Thought provoking questions are great when you're in the mood to dig into conversation with real substance. Far from your basic small talk, these are the questions to ask when you want to spark a fascinating discussion about heavy topics.
There's a time and place for casual chit-chat. These deep questions to ask are best suited for special moments that you want to remember. These are the questions that help you create and strengthen bonds and form meaningful connections with other people.
And another great thing: with thought provoking questions, you may even learn something new and gain fresh perspectives.
Without further ado, let's start our journey into this mind-expanding edition of questions to ask the people in your life.
5 Best Thought Provoking Questions
Spanning a vast range of topics, these thought provoking questions get your gears turning.
Some of them make you think about yourself, others making you question the nature of human existence. Some are introspective, philosophical, and existential. Some of them cover real-life topics, and others are more along the lines of thought exercises. All of them have one thing in common: they provoke thought.
1. At what point are we good enough? When are we self-improved enough to accept ourselves?
This question makes you think about your life journey, personal values, and the definition of true success.
2. What in life, is beautiful to you? Where do you find inspiration?
Deceptively simple, this question can help you to see ordinary things in a new light.
3. If you were a genie and a person asked you this wish, "I wish you would not grant me this wish", what would you do?
Congratulations, you just made a genie want to return to the bottle for the next few millennia.
4. Why does your nose run and your feet smell?
This is a fun question that makes you think about the nature of language.
5. Can you dream of having a dream?
How deep into dreams-within-dreams can you go? Have you ever experienced a lucid dream?
9 Deep and Thought Provoking Conversation Topics
These deep conversation topics ignite discussions that matter. Whether you're picking the brain of a close friend or trying to get to know your crush on a deeper level, these questions are perfect for creating conversations that form lasting connections.
Try not to jump around to too many heavy conversation topics at a time. Allow your conversational companion to fully hash out the topic. Challenge each other to really get to the root of the topic and explore multiple perspectives. In the case of thought provoking questions to ponder upon, go for quality over quantity.
6. When did your life change for the better?
Was there a specific moment or was it a gradual process? Or, are they still awaiting that change?
7. What's your personal heaven?
Learn what really makes the other person tick.
8. How do you manage stress?
Everyone has their own methods for staying grounded. This question can help you with your own personal self-development.
9. What do you believe stands between you and complete happiness?
And what can be done to overcome that obstacle?
10. If you had the opportunity to travel to another planet with no chance of ever coming back to Earth, would you go?
This question touches on the broader scope of humanity and the desire to explore the universe.
11. What’s the one thing you wish to accomplish before you die?
The key word in this question is one. What is the absolute most important item on the bucket list?
12. What’s something you think every person should experience in their lifetime?
This is a great question because it gives you a new goal: go out and gain a new life experience.
13. Do you ever think there could be a world leader that has power over all countries?
Would a global leader unite or divide us?
14. What do you think would be one of the best steps we could take toward ending poverty around the world?
Sometimes all it takes is one idea to create a snowball effect.
5 Deep and Thought Provoking Conversation Starters
Starting a conversation beyond the surface level can be tough. These handy deep conversation starters are your trusty cheat sheet to kick things off right.
Whether you're passing time at the office with a new co-worker or gazing at the stars with that special someone in your life, these conversation starters help you move away from the mundane and into more extraordinary territories.
15. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?
If so, why? What makes that opinion controversial? Is it possible you're afraid to say it because deep inside, you know it's wrong?
16. What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?
Wisdom is meant to be shared.
17. What is one mistake that you will never do again?
Mistakes provide excellent learning opportunities. Share your failures to prevent each from making the same blunders.
18. Would it be wrong to steal in order to feed a starving child?
Discuss the nature of morality and how it can shift depending on context.
19. Is it easier to hate or to love? Why?
Both are powerful emotions. Which one comes more naturally, and do you think that holds true for all people?
7 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask a Guy
These questions to ask a guy are geared towards the male perspective. Sometimes you want to move the conversation beyond your latest crush or yesterday's game, and these questions are for just that. Guys can learn a lot from each other, so be sure to really absorb his answers and apply them to your own life.
