"Relationships don't deepen naturally. In the absence of action, they will stall." (246)
Think about some of the relationships you have right now. Whether it is coworkers, friends, family, or acquaintances, how would you rate those relationships? Some of them may be extremely deep and meaningful while others may just be surface level. What makes the meaningful relationships meaningful? How do we get more of them?
If you think more about those meaningful relationships, can you think of times that helped strengthen them? Maybe it was a fireside talk or a chat over coffee. What happened in those instances? You probably notice that you and your partner were both responsive to each other. One person would share something below surface level, then the other would respond going a bit deeper. You share vulnerabilities with each other that help strengthen the bond between the two of you. You are taking turns sharing some of you personally with another person, and, as long as the other person does the same, a deeper, more meaningful bond can grow.
Art Aron, a psychologist, developed a study with 36 questions that students participated in. The 36 questions progressed into more intense and deeper questions as they progressed, and, after the session was over, the two students that shared the questions with each other felt "as close to that stranger as 30% of college students feel to the most intimate relationship in their lives" (245).
Here is a sampling:
"What would constitute a 'perfect' day for you?"
"What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?"
"What roles do love and affection play in your life?"
Now those are just 3 questions out of 36, but check out 36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together to view all of them and Art Aron's study to learn more. Then, challenge yourself today to take one relationship and push a little deeper than usual and see what happens.
Post inspired by The Power of Moments by Chip Heath & Dan Heath