Thoughts on Midnight Cafe’s: Authentic Connections

Tonight, my friends Kasra and Santi hosted an Authentic Connections event. We began by dividing into smaller groups of 6 and introducing ourselves. Next, we discussed strictly our own emotions and feelings in the present moment. After that, we did the same exercise in pairs and shared our observations about our partner.

One interesting design choice was to discourage conversation and instead focus on the present moment and our feelings. Our group struggled with this at times and Kasra and Santi joined to guide us back on track. This new concept was initially confusing for us, leading to moments when we veered off course and engaged in group conversation. I also noticed our discomfort with silence. We made comments to fill the silence, but I questioned whether this was necessary.

I enjoyed the pairing at the end the most. It was intriguing because we focused on observing and discussing the other person’s traits, feelings, and emotions rather than our own. It felt slightly unnatural, but it helped me develop empathy towards the other person. Despite not engaging in conversation, I felt I really connected with my partner.

Going to many different events in New York, I’m focused on talking about the past or the future, rarely the present. But because of the focus on the present moment, I was constantly aware of the inner voice in my head, the emotions I was feeling during the event, and the end allowed me to attune to the feelings of my partner and others in the group.

This event had the classic Midnight Cafe style: one-of-a-kind, focused on the present, and filled with curious and open-minded attendees. If you’re in NYC, I highly recommend experiencing a Midnight Cafe event.

January 29, 2024

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