I always remember the brain expert Dr Daniel Amen saying that it is through joint experiences that we bond with those we love. Good or bad experiences.
Besides all the research on oxytocin and the neurotransmitter dopamine we experience by hugging and caring for other people etc, there is also research that shows that shared experiences bolster our sense of belonging, and this in turn makes us feel life is more worthwhile.
Studies conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University in the UK showed that if you shared positive experiences with others, you were more likely to feel happier, and that your life is more meaningful, and to report greater life satisfaction.
Another study by Erica Boothby and her colleagues at Yale showed that when you and a stranger both shared a chocolate together rather than just having them offer the chocolate to you (but not eat it themselves), you were more likely to rate the chocolate as tastier if you shared it rather than ate it alone.
A Harvard study found a similar finding in that people liked the video they watched better (even though they were told beforehand that it was boring) if they watched it with someone else rather than watching it alone.
These findings support Abraham Maslow’s conclusion that humans have a need to feel accepted and part of a group. And we can only reach a sense of fulfillment if we feel respected and appreciated by others, and if we find our own way to contribute to society.
Recently, I went on a trip to Thailand with my husband and I am sure we will both remember things like someone opening the door to our hotel room after midnight (but fortunately not entering because I had put the extra security latch in place) because a hotel desk clerk gave them a card to the wrong room number.
Fortunately we will also remember good things like being the only tourists at a hot spring and eating the quail eggs we cooked in the hot part of the spring whilst sitting with our feet in the hot water – listening to karaoke by some of the many locals present that Sunday afternoon.
Hosting a mystery party can also give you long term memories. For example, I remember when I hosted “Fame, Money and Murder” that someone who was playing a character who was said to be a bit depressed had come with a bottle that they relabeled “Valium”. People are so creative!
I also remember what it felt like to be Elvis (there weren’t enough men to play all the “Celebrity Celebrations” suspects) and the fun of having “I am the King” pinned to the back of my white jacket. And wearing all the gold jewelry I could find.
I remember a girlfriend looking fantastic in a pink wig when I hosted “Murder In Outer Space”. Not long after that she went in to have part of her stomach removed due to cancer, and it was a tough year for her, so it was good having that happy memory of the fun we had shared together.
So this New Year’s Eve, why not bond better with those you love by hosting a mystery party game? It could be a classic murder mystery like “Murder On The Prairie” or “Murder Of The Great Chef” or just a mystery (with no one dying) like “Mystery In The Library”, “Out Of The Game” (available as a mystery or a murder) or “The Superhero Mystery”. Whatever you choose, remember the main thing is to ham it up and have fun being sillier than you ever normally are!
We didn’t have any entrants in our ongoing decoration and video competitions so there are prizes sitting unclaimed.
Often people find it hard to get permission signatures from people at the party later on. If you think you might be taking some great photos, please download the permission form so you can get it signed at the party and then scan it in and email it to us with your photo competition entry. Or you can take a photo of it after it is signed and email it that way.
Wishing you a fantastic 2020! May it be full of memory making events that help you bond better!