By Raven Fon | UniSoulTheory.com
ONE FAMOUS STUDY FOUND THAT THESE 36 QUESTIONS, ARRANGED IN A CERTAIN WAY, WERE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO ACCELERATE INTIMACY, CLOSENESS, AND LOVE IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS.
While the modern age of technology has made it easier to communicate with others using social media, tweets, and emojis, genuine human connections have become more difficult to create and maintain.
Arthur Aron, along with a team of researchers, published a study in 1997 that discovered a scientific solution to this quandary.
“One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers, is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personalistic self-disclosure,” says Aron in an excerpt from the study.
The basic principle behind this theory is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with another person, it can feel like an extremely difficult task. This exercise pushes beyond our personal barriers and forces the issue.
Maybe it’s because we are taught to protect ourselves by building walls. We think that distancing ourselves from authentic relationships will save us from potential heartache and unnecessary complexities in life. The truth is quite the opposite.
Life will inevitably have moments of pain and chaos, but the walls we build do more than keep potential heartache at bay. Our walls keep out those who wish to help us as well.
Despite feeling introverted and the need for seclusion at times, us humans are social creatures. We need to actively participate in healthy relationships with clear communication- it’s one of the basic principals for achieving happiness. But, we’re impatient, and forming genuine bonds with another person takes a lot of time.
Again, maybe it has something to do with those walls of ours. They take so long to tear down. Sometimes, years can pass before you truly feel like you know someone. Thanks to this research, we can bypass those time-consuming issues, and allow mutual vulnerability to instantly bring us closer together.
The following 36 questions, published by the New York Times, are broken up into 3 sets of 12. Each set asks more personal and probing questions than the one before.
If you want to try this out with your partner, or even a stranger, the NYT has an interactive app (found here) with instructions and all the information you need to establish a deeper connection.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.