Esther Perel on Relationships Survival Kit

There is an immense benefit in witnessing her live presence: she is brilliant but relatable, charming but firm in her statements and a fabulous storyteller.

As excited as you might be about telling everyone how the Esther Perel presentation at 2018 Unfinished Festival went, you soon realize that…it’s not that easy. Unless you’d want to line-up all the ideas Perel presented (though the audience was familiar with them from books, TED talks, podcasts etc.) What else happened, then?

Each of us must have hung on an idea or meme that embodies what we think and feel about relationships. Mine? “We have unprecedented freedom and a massive amount of choices and uncertainty” – I relate to this and it’s been on my mind for years.

Even if you are familiar with Esther’s work, there is an immense benefit in witnessing her live presence: she is brilliant but relatable, charming but firm in her statements and a fabulous storyteller.

What impressed me the most was how she decided to share the stage with the audience – not that anyone jumped on it. Melting down the distance and the convention (you – audience, me – presenter), she starts interacting with us with warmth and great ability. Before we know, we reply to what she says and she vividly answers back picking up on ad-hoc comments from the audience, even those made in a very low voice. Before we even realize it – monologue just turned into dialogue. We are in a conversation!

What’s next is even more surprising, at least for me. The conversation gets more profound with Esther Perel asking us straightforward questions on love, relationships, betrayal etc. I would think that the audience is not willing to play along but guess what? Many of us raised they hands or stood up to admit we have experienced the things Esther inquires about – and some of them are not that comfortable. It’s both a collective and a personal experience. What about the power of a good facilitator!

I’m queueing my way out of the auditorium in silenzio stampa, thinking of the real benefit of these sessions, with these kinds of presenters. It’s not the ideas, the knowledge, not even the opportunity of seeing them live. It’s rather what some of them are able to stir in you whether that’s inspiration, a growth process or reflection. The rest is on the WorldWideWeb.

Think about it.