I think most of us get that being connected emotionally can be a healthy thing, especially when the people you are connected with are also healthy, emotionally, in a general sense.
Besides putting your phone down are there other ways to strengthen your emotional ties? Of course! I was perusing some research about the subject and came across something very interesting. For those of you who want to get more romantically involved use these 36 very interesting questions and then look into each other’s eyes for four minutes. If you don’t need the romance, skip the eye looking thing. Here’s the background on these questions. Arthur Aron, a Professor at Stony Brook University basically found that he could get strangers to fall in love with each other if they asked each other these questions and looked into each other’s eyes for four minutes. One couple in the study actually got married later. Seriously. Powerful right? So use these to strengthen an adult relationship and be careful if you’re not interested in romance. I’m sure you can tailor them to serve your purpose in developing deeper more meaningful relationship. Here they are:
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
- Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
- What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
- If you were able to live to the age of90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
- Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
- Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- Take 4 minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained anyone quality or ability, what would it be?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
- Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- What is your most terrible memory?
- If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
- What does friendship mean to you?
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of 5 items.
- How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
- Make 3 true "we" statements each. For instance 'We are both in this room feeling ... "
- Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... "
- If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
- 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.
- Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
- Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
- What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
- 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?
- 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 anyone item. What would it be? Why?
- Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
- 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.
There is research suggesting we need more social connections and bonding outside of even a healthy marriage and family life. If you rely too much on your spouse or family it puts too much pressure on them to satisfy your social needs. This actually is a hard one for me to accept since I would be content without friends because my wife is so awesome, but she needs a break from me and even though we adore our little ones we need a break from them, they could use a break from us. Want more evidence that social interactions are important? Another study from people at Brigham Young University found that comparing the risk of low social support and connection to other risk factors they found that
Low social interaction compares to the following:
- Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Equivalent to being an alcoholic
- More harmful than not exercising
- Twice as harmful as obesity
Want more suggestions on how to build more meaningful connections with others? Here are four:
- Listen more, speak less – don’t be a conversational narcissist and don’t blame that on your so-called ADHD.
- Talk about the good in others, what you say about others says more about you.
- Focus on similarities. You don’t have to be exactly alike, its common ground you look for.
- Express appreciation; and not just “Thank You” If you really appreciate that your spouse works hard at home show him/her by helping maintain the order along with noticing and thanking.