20. If you could fix one world problem, what would it be?
There are plenty of problems out there -- which one is most pressing?
21. If you could have chosen your own name, what would you have picked?
This question is a lot of fun. Discuss what names they would have chosen now, as well as when they were younger.
22. If your home was on fire and you only had time to grab 3 things, what would they be?
Some possessions are worth more than money. Discuss the most important items in your life and why they hold such special significance.
23. What's something that no one else knows about you?
Simple and effective, this question cuts to the chase and helps you learn about each other on a deeper level.
24. How do you picture your life when you're 60?
Be sure to also consider how technology will shape the future.
25. What is your life story?
Make sure you have plenty of time to really go in-depth with this one.
26. Do you believe there is good in everyone?
Are people inherently good, evil, or a little bit of both?
6 Deep and Thought Provoking Questions to Ask a Girl
As guys, we can learn a whole lot from the fairer sex. These deep questions to ask a girl help you see things from a different perspective. They also give her an avenue to open up to you, strengthening your connection on a deeper level.
Use these questions to ask a girl not just to get to know her, but to see the world from a female point of view. You may find that her answers help to make you a more well-rounded person, which is naturally going to help you out in your romantic life too.
27. What’s the best approach to resolving conflict?
Every situation is different, but what are some tried-and-true methods for deescalation?
28. Do you think the end or the means is most important? Explain.
Do the results justify the methods? Is it okay to commit atrocities in the name of a greater good?
29. What are a few things that must be present in order for you to want to continue dating someone?
Discuss dating deal-breakers. If you're interested in pursuing a relationship with her, pay very close attention.
30. What is your biggest passion?
Discuss what gets you out of bed in the morning.
31. Where do you draw the line between helping people and showing them how to help themselves? How do you strike that balance?
When is it best to teach someone how to fish instead of making them dinner?
32. What do you think is the most significant event in the history of the human race? Explain.
There have been plenty of game-changers. This is a big question with plenty of potential for big answers.
5 Deep and Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Your Girlfriend
You can spend a lifetime with someone and still learn new things from them every day. These deep questions to ask your girlfriend help you create those moments and feelings that last forever.
From pillow talk to passing time on long car rides, these questions to ask your girlfriend help you to keep the conversation fresh and interesting. After all, coming up with questions to ponder upon is hard after you've been together for a while.
33. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
This is a fun question ad the answer can help you to understand what qualities she values in a person.
34. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Discuss the nature of fame and whether it's overall a positive or negative thing.
35. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Remember her answer, and take steps to help her achieve her dreams.
36. Do you believe in destiny? Do you think it’s fate that brought us together?
Is your relationship predestined in the stars, or is just pure, blind luck?
37. In your opinion, which is the most beautiful place in the world? What do you like about that place?
Here's a great way to get some ideas for your next vacation together.
7 Funny but Thought Provoking Questions to Ask
Never underestimate the power of humor to unite people. Yes, these funny questions to ask questions are going to get a chuckle, but they still get the cranial juices flowing.
38. Do news reporters wear pants behind the news desk?
Or do they even have legs at all?
39. Did Noah have woodpeckers on the ark? If he did, where did he keep them?
With the termites?
40. Why is "Charlie" short for "Charles" if they are both the same number of letters?
If you have a friend named Charlie, now is a good time to give him a call.
41. In horse racing, why do they award the rider and not the horse?
The work-to-reward ratio seems awfully skewed.
42. If sour cream is past its expiration date is it good then?
How sour is too sour?
43. If an orange is orange, why isn't a lime called a green or a lemon called a yellow?
And which came first, the color or the fruit?
44. If the folks at the psychic hotlines were really psychic, wouldn't they call you first?
And why do they need you to tell them your credit card number?
4 Philosophical and Thought Provoking Questions
If you're ready to dive into the fundamental nature of existence, knowledge, and reality as we know it, these philosophical questions should do the trick.
