I learned this game through drama class in highschool. The premise of the game is that each person in the group has to put forth a compliment to someone or a resentment to someone (and you continue going around the circle a few times, or if played between two people then back and fourth until you feel you have gotten enough off of your chest). Once my teacher explained the rules I thought it would start fights between everyone and end in disaster, but I was very surprised to find it did exactly the opposite. It brought us all so much closer as a group; there were tears and smiles but no anger, no hostility. I think this game can also really strengthen a relationship, and bring two people closer together through appreciation, communication and understanding.
1. Each person will take turns (in a clockwise manner) saying either a compliment or resentment about another person in the group.
2. These will be phrased in a manner such as: “I really appreciated/enjoyed/loved when…” or “I resented when…”
3. The person receiving the compliment or resentment may say thank you or I’m sorry but they CANNOT defend themselves or refute the statement the other person has made. This is an exercise in listening and absorbing. This is very important because I believe this is what makes this exercise really work.
4. This isn’t necessarily a rule but always try and give more complements than resentments; that goes for everything in life.
5. Always end (on a good note) with a compliment.
This is a great way to share feelings in such a way that decreases defensiveness and allows people to share their thoughts and feelings in a positive and healthy manner. I hope that this exercise will bring you closeness and understanding. Of all the things I learned in school; English, Math, Science, History… I think this was one of the most helpful and important lessons of all.
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