While group games can be fun, sometimes an activity like a getting-to-know-you worksheet is a better way to break the ice at parties.
Getting to Know You Worksheet: 10 Reasons It Works
- People are very used to filling out forms about themselves.
- Shy people can write down truths about themselves without having to say them out loud.
- People can read about each other and keep their reactions hidden.
- It's easier to get everyone in a common frame of reference by asking them the same questions.
- You can send the worksheet to them beforehand, in the invitation.
- People can control who gets to see their worksheet, which makes them feel safer.
- The worksheets can be anonymous, at first, encouraging people to be honest.
- The questions can be as silly, personal, or unusual as the host likes, which can spark conversations.
- The getting-to-know-you worksheet can be themed to the event (Halloween, Superbowl, etc).
- For the more technologically savvy, the worksheets could be filled out online like surveys at sites such as [www.my3q.com My3q.com].
The Problem With Worksheets
Of course, there is also one very large problem with a getting-to-know-you worksheet, whether using it in a big group or just as a couple - it means a great deal of time is spent head down, filling out the form. That's time when you are not interacting with the other people, which is the best way to get to know anyone.
There's also the problem of language, which is twofold: the questions and the answers.
- The questions may be perfectly clear to the person who created the worksheet, but may not be to the people reading it. The same goes for questions such as "What's your favorite football team?" If the person isn't a fan, it's going to alienate them.
- The answers may be in the people's heads, but not easily expressed. Not everyone is as facile with words and may have some difficulty expressing what they really mean.
One of the other problems with worksheets is that they are often simple, one-word answers - which any dating expert will tell you is not the way to build communication. Leading questions are better, and questions that lead to more questions going back and forth (also known as the art of conversation) are best of all.
Strategies and Sources for Worksheets to Get to Know
There are many ways to get around the problems listed above. One way that works very well for couples-based groups is to have two circles, an inner circle and an outer one. Everyone asks one question of each other across the circle, and then the inner circle moves one person to the left. The next question is asked and answered. This leads to people talking to each other, but never with the pressure of having to ask or answer more than one question. More interestingly, the worksheets end up getting filled with composites of everyone's likes, dislikes, answers, and more - so you can learn a lot about the other people in the group without ever feeling put in the spotlight.
Most of the sources of worksheets online are designed for schools, but are easily adapted to any occasion. You can find lists of questions for first dates, or just about relationships in general right here on LoveToKnow.