I have received amazing comments from so many of my coaching clients, friends and acquaintances from the last series of questions that I provided, that I’m just thrilled to be ready to send you this next exercise. I was told that performing the exercise was fun. It brought people closer to each other. It helped individuals understand themselves. It took them on a journey beyond the superficial. It helped people listen better and focus. For those contemplating new relationships, it revealed some potential weaknesses and, equally if not of greater importance, disclosed some real potential for love. And one life coaching client said it stimulated positive thoughts and dreams about the future.
This next set of questions, takes us a step further into self-discovery. So, let’s get started:
1. Name three things you and your partner – or the partner you hope to have – share in common.
2. For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?
3. If you could change anything in the way you were raised, what would it be?
4. Tell your entire life story in four minutes. (This is really fun because it crystallizes what in your life you consider to be the most important. And, what you leave out is going to result in an interesting revelation.)
5. What is your most treasured memory?
6. What is your most terrible memory?
7. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
8. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
As I told you last time, credit for these exercises belongs to psychologist Arthur Aron, who developed them originally for people who want to fall in love and learn about their potential partner. But, the implications and uses for the questions are, to me, much more far reaching and potentially impactful.
If you are going to use these questions to develop closeness to another individual, you may want to read the original instructions that Aron provided with the questions:
This is a study of interpersonal closeness, and your task, which we think will be quite enjoyable, is simply to get close to your partner. We believe that the best way for you to get close to your partner is for you to share with them and for them to share with you. Of course, when we advise you about getting close to your partner, we are giving advice regarding your behavior in this demonstration only, we are not advising you about your behavior outside of this demonstration.
In order to help you get close we've arranged for the two of you to engage in a kind of sharing game. Your sharing time will be for about one hour, after which time we ask you to fill out a questionnaire concerning your experience of getting close to your partner.
You have been given three sets of slips. Each slip has a question or a task written on it. As soon as you both finish reading these instructions, you should begin with the Set I slips. One of you should read aloud the first slip and then BOTH do what it asks, starting with the person who read the slip aloud. When you are both done, go on to the second slip--one of you reading it aloud and both doing what it asks. And so forth.
As you go through the slips, one at a time, please don't skip any slips--do each in order. If it asks you a question, share your answer with your partner. Then let him or her share their answer to the same question with you. If it is a task, do it first, then let your partner do it. Alternate who reads aloud (and thus goes first) with each new slip.
You will be informed when to move on to the next set of slips. It is not important to finish all the slips in each set within the time allotted. Take plenty of time with each slip, doing what it asks thoroughly and thoughtfully.
You may begin!
Next time – a series of questions designed to help you fall in love!