Family Time

Two low-risk relationship games to deepen your bonds with those you love

I had an intense argument with my best friend a few months ago. There were unkind words said. My typical behaviour would have been to put some distance between us in the hopes that time apart would magically mend our relationship.

Instead, I used my authentic relating (AR) “superpowers” than acting in the usual mode. Leaning into our connection and introducing an authentic relating game helped us process what had just transpired and deepened our friendship. 

We took it more slowly, giving each other uninterrupted time to share our experiences. We discovered the deeper cause of our argument while paying close attention to one another. As we greet each other and let go of our presumptions, we got a deeper understanding of each other. 

In our culture, it is assumed that we no longer need to maintain our existing relationships. They simply are. But by doing that, it makes room for apathy and boredom to infiltrate the relationship. Instead of the initial phase of the relationship’s excitement, exploration, and joy, the connection develops into more of a secure harbour, which is practical and an amenity.

When we alter the setting in which our relationship typically occurs, such as when we go on vacation, this kind of pattern frequently manifests. We place so much value on these two weeks spent with our loved ones that we become dissatisfied when we unexpectedly feel alone and divided.

Instead of accepting this, you can try out these two authentic relating games to deepen your connection with your partner and family and foster a greater sense of intimacy and closeness. 

Compared to a typical interaction, an AR game feels different. You pay greater attention to one another because you’re participating in a controlled activity together and the game’s rules govern how you connect.

1. Mindful Conversation

The purpose of the game is to slow down a conversation. Because of clearly assigned roles and structure, you get a chance to separate the experiences of being the speaker and the listener and fully enter each role.

The ideal group size is two persons.

Instructions: Decide in advance who’s going to be Persons A and B. Prepare a timer to time each part of this game.
The first person to speak is A. For three minutes, they’re sharing about a problem, decision, or idea that’s been on their mind recently. Don’t interrupt or ask questions, and listen as closely as you can.

Person B has 1.5 minutes to describe what they heard from A once A has completed speaking. A person’s B task isn’t to interpret A’s experience. They simply repeated what they heard in their own words.
After that, it’s back to A again. They have 1.5 minutes to talk about how they felt receiving feedback from B, then switch roles.

Expect a round to last between 7 and 8 minutes while playing with two people.

Possible context: This game allows you to become more aware of how other people perceive you. It can be used to get perspective on a problem you don’t know how to solve or a decision you’re struggling to make.

2. The Googling Game

The purpose of the game is to have fun and learn more about each other.

The number of players is 2–5. You can play with more people, but this slows the game down, which may mean it’s not as entertaining.

Instructions: Take turns “googling” each other’s minds by saying the other person’s name plus any phrase you like. It can be “John horse racing“ or “John traditional Chinese medicine” or “John how to find true love in high school—literally anything.

Then, John’s task is to respond with the top “search result.” It can come in the form of a personal story, something they recently read, or anything else that comes to mind after they hear the “search term.”
If you’re playing with just two people, simply take turns being the “googler” and the person whose mind is being “searched.” If there are more players, go around the circle and have people take turns “googling” the mind of the person on their right.

Suggested duration: As long as you enjoy it!

Possible context: This is a great game to play with someone you already know well but would like to learn more about. It works as a pastime on a road trip, a long walk, or when you’re waiting for dinner.

The game’s objectives are to have fun and get to know one another better. With someone you know well, suggesting and engaging in those games can cause some discomfort. I wouldn’t anticipate it to be any different.

You’re changing the established relationship dynamics and adding a bit of freshness by integrating AR games. And permit greater depth and intimacy between you. Long-term that may alter not only your trip but also your relationship.

Above all, enjoy yourself while playing these games.

Silja has received training in authentic relations and is an embodiment coach. Her entire life was altered when she came upon authentic relating two years ago in Bali. Interested in learning more about Silja and her work? Check out or social media. Silja_Silbuch


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