I rarely browse articles but the title of this one caught my eye. After reading it I immediately realized that it was the best non-scholarly article I’ve read this year to date. I’m a psychology junkie and I love reading articles and books related to relationships, human interactions, and patterns of behavior. Very interesting stuff. Now, outside of the fact that the author is a good writer, she also took the liberty of attaching the original research article that she was referencing. This was great because it gave me a little more background on the original study that had been done. Which, by the way, would have been an excellent dissertation topic. The whole idea behind the article is that we choose who we fall in love with and that we can fall in love with someone based on interpersonal interactions we’ve had with them that were meaningful and required both individuals to be vulnerable to each other at the same time. The study the author referenced was conducted with college psychology students that were paired together. They were tasked with asking each other a set of questions and their emotional closeness was measured afterwards. There was also a component that author of the article noted that included looking into the eyes of the person for four minutes straight. Yes, four minutes. The idea behind that is that it is a way for both individuals to feel equally vulnerable at the same time. This builds emotional closeness. The author in the article tried this with a guy using the same questions from the original study and got positive results. It’s interesting how relationship dynamics can change when there are opportunities to talk about personal topics. You can sometimes see a different side of someone when they are by themselves versus when they are in a group because their defenses are down and a one-on-one interaction can foster an environment of intimacy and emotional closeness that is much harder to achieve in a group setting. So hypothetically, you could “gently persuade” someone to fall in love with you by looking into their eyes for four minutes and the facilitation of these discussion questions the author mentions and includes a link for in the article. Interesting.
Once again, the Mike Brown case has regained momentum in social media, the legal world, and also in the actions of thousands who are protesting the most recent decision made in the case. There’s conflicting reports on what exactly happened but the truth of the matter is that Mike Brown should not be dead. From as young as I can remember, I was taught to respect authority figures. This included policeman. However, this teaching was also followed by positive contacts and interactions with policeman. We personally met and sang to our city’s chief of police. Our landlord was a former chief of police for the city and was a great person who went against the unspoken segregation rules of the city and rented a house to a black family on the white side of the train tracks. His sons were also active police officers who my siblings and I had the chance to interact with and ask questions about their jobs. As someone who fairly frequently has to call the police on someone or for someone, I can say that there are police personnel who do well at their jobs and those who do not. I absolutely believe that race does play an issue in the Mike Brown situation and other similar shootings that have happened in the last decade where innocent black men have been killed. With all the protests happening across the country and possible solutions to racial equality being submitted by many, I think that the value of respect played a role in this very unfortunate and tragic situation. Disrespect on both sides. I wonder if Mike Brown personally knew a lot of officers. If he had any prior positive interactions with law enforcement in a neutral environment. Lastly, I wonder if these positive interactions would have changed the outcome of the day. The truth of the matter is that if you’re being robbed, car-jacked, assaulted, or stalked, most likely you want the added presence of someone in law enforcement. Maybe part of the bigger solution to this whole mess and cycle of unnecessary deadly force is to push for accountability while also advocating for stronger community relationships between citizens and the local police force. No, it’s not going to be a cure all for all racial tensions but it just might ease it a bit.
My brother was the one who first showed me this video. I must admit that I don’t know what I would do if I was an unsuspecting patron at this coffee shop. I do know that I would lean more towards running out the front door instead of trying to film it on my phone. I think that humans in general are very curious about things they can’t explain and that’s why most customers stayed in the coffee shop to watch. It caught everyone off guard and it was apparent that most people didn’t know how to handle something that most likely they had only seen on television or in movies.