Listen to Amber, Paul and me answering questions designed by psychologists to help couples or friends become closer and more intimate.
Hello, welcome back to Luke’s English Podcast, this podcast for learners of English hosted by me Luke Thompson. Hi.
The general idea of this podcast is to help you to improve your English by providing you with content to keep you listening regularly, for longer periods of time, to authentic English as it really is spoken. Sometimes I teach you things on the podcast and other times I play conversations for you to follow, like in this episode.
This episode is entitled 36 Questions that Lead to Love
In this one you’re going to hear the tangential trio of Amber, Paul and me talking about this set of 36 questions, which was compiled by a group of psychologists as part of a study into ‘interpersonal closeness’ or intimacy between people.
Amber first found out about it in a podcast published by the New York Times. Here’s what the NYTimes website says about this study, which is where the 36 questions come from.
The study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.
The idea is that mutual vulnerability helps to create closeness and intimacy. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal and personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.
The questions are now used to help build intimacy or personal closeness typically between couples that want to fall in love, but also between anyone looking for ways of finding out more about each other and developing a closer or deeper relationship.
Amber’s going to tell you more about it in a moment.
These 36 questions are available for you to use or read online at NYTimes.com www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/modern-love/36-questions/
In this episode you’ll hear Amber, Paul and me asking each other those questions.
Let’s see what happens.
- Will the questions bring us closer together?
- To what extent will the intimacy level rise?
- Will they make us fall in love with each other?
- Or will we just learn weird truths about each other that will disturb us, ultimately causing us to drift apart as friends, and then they’ll never appear on this podcast again?
- Will these questions help you get to know us more?
- What could be revealed by this set of questions designed by psychologists to become more and more intimate as they go?
- Is it possible for 3 British friends to take the whole thing seriously enough for the questions to have the intended effect?
Listen on to find out more.
Here we go…
OK so if you were counting the questions you’ll see that we skipped some but that’s our choice isn’t it!
I think, on balance, we probably did become slightly closer than before. There were some particularly revealing moments there where Paul was talking about his lack of confidence in social situations, which is a bit of a surprise considering how I often observe him showing no obvious signs of social awkwardness.
Of course, we didn’t take it all completely seriously. For example, you’re supposed to stare into each other’s eyes at the end of the questions, for four minutes, but that wouldn’t have been particularly interesting for you to listen to.
All the questions are available on the NY Times website – here www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/modern-love/36-questions/
So check them out and use them yourselves – either on a date, with friends, or with your language partners or language groups.
They could provide a nice way for you to practise talking about feelings and personal thoughts in English.
And, if you fall in love with someone as a result, that’s a nice bonus isn’t it!?
If you’ve fallen in love with Amber’s voice and you’re wondering when Amber’s podcast is coming out – it’s not ready yet and I will announce it on the podcast as soon as it is online. It takes a long time to get these things ready – getting your head around the technology, writing, recording, working out how to publish, building a website, setting up your podcast feed, getting on the iTunes store and all of that stuff – it takes time and it’s not as easy as you might think, so just hold your horses for a bit, it’s on its way.