GoodVibers: Results from the “I trust you, do you trust me” experiment

What some people might not know is that, before the experiment started we secretly placed some of the GoodVibers in the area to step forward and give a hug after 10 minutes if nobody from the public stepped forward.

To our surprise within the first 15 seconds we had a curious Irish lady step forward. We shared a beautiful interaction were you can see us building trust for a minute or so. A funny thing you can notice if you look closely at the video is that she expected me to know when to hug her, of course I was blindfolded so I had no idea if she was ready for the hug or not. You can see her mouth the words “hug me back!?”.

After the first person came, the second person was already waiting. As if perfectly coordinated, some local street artists started playing an emotional spanish soundtrack. This combined with the backdrop of the 500 year old Cathedral of Barcelona provided a perfect setting for what happened next.

A stream of humans started to come forward, I couldn’t see anything but I could certainly hear and feel…a lot! Each person embraced in a different way. I would do my best to return the same hold as the person gave. If they were feeling confident and comfortable with hugging, I would return the energy. If I could notice the person was feeling a little scared or unsure of their action I would make sure to only hold softly.

Each person whispered words of encouragement into my ears, of which combined with the physical responses, the spanish music, my friends; a cocktail of emotions flooded my mind and tears started to well up. We continued for another 40 minutes before I decided to take the blindfold off. When I opened my eyes I was shocked to see a huge crowd of people standing around taking photos.

We had certainly struck an emotional cord within the people of the area but what can we learn from this reaction? The test was to see if people were able to show their trust in another person they had never met before. I do believe the blindfold made it easier for the people to trust as I was clearly in the vulnerable position but the ease shouldn’t distract away from the centre of the idea. People want to reach out, people want to show they trust others.

If there are no reasons, platforms or ways to express our trust and love for our human brothers and sisters it’s easy to forget about the shared humanity we all have. Yes it was me who stood in front of the people but this experiment was not about me, this was about the message of trust and community. I used my body as a vehicle to present this message in a tangible form. I did what I did for what I believe in, nothing more. One things for certain though, we are humans who share an inner desire to be able to trust others.


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