Pulling My Heart Out of My Chest

Pulling My Heart Out of My Chest

It is an understood risk: the decision to be vulnerable. And it’s funny in what ways we can be vulnerable. I might have a hobby I’m really sensitive about, while another person could be sensitive about their profession or something similar.

To get close to others, simply out of necessity, we must be vulnerable and share those things that we are scared to.

36 Questions to Love?

There was an experiment done in 1997 in which Dr. Arthur Aron put a female and a male volunteer in a lab. The two participants were strangers to one another and had no contact previous to being in the room. They were directed to sit across from one another at a small table, to ask each other 36 different, personal questions, and to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes without breaking eye contact.

The entire process took about 45 minutes and was intended to measure the interpersonal closeness the questions and eye contact would engender in the participants. The set of questions included innocuous questions such as “Would you like to be famous? In what way?” and personal questions such as “ What is your most treasured memory?”

Obviously correlation isn’t causation, and the two people definitely had to go through additional experiences in order to decide to get married, but it is worthwhile to note that a deep level of vulnerability helped to jump-start their relationship.

My instinct, when faced with questions that would render me vulnerable, is to withdraw and distract. To answer the question with one of my own or to redirect the question back at the questioner. But that tactic certainly can’t and won’t help me.

Just like Ms. Frizzle said on The Magic School Bus, “It’s time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”


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