From Sam Gosling’s book, Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You:
Arthur Aron, a psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, is interested in how people form romantic relationships, and he’s come up with an ingenious way of taking men and women who have never met before and making them feel close to one another. Given that he has just an hour or so to create the intimacy levels that typically take week, months, or years to form, he accelerated the getting-to-know-you process through a set of thirty-six questions crafted to take the participants rapidly from level one in McAdams’s system to level two. The questions are part of an hour-long “sharing game” in which each member of a pair reads a question out loud and then they both answer it before moving on to the next question.
What are some of the questions?
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. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
8. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
10. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
11. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
12. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
13. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
14. What do you value most in a friendship?
15. What is your most treasured memory?
16. What is your most terrible memory?
17. What does friendship mean to you?
18. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
19. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
20. Complete this sentence:”I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
21. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
22. 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.
23. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
24. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
25. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
26. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
27. 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?
Aron’s book is Handbook of Closeness and Intimacy.
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