How To Click With Anyone

Bonding with people doesn't just feel good--it also helps you get what you want in life. We share an expert's secrets to making it happen.

Here’s the real deal: You may be talented and charming, but it’s the ability to click with anyone—your boss, that hottie, new friends—who can ultimately land you the promotion, a date, and strong BFF bonds. “Instant connections are very powerful,” says Ori Brafman, co-author of Click. “In fact, studies show relationships that start this way can be even better and more meaningful than those that form at a slower pace, because they feel like they were meant to be.” That’s why learning how to align with someone else’s wavelength is an extremely profitable skill to have.

After reviewing years of research on what unites people, Brafman says that initiating chemistry is contingent on sussing out a few commonalities and capitalizing on them. That means sharing something personal (something unique to you, not TMI) so the other person reciprocates and a rapport becomes established. But to do that, you have to make them feel at ease and get them talking in the first place. Brafman has discovered three behavioral facts that can give you an edge when trying to become close to someone...and up the odds of connecting.

The Proximity Factor

Clicking doesn’t involve just talking. Being in a person’s sight makes a difference in how likely she is to let down her guard and start chatting, Brafman says. As a matter of fact, your frequent presence automatically makes you seem more likable and attractive, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

And, physical closeness increases the likelihood of becoming even tighter. So that cute neighbor? Make it a habit to leave your apartment at the same time he does, so you “bump” into him often. It’ll make him feel inexplicably close to you and up the chances that you’ll hit it off when you start talking.

The Survivor Factor

Suffering through a challenging situation with other people is prime time for bonding. And the tougher the challenge, the better, says Brafman, because it flips a survival switch in our brains that makes us realize we’re all in it together. It is the same tactic used in boot camps and college orientations, and explains why we tend to bond with the people we wait in annoyingly long lines with. So if an acquaintance you’d like to get closer to needs help moving, pitch in and build on that chaos and exhaustion to create a stronger attachment. Or, volunteer to stay late at work to get a nightmare project done together with a seemingly cool coworker to really forge a connection.

The Shared-Space Factor

People will subconsciously feel more comfortable with you when you occupy the same space, because it gives the pseudo-sense of being part of a little club, says Brafman. And, it doesn’t have to be someplace confined, like an elevator. In fact, there’s a fine line between feeling cozy and entrapped, and the last thing you want to do is corner your target.

Any area that has breathing space but defined borders—like a kitchen or lounge—can register as intimate. So, let’s say you’re trying to get in with your boss. Strike when you’re both in the pantry, and share a bit of personal info (i.e., something interesting that you’ve done as opposed to the fact that you’re attracted to tall dudes), like how you’re craving the awesome coffee from the vacation you just got back from, and ask if she misses anything from her recent trip.

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