As humans, we go about our lives meeting people, making connections, and sometimes those people stay with us for a very long time. Why is that? Why is it that one person can deal with us enough to not only spend time with us, but to do it for YEARS?
“Why is it that one person can deal with us enough to not only spend time with us, but to do it for YEARS?”
It’s obvious that it’s not just up to similar circumstances or similar interests that keep people together. Developing relationships with people also has a lot to do with a connection. Usually it’s that extra “something” and it’s always difficult to pinpoint. Often you just click with someone else. There’s no explaining it.
Except there totally is, at least according to the Brafman brothers.
In their book, Click: The Forces Behind How We Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do, Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman describe five key elements that make it more likely that two people will click. These elements are similarity, vulnerability, proximity, resonance, and safe place.
For me, the most prominent of these is resonance. In the first episode of Make New Friends I mentioned that there’s a psychological event where humans make up judgements about another person within the first 5 seconds of meeting them. Here is where resonance plays in. If we cut out external elements, like initial appearance and attractiveness, then it will boil down to speech and body language.
How does the person speak? What’s their tone? Were they attentive? Did they mirror you? Did you mirror them? The Brafmans say resonance is that attentiveness, or being in the moment of a meeting. When I thought about this, I realized that for me, mirroring is what makes me click with someone. In this moment, this person makes me feel comfortable because they’re acting like me. If I’m relaxed and joking, I’m going to get along with someone who is also relaxed and joking.
“Resonance is that attentiveness, or being in the moment of a meeting”
I’m sure everyone can think of moments when you’ve just met someone and there was something off. I can recollect a moment when I met a friend from the internet for the first time. We went to the same University and had never gotten a chance to meet in person. When we finally did I realized that though we had many things in common, it was awkward and difficult to talk in person. We weren’t balancing each other out in anyway. My naturally joking manner didn’t quite fit with her more reserved manner.
“Clicking” doesn’t always have to be present for a friendship to develop
I’ve been friends with people I’ve both clicked with, and didn’t click with. “Clicking”, or whatever you want to call it doesn’t always have to be present for a friendship to develop. But, it’s this chemistry that makes making friends easier. If we’re all more aware of the mechanics of making friends I believe it’ll help creating friendships be little less scary.
Mary Akemon is equally as passionate about online communities as she is about Hamilton. A recent graduate from University College London with a masters degree in Museum Studies, Mary is currently located in Florida. In addition to co-hosting Make New Friends, she also co-hosts the podcast Museum Masters.