Here's the story: In 1995, Arthur Aron, a psychologist at State University of New York at Stony Brook, devised an experiment using three sets of questions, requiring pairs of participants who were strangers to reveal their answers to each other -- divulging increasingly personal information as they drilled farther down through the list.
The whole thing concluded with the partners staring into each others' eyes for four minutes after having revealed more personal information than one might share in a lifetime with a close friend -- or even a spouse.
The idea was to see whether the process of answering the questions could generate an artificial feeling of closeness between two strangers. After the original experiment, one pair of participants ended up marrying, which is what led to the recent New York Times feature story that brought this odd little piece of research to viral status.
Because, as a divorce recovery coach, I ask questions for a living (listening carefully and providing insights my clients are not able to see for themselves), I know that most women have never answered questions like these -- and I immediately thought, "How much more love and compassion might women have toward themselves if they asked themselves some of these questions? How much insight would this give them about who they are and what the major themes of their lives are?"
Rogue uses for the 36 questions: Try them now : )
Please comment, if you decide to try it. Does it bring you closer to someone you'd love to have as a friend? If you decide to answer the questions for yourself (without another person present), does the process give you more love and compassion for yourself and your life journey so far? Hint: These are great questions for journaling.
I'm thinking of building a party around the 36 questions theme. If there's an even number of guests, the host can just facilitate (and pour drinks). If an odd number is present, the host participates. What do you think?
I would love to hear your experiences!
Here's another interesting piece about the 36 questions from The Telegraph.
I can't resist including this spoof, "To Fall Out of Love, Do This," from The New Yorker.
And there's this, from Dame, even more wicked.