Last night a friend told me about a visit he’d made to a reputable theatre in Warsaw. What happened was this. The lights dimmed. The author walked onto the empty stage, hardly a stage, more of a space in a room where the drama was to be acted out, and stopped. Right under the noses of the audience, in his face in the case of my friend who was sitting in the front row, the author took out his mobile phone then undid his flies, revealed his willy and began a photo shoot.
A neat way to begin a play entitled “Grindr” you might think, and quite amusing. Whether any maiden aunts swooned my friend did not report but, no doubt, some members in the audience had come for no less. Whilst no prude, I suppose my friend was glad not to have had his mum sitting beside him. He’d have felt the same in London, a city where the unusual is to be expected. Yes, sometimes the unexpected does happen in Warsaw, which means there must be a lot more going on under the radar than the present defenders of public morality are letting on.
Those of you who dont know what Grindr is can look up the details on the internet. Suffice it to say it is a dating app.
I’d not heard about Grindr until a few months ago when a young man from Krakow came to stay with me. The amount he was texting drew my attention. He explained. I said I thought random encounters were risky. He assured me that most of the men on Grindr were looking for hugs not sex. They are lonely. He showed me the profiles on his phone. Most of the mainly bearded young men didn’t look as if hugging was their priority, but….
“We all need hugging,” he assured me and, to prove the point, he hugged me. And, he had a point. The occasional hug is a great boost to the system.
Which is where Daniel Keltner’s recently published, “The Power Paradox” comes in.
I quote from the author’s description in The Guardian ,
“We can choose to express gratitude in so many ways – public recognition, expressing appreciation by email, by knowing eye contact, a deferential bow, and acknowledging what another person believes. My research has shown that even brief touches to a person’s arm can communicate gratitude – they trigger activation in the reward circuits of the recipient’s brain and soothe stress-related physiology.
Expressions of gratitude create strong, collaborative ties and pave the way for greater influence. Studies find that individuals who express gratitude to others as groups are forming have stronger ties within the group months later. Romantic partners who express gratitude to their partners in casual conversations were more than three times less likely to break up six months later.”
So, there you are. Touching and hugging seem to be very good ideas for any relationship or business. Draw your own conclusions.