This little game had us both in tears the last time I played it…
And the time before that, we were both smiling so much our cheeks hurt…
It’s simple, easy, in-the-moment, and you can play it with your lover, a friend, on a date, or with someone you’ve just met.
Below is a description of the game, an excerpt from our Games Night Manual.
The full version, with lots of other connection-building games, is included for everyone who signs up for the ACL training.
Here it is:
The Noticing Game
Requirements: 2 people
Warning: You will both likely feel more present, playful, connected, and
perhaps even turned-on after playing this game.
Two people stand directly across from each other, standing or sitting, making
eye contact. One person is A and the other is B. A goes first.
A: What I notice when I’m with you is…<fill in the blank>
B: Hearing that, what I’m noticing is…<fill in the blank>
A: Hearing that, what I’m noticing is…<fill in the blank>
B: Hearing that, what I’m noticing is…<fill in the blank>
…and so on, alternating back and forth…
…until you’re incapacitated with laughter, tears, or
find yourselves passionately making out…
…or, whenever seems like a good time to stop. It could be
2 minutes or 20 minutes… it’s up to you.
YOU CAN SHARE OBSERVATIONS, THOUGHTS, SENSATIONS, FEELINGS…
You can share ANYTHING you’re noticing inside this structure
of “A” and “B” going back and forth…
The other person’s physical appearance:
* ”…the smoothness of your skin”
* ”…the way your earrings jingle when you laugh”
* “…that you seem to be looking away a lot”
* ”…the gap between your front teeth when you smiled just then”
Sensations in your own body:
* ”…I’m feeling nervous tension in my chest”
* ”…I felt my shoulders relax when you smiled just now”
* ”…I’m feeling uncomfortable with this intense eye contact”
* ”…I felt giddy and turned-on when you said that”
Thoughts you’re having:
* ”…I’m thinking about when we first met”
* ”…I’m curious about how you got that scar on your forehead“
* ”…I’m wanting to reassure you that I don’t feel offended by your comment”
Emotions you’re feeling:
* ”…I’m scared that you’re upset that I pointed out the gap in your teeth”
* ”…I’m grateful that we’re getting to have this experience together”
* ”…I’m feeling frustrated that you keep breaking eye contact with me”
* ”…I’m excited that you noticed my earrings because I made them myself”
* ”…I’m feeling warmth in my chest and gratitude for you and for this moment”
* ”…I’m having fun playing this game!”
SOME NOTES ABOUT THIS GAME
* Be willing to take risks. The more vulnerable, edgy and unfiltered, the more exhilarating and engaging this game becomes. This includes sharing your nervousness, attraction and even frustration!
* Keep it in-the-moment. Don’t prepare what you might say – let it unfold organically, allow yourself to be surprised by what comes out of your mouth!
YOU CAN FACILITATE THIS GAME FOR A GROUP…
Last week I was at a birthday party where each attendee was asked to perform or share something (like a variety show). I facilitated this game for everyone there…and they loved it. Some people were deeply moved while others were laughing hysterically… it’s a great ice breaker!
Make sure to demo it in front of everyone first, then have them all pair up, choose an A and a B, and then run the game.
THIS IS PART OF A FULL-LENTH “GAMES NIGHT MANUAL”
This is an excerpt of the full-length “Authentic Relating Games Night Manual” –
previously unreleased, and only available for those in the ACL training.
Last day to register, the training has already started! Register now, here.
Ok, so that’s the game. Keep this one in your back pocket to spice up a date, a dinner party, or when hanging out with a friend. Give it a try!
Let me know what you thought of this game in your comments below…
In acting circles this game is known as the Meisner Method...with some variations. It was designed by the great acting coach Sandy Meisner to help actors get in touch with the moment. Really works.
wow.. oh my god. this is so life changing. ill never ever ever talk to people to same ever ever ever again
I love this game! I've used it with friends, on dates, with people I've only just met and the response is huge. People really open up and feel connected to you. I really appreciated how one guy I met at a party said "It's amazing how I shared things about myself during this game that I never would have said in a normal conversation."
That is really cool. I love it :) What a creative and connecting game :D Thanks for sharing!
Nice adrial :) I've literally JUST finished hanging out with the lady-friend and I ran into a problem that I would appreciate your guys' input on. I was willing to play the game, open up, share what I'm feeling in the moment, whereas she less willing. I didn't try to make her open up because I thought that would be counter-productive, but still I feel like I'm coming up against a lot of barriers that she isn't willing to explore within herself to the extent that I am in myself. This leads to a brick wall between us. Any ideas?
Nice, alholodny! I love that. I'm noticing that more and more in my life, too. I'm not doing it quite as much across the board as it seems you are, but definitely a whole lot in my relationship with my girlfriend. Very similar, actually. We've had exactly those conversations about "I don't know if this relationship is long term. How will we know when it's over?" And in that transparency, we've found that we want to explore our relationship to its fullest by pushing our own comfort zone around relationship and what it means (polyamory, etc.). It's ironic that sharing something from the heart like that actually makes us closer together. Usually that kind of conversation has ended with screaming and throwing shit. ;) (But I'm also clear that in those past conversation, my heart wasn't very open.) I'm curious how this can play out in other non-romantic aspects of my life ... By the way, thanks Bryan for sharing this game. I love it! It's one of those really simple things that seem so obvious, but when we can be intentional and set some easy groundrules, then magic happens! I'm going to play this tonight with my girlfriend.
I've been telling people what I'm noticing in terms of their effect on me, and also asking my effect on them not only on dates but in pretty much every situation, and the outcome has been spectacular. In my experience people have tended to relax, be more honest, more receptive to criticism that would have otherwise sent them over the edge with anger, and generally enter an elevated state of mind. This has been the case with my brother and sister, my lady-friend, my guy friends and people much older than I. My lady-friend in particular even told me that usually she's bored of guys because she can predicts exactly how her relationship with them is going to unfold. With me, she said, she has no idea because ANYTHING can happen and that's ok. For example one time we were spending time together and we told each other "I don't love you," and normally that would set off negative vibes and bring a relationship to an end. In our case, however, it was so refreshing that we were remaining true to what we were ACTUALLY feeling that it allowed us to further explore the potential for whatever arose. Treating relationships, and anything in life really, in this way, I think, is so much more interesting, powerful and invigorating. Thank you so much to all the AMP people.