Conversations are hard! Ever found yourself in a situation where you want to bond with a person but the awkward pauses keep getting longer?
I used to feel I was the most boring person in the room and looking back, oh I was so wrong. The problem was not that I was boring, it was that I lacked conversational skills and confidence. While that is a whole topic to be dealt separately, it does help to carry few proven weapons in your social arsenal.
Here are four ways to open a conversation so that the other person will not only enjoy but will be intrigued to continue. These are variations of what we call personality tests. The beauty of these personality tests is that they are inevitably interesting to anybody with any background. And they do let you connect with someone at a deeper level. Plus, they are fun. Score!
So, next time you meet somebody and want to engage in a more bonding conversation, ask them to play these games with you.
1. The Japanese Cube Personality Test
This is by far my favorite test and I used it with a few friends to surprising revelations. Here are the questions to ask (by the way, feel free to play it yourself first before seeing the interpretation)-
How to start
You are walking alone in the desert and you come across a cube.
- How big is the cube?
- What is it made of?
- Can you see inside the cube?
- How big is the cube compared to the desert?
Next, you see a ladder.
- Is the ladder leaning on the cube?
- What color is the ladder?
- What is the distance between the cube and the ladder?
Next, you see a horse. Yeah, bear with me here. Don’t use your logic to figure out what is a horse doing in the desert.
- What is the distance between the cube and the horse?
- What color is the horse?
- Is the horse tied up or roaming freely?
- Is the horse wearing a saddle?
It gets tensed now. Tell them that there is a storm coming.
- What is the distance between the storm and the cube?
- Is the size of the storm big or small?
- Is the storm passing by or staying in place?
- Is the storm violent, thunder, and lightning or calm and light rain?
Finally, you see a flower.
- Is there only one flower or many?
- Where is the flower in relation to the cube, far or near?
- What color is the flower?
The cube represents your ego and how you see yourself in the world. If the cube is transparent that means people can see right through you. The material the cube is made of represents feelings, and how tough of a front you put up. The size of the cube compared to the desert represents your ego. If the cube is large in comparison to the desert you think highly of yourself.
The ladder represents your friends. If the ladder is leaning on the cube, your friends tend to lean on you for support. The distance between the cube and the ladder shows how close you are to your friends.
The horse represents your lover or ideal lover. The distance between the horse and the cube represents the closeness you have with your current lover. If the horse is tied up, then it shows the need to be controlling in a relationship. A horse with a saddle denotes you feel safe with them. A free and unsaddled horse might mean you view your lover as uncontrollable, unpredictable.
The storm represents some obstacle in your life. If the storm is passing, the issue is current with a resolution in the near future. If the storm is staying put, it has been an ongoing obstacle in your life with no resolution in sight. The size of the storm represents how big of an obstacle this is to you, as does the distance. The further away from the storm the less importance you place on it. If the storm is violent it means this obstacle is causing quite some grief.
The flower represents your children or desire to have children. The closer the flower is to the cube, the closer you feel to your children or the thought of having children. The more flowers the more kids you wish to have.
2. The Castle Test
I like this test too, it is an inward-looking test that focuses on social aspects of your personality rather than relationships alone.
How to start
You begin at the entrance of the castle. Visualise the entrance door to it.
- How is the door? simple or daunting?
- Is it covered by plants or something else and is somewhat hard to find?
- What is it made of?
You pass through the door of the castle and realize that there is nobody else inside. What is the first thing you see?
- A huge library, wall to wall full of books
- A huge fireplace and a hot fire burning
- A large banquet hall with huge chandeliers and red carpets
- A long corridor with many closed doors
Next, you find a staircase and decide to climb it. What does the staircase look like?
- It looks sharp and massive like not leading anywhere
- It is an impressive spiral, grand staircase
After you climb the stairs, you reach a small room in which there is only one window.
- How big is it?
- What do you see when you look out of the window?
- Large waves crashing furiously on rocks
- A snowy forest
- A green valley
- A small, vibrant city
Now, you go down the stairs and you’re back in the area where you were when you first entered the castle. You go ahead and find a door at the rear of the castle. You open it and go out in a yard. What does it look like?
- It is full of hypertrophic plants, grasses, broken wood and fallen barbed wire
- It is impeccably maintained with countless colorful flowers
- It’s a little jungle, but you can imagine how beautiful it would be if someone cleaned and put it in order
The door represents your attitude to new experiences. If you imagined a simple, everyday door, you probably are not afraid of any new challenge and will test your luck in new things and situations without a second thought. The hidden door means you probably are unsure what you need to do in the future.
Room inside the castle
The space inside the castle is what you believe others feel because of you. A library denotes that you are the person who supports others and helps them find answers to their problems. The large fireplace means you believe you cause a feeling of warmth and passion. A fancy ballroom suggests that you feel that you can dazzle people around you and that you have a lot to give. If you ended up in a long corridor with closed doors, you feel that you are difficult to understand and others will have to try much to ‘penetrate’ more within you (insecure?).
The stairway shows the image that you have of life. The sharp and massive staircase shows a person who sees life as suffering, with many difficulties. Unlike the beautiful spiral staircase which shows how romantic a person is.
The window is the way you feel right now. A small window means that you feel depressed and trapped in your life. A gigantic one means you feel invincible and so on.
The view from the window
It is the overview of your whole life – A stormy sea shows a hectic and erratic life, while a snowy forest is associated with a person who lived isolated and detached from others. The green valley shows that your life is calm and steady, without much stress and anxiety. Finally, the vibrant city is related to someone who generally lives full life socializing with lots of people.
The courtyard of the castle
It is the image that you have of your future! A neat and shiny garden denotes a secure and optimistic outlook with things already in order. On the other, a picture of a promising but neglected garden shows an optimistic person, but one worried that he is not paying enough attention to his future. Those who chose the grassy, damaged garden are pessimistic and insecure.
