Regular readers will know by now that I’m a big fan of “self experiments”.
For new readers, psychological self experiments = trying out advice from psychology in your own life, and often tweaking it to suit yourself.
Here are a couple of self experiments I like for enhancing relationship closeness.
As a way of checking in with each other when you first see each other after work, ask your partner these two questions about their day…
1. What was your most pleasurable moment of the day?
(If you want to take this further, you can ask them which specific positive emotions they felt at that time, and ask them to rate how much pleasure they felt on a 0 to 10 scale, 0 = no pleasure at all, 10 = as much pleasure as you can imagine ever experiencing).
2. What was the moment of the day you felt the greatest sense of mastery, accomplishment, or being proud of yourself? (Pick which term you prefer, they’re more or less interchangeable).You can also use the 0 to 10 scale for this one, 0 = no sense of mastery, 10 = as much of a sense of mastery as you can imagine ever experiencing.
Answer the same questions for them about your day.
Or, you could try this…
Ask your partner “What’s something you feel grateful for today?”
Again, volunteer the information about yourself.
(I find this much more interesting and positivity-enhancing than thinking grateful thoughts solo).
Or, if the two suggestions above seem like too much effort…
Hug. (Front-to-front, for closer to a minute than a second).
Thanks for reading!