How Do We Learn Most About Another Person?

“You learn more about a person by living in his house for a week than by years of running into him at social gatherings.”

–Philip Lopate, “Reflections on Subletting” in Against Joie de Vivre: Personal Essays

Agree, disagree? I agree.

What are other good ways to get to know someone? Travel together, work on a project together, meet his or her family, look at the photos on his or her phone…

  • JaneInAZ

    Yes, traveling together can be a delightful surprise when you’re both in unusual circumstances and you find characteristics day-to-day living doesn’t elicit. Can you tell I’m lucky to have a good friend who’s also a great traveling companion?

  • Kimmie Merkley

    I whole-heartedly agree with this. When I did an internship in Germany, I lived with a host family I met through church. I attended their church with them on Sundays and I remember one Sunday near the end of my internship when I looked around at the congregation and saw people there who had known my host family for years. Yet I distinctly understood that I knew the family far better after two months than anyone else in that room did.

  • statmam

    Browsing his/her bookshelves…which, of course, you could do while living in the house.

    • gretchenrubin

      Great suggestion!

      Gretchen Rubin

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