you ever run a business? Did you make a profit?
87. Do you prefer cash over swiping a card?
88. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
89. Can teens go broke, and what happens then?
Strange Things You Enjoy and Do
Our uniqueness will change you and help you be memorable to people.
90. If you run through the rain, would you splash in puddles or run for cover?
91. When you are outside in the park, do you keep your shoes on, or do you take them off?
92. What are your nervous habits when you are worried?
93. What do you do as soon as you wake up?
94. Before you go to bed, what are some of the things you do?
95. You go on a school camp, but your roommate snores—what do you do?
96. Do you prefer short nails or long, and do you cut with a nail scissor or clippers?
97. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had for breakfast?
98. What is your reaction when you win or succeed?
99. What is a habit you are most embarrassed by?
Relationships and Family
We are who we are because of our family, and our idea of relationships will be determined by our experiences.
100. Which family member are you closest to?
101. Who is the family member you avoid at Christmas?
102. What family rituals does your family have?
103. Would you take your first boyfriend or girlfriend home?
104. Does your family get together for the holidays, and what do you do?
105. What are some of the funny family stories you remember?
106. What characteristics do you think make for a successful romantic relationship?
107. Do you have siblings, and what are some of the naughty things you did as kids?
108. What was your first date like?
109. What is your first memory of your parents?
When you know what someone likes, you have a road map to their life.
110. Can you remember your first favorite food as a kid?
111. Would your favorite type of meat top your choice in your favorite dessert?
112. What is your favorite Sunday afternoon pastime?
113. Who is your favorite teacher at school?
114. Which of your friends is currently your favorite?
115. Would you share your favorite clothes with your best friend? (#sharewear)
116. What is your favorite color to wear?
117. If you could paint your room in any three colors, which would you choose?
118. Who is your favorite movie star and why?
119. What is your favorite quote from a book?
Final Thoughts on This or That Questions for Teens
Children and young people are still learning about life and each other, so this or that questions can be a great way for them to break the ice. Plus, by learning about other people, you discover your own truth.
Answering this or that questions is fun, and it makes communication effortless. So jump in and have a fun round of question and answer as you also discover the amazing people around you! Want to learn more about bonding with your romantic partner? There’s a list of questions for that too! Check out our fun read on fun this or that questions for couples.
See more HappierHuman articles designed to help you connect with your teens:
- 67 Positive Affirmations for Teens
- 17 Mindfulness Activities and Exercises for Teens
- How Parents Can Help Their Teen Overcome Anxiety
- 37 Gratitude Prompts for Teens to Build the Thankfulness Habit