In her book Love 2.0, Barbara Fredrickson (Fredrickson, 2013) claims we can experience micro-moments of love numerous times a day, even with complete strangers. She goes on to say that any moment of connection with another person gives the same pleasure as felt when experiencing love.
I had to try this out, so one Saturday last March I decided to experience micro-moments of love and find out if Barbara Fredrickson was on to something.
The day started with breakfast with my housemate. For various reasons we hadn’t seen each other for a while so had some catching up to do. After a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea we had a big hug and off to start my day.
I had arranged a study morning with 2 fellow students. As we were all studying similar topics, the idea of sharing micro moments of love created some interesting debate. We all agreed the notion was worth pursuing further. We all gave each other a hug and on to the next encounter.
It wasn’t yet lunchtime and already I had gotten 3 hugs. I have read a lot of research about hugging and apparently the general consensus appears to be that we need a minimum of 8 a day to feel at our best. I now had a mission within a mission to achieve these 8 hugs.
I got back home and the painter was there finishing off a few jobs. I offered him a cup of tea and we had a good chat. I thought about giving him a hug but he was a six foot builder with lots of tattoos and so if I’m completely honest, I bottled it.
Even so it was only just gone midday and the score stood at:-
Micro moments of love 4, Hugs 3
I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch, so I hopped on the bus and I had my next encounter. A lady who I recognized from somewhere got on and looked straight at me. It then dawned on me how I knew her, I buy the Big Issue from her once a week but I’ve never really spoken to her. By the time she got off the bus we had quite a chat and I learned her name.
The bus company had recently changed the route and so instead of the bus turning left to my stop it carried straight on. I jumped up and rung the bell frantically. It appears I wasn’t the only one, as another lady did the same thing simultaneously. “I forgot they changed the route” I said to her” Yes I did too” she said with a big smile. I’m definitely counting that as one of those micro moments of love with a complete stranger that Barbara Fredrickson talks about.
Lunch with my friend went very well and even included an extra micro moment of love with the lady on the next table when we discussed the cuteness of her dog. A big hug with my friend and back home for my next encounters.
By teatime I was at :-
Micro moments of love 8
Before going out I had 2 phone calls with my kids adding another 2 micro moments of love.
I met a group of friends in a bar prior to going to watch a band. There were 3 friends which meant 3 micro moments of love and 3 hugs. I was now only 1 hug short of the 8 I needed.
The great thing about being on the dance floor is that you meet some very happy friendly people. One of my friends asked me to dance and we went through our modern jive routine which seemed to attract some attention. A guy next to me gave me a high five, and then a lady came over and gave me a huge compliment on my dancing. Without thinking I said thank you and gave her a hug. My eighth of the day! I could imagine fireworks going off and champagne corks popping as I had reached this moment.
So, what did I learn from this day?
It really doesn’t take much to have feel good moments. I hadn’t done anything differently than I would have had I not been investigating micro moments of love and yet just by being aware, transformed my day completely. I worked out I had a total of 15 micro moments and 8 hugs and I felt wonderful.
For me, a day like this illustrates what Positive Psychology is really all about. It’s not making a big discovery that will change your life, but it’s about experiencing every day events and enjoying those experiences, whether with friends, family, or complete strangers. Every encounter is an opportunity and the way we approach those opportunities makes all the difference between how we feel within ourselves.
Reference: Fredrickson, B. (2013). Love 2.0: How our supreme emotion affects everything we feel, think, do, and become: Avery.