I stumbled upon a blog from Knock Knock today that reminded me of one of my favorite and strangest memories from college.
The best internship I ever had was with Telemundo Network in Burbank, California, during the summer of 2005. The staff let me conduct interviews, I pitched story ideas, and I got the best hands-on experience a young reporter could ever ask for.
One afternoon as I sat brainstorming with the entertainment reporter I started browsing Craigslist for quirky story ideas. What better place to look, right?
That’s where I stumbled upon the Cuddle Party. It was a growing fad in Los Angeles at the time, new from the New York area. Of course I pitched it and surprisingly they said yes. [I also mentioned this idea to a Today Show reporter and it ended up on national English news, too!]
Soon I was on my way to my first (and last) cuddle party with the photographer and entertainment reporter. Was it as ridiculous as it sounds? A little. The concept isn’t actually so bad. The intention behind Cuddle Parties is to provide a safe space for people to learn to say no or ask for the things they want.
While I waited for the crew to get interviews and broll, I participated in the cuddle party, which means I practiced saying no. It was a small group, 15 people or so, sitting or lying in a yoga room transformed with pillows and blankets. (This was also the first time I ever heard about Burning Man.)
When was the last time you said no without giving an excuse? “No, I don’t have any change.” or “No thanks, [insert excuse here].”
Prior to that experience, I don’t think I had ever said no – plain and simply. While it was a little uncomfortable declining cuddle requests from complete strangers, it felt good to say no without feeling the obligation to say why!
I know it sounds hokey, but we could all learn a thing or two from Cuddle Parties:
Learn to communicate clearly.