There are no right and wrong answers, and sometimes the journey to get to an answer is more rewarding than the answer itself. Reflect on these questions, and feel free to come back to them again and again for new perspectives and ideas.
45. If a fork were made of gold would it still be considered silverware?
Are there wealthy people out there dining with goldware and platinumware?
46. Why isn't chocolate considered a vegetable, since chocolate comes from cocoa beans, and all beans are a vegetable?
And did you just discover the ultimate dieting loophole?
47. Why do people say, "You can't have your cake and eat it too"? Why would someone get cake if they can't eat it?
Do some people just really enjoy looking at cake?
48. If insects are so obsessed with bright lights, why don’t they fly off to the sun?
Maybe that's what they've been training for all this time.
12 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
These existential questions span a wide range of topics about the very nature of existence.
Perfect for when you're thirsting for true knowledge and wisdom, these questions can give you that "Eureka!" moment when everything just falls into place. They can also make you question everything, so try not to go into meltdown mode if the conversation gets too real.
49. In one sentence, who are you?
Mandatory brevity forces you to really think about your answer.
50. In one word, what do you live for?
Again, sometimes you can say more by saying less.
51. What does it look like to make the most of your life?
Everyone has their own goals and aspirations. What do yours look like?
52. What could you pay more attention to in life?
It's a fast-moving world, and sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses. What are the 'roses' in your life?
53. If you could choose to have no more challenges or obstacles in life, would you?
Is it better to live an easy life of leisure or a difficult one that builds character, knowledge, and experience?
54. Do the people in your life bring the best out of you?
And are you working to bring out the best in them?
55. Is your life complicated by unnecessary things?
If so, what steps do you need to take to de-clutter?
56. Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in your life? Why?
Is there an age limit on goals?
57. If your life was a movie, what would the title be?
This question can be a lot of fun, but it also cuts to the root of how people view themselves.
58. Are you afraid of being your true self around others? Why?
Do you wear a metaphorical mask or your heart on your sleeve?
59. How often do your biggest worries and fears come true?
Taking a realistic inventory of how your fears affect your life helps you to overcome them and see them in a different light.
60. What lessons in life did you learn to hard way?
Discuss the hardships that resulted in valuable life lessons so neither of you have to make the same mistakes.
Downloadable and Printable List of Thought Provoking Questions
Here is a downloadable and printable list of thought provoking questions (right click the image and select Save Image As...):
More Great Questions To Ask
When you're ready move on to more lighthearted conversations, try these questions:
- These random questions keep you on your toes. Bust them out when you want to blow minds.
- Use this list of fun questions to ask to keep the mood cheery and get some laughs.
- Feel like taking the discussion into bizarro world? Try these weird questions to ask.
How to Ask Thought Provoking Questions: 4 Steps
Follow these steps to get the most out of these thought provoking questions:
1. Ask a Question and Stick With It
These types of deep questions deserve thought and introspection. The answers aren't always immediately evident. The goal is to provoke thought, so allow them to marinate before you move on.
2. Don't Overdo It
Heavy discussions can be mentally exhausting. Know when it's time to move on. Pay attention to the other person's body language, and be prepared to move into lighthearted territories if they seem overwhelmed.
3. Keep the Conversation Focused
It's all too easy to jump from topic to topic when you're flexing the mind. Try to stay on track, and then revisit other topics after the current discussion has reached its natural conclusion. If a particularly interesting topics comes up, jot it down so you remember to come back to it at an appropriate time.
4. Respect Personal Information
During the course of your deep conversations, it's highly probably that your conversation partner may talk about personal information that's presumably for your ears only. Put those details in your vault, and leave them there. If you want to engage in thought provoking questions, you must be a trustworthy confidant.
This robust list of deep questions to ask should keep you going for a while. Each thought provoking question has the potential to spark years of ongoing discussion. Savor the answers you get, and try to apply them to your own life.
These questions to ask are powerful tools with the potential to change perspectives and morph points of view. Give them the attention they deserve, and only use them when the moment is right.