3. The Forest Test
This leans more towards talking about your love life, so be careful in playing this with the right person.
How to start
Time to visualize yourself in a forest this time.
- What is the first animal you see?
- What is the second animal you see?
Imagine now there is a hut in front of you. Do you:
- Bypass it
- Knock before going in
- Crash in
Now imagine yourself inside the hut.
- You see 20 candles in it, how many will you light up? (1-20)
- What is the shape of the table that you see in this hut – square or circle?
- How many chairs are at this table?
- There is a jug on the table, what is it made of?
- How much water is in this jug? – none, half, full?
Now imagine that you are out of the hut and walking in the vicinity of the forest.
- You reach a beautiful waterfall. How fast is the speed of the water in this waterfall?
- How many swans are there near the waterfall?
Now you’ve reached the river bank, and your destination is just on the opposite bank.
- How do you go over?
- Jump into the river and swim across
- Find another way to cross it
- If I ask you to describe the sky, which 3 words would you use?
- Lastly, what 3 words would you use to describe the sea?
First animal represents what you think of yourself. Second animal represents what you think of your partner
Entering the hut represents how ready are you for a relationship – bypassing means not, knocking and going in means you are ready in a healthy way and rushing in means you are feeling insecure and desperate to be in one.
The more candles you light up, the more generous you feel in using your resources for yourself. If you pick a Square table, it means you are “stubborn” and a Circle table means you are “flexible”(God knows why).
Number of chairs you see around the table is a measure of your hospitability and generosity towards other people. The material of the jug represents what your heart is made of. (Again dont ask me why). Amount of water is how full of love you feel in your own life.
Speed of the waterfall represents your sensual drive. Number of swans refer to how many close friends you have. If you choose to swim through the river, can denote a hasty unthoughtful action (although if you know swimming, why not?). Looking for a proper way to go through shows you think before you act.
What you say after reaching the other side denotes what you would feel upon finding your life partner (or your biggest goal because I do not think life partner is the only goal we all have!). Your expression for sky shows what you feel about love and for the sea represents what you think about love making. 🙂
4. Love Path Test
Again, it is all about romance and love but you already knew that from the name!
How to start
1. You are walking to your boyfriend/girlfriend’s house. There are two roads to get there. One is a straight path which takes you there quickly, but is very plain and boring. The other is curvy and full of wonderful sights on the way, but takes quite a while to reach your loved one’s house.
Which path do you choose? Short or long?
2. On the way, you see two rose bushes. One is full of white roses. One is full of red roses. You decide to pick 20 roses for your boyfriend/girlfriend.
What color combination do you choose? (you can pick a mix)
3. You finally get to your boyfriend/girlfriend’s house. You ring the bell and the maid answers. You can ask the maid to please get your loved one, or you may go get them yourself.
Which action do you take? Ask the maid or do it yourself?
4. Now, you go up to your girlfriend/boyfriends room. No one is there. You can leave the roses by the window sill, or on the bed.
Where do you put the roses? Bed or window?
5. Later, its time for bed. You and your loved one go to sleep, in separate rooms. You wake up in the morning, and go to your boyfriend/girlfriend’s room to check up on him/her. You enter the room:
Is he/she awake or sleeping?
6. It’s time to go home now, and you start to head back. You can take either road home now: The plain, boring one that gets you home fast; or the curvy, sight-filled road that you can just casually take your time with.
Which road do you choose? Short or long?
1. The roads represent your attitude towards falling in love. If you chose the short one, you fall in love quickly and easily. If you chose the long one, you take your time and do not fall in love easily.
2. The number of red roses represents how much you expect to give in a relationship. The number of white roses represents how much you expect in a relationship. Therefore, if a person chose all red with one white, he/she gives 90% in the relationship but expects to receive only 10% back.
3. This question shows your attitude in handling relationship problems. If you asked the maid to get your loved one, then you may beat around the bush, maybe asking a third party to intervene. Avoidance of problems runs high. If you went and got your loved one yourself, then you are pretty direct. If there is a problem, you confront it and deal with it. You want to work it out right away.
4. Where do you put the roses? On the window sill or on the bed?
The placement of the roses indicates how often you’d like to see your boyfriend/girlfriend. Placing the roses on the bed means you need lots of reassurance in the relationship, and you’d want to see your loved one every day, if possible.
Placing the roses by the window show that you don’t expect or need to see your loved one too often.
5. Do you find your love asleep or awake?
Finding your boyfriend/ girlfriend asleep: You accept your loved one the way they are. Finding them awake: You expect him/her to change for you.
6. Which road do you choose to go home?
The short and long roads now represent how long you stay in love. If you chose the short one, you fall out of love easily. If you chose the long one, you tend to stay in love for a long time.
Lastly, it is fun to understand various personalities and what works best for you. So, if you have been living under a rock and did not know about the famous Myers Briggs personality test, you can check what is your personality type for free on this website.
But at the end, these tests are just a way to start a conversation. But they give you a ground to build on to. Once you know a bit more about the person, take it over and ask them questions around it. Share what you answered when you were taking the test. For example, if someone saw a storm coming in towards them in the cube test, ask them if they are going through a stressful period. It is about being empathetic and a good listener in the end!
Happy talking 🙂
The tests are not designed by me and the references are taken from following sources:
- Cube test – https://www.personality-and-aptitude-career-tests.com/cube-personality-test.html
- Forest test – https://www.andrews.edu/~mtse/personality.htm
- Love path – https://www.quotev.com/story/5102785/Relational-Psychology-Personality-Tests/18
- Castle test – https://www.learning-mind.com/the-castle-an-impressive-test-that-will-say-much-about-your-personality/