When you’re on your death bed, what is the most important thing you will want around you Money? Your college diploma? How about your work computer? No, the most important thing to have around you are great people who love and care about you. If they’re not your family, you had to of met them out in the world and created some sort of connection with them.
Our American society is set up for the individual. Everything is set up for us to do independently without the help from others, which is great at times, but also leads to one of the most isolating cultures in the world. I hear this constantly from transplants who have moved here and are trying to assimilate in the culture. It’s depressing.
It’s easy to walk through life on autopilot: sleep, eat, work, gym, sleep, eat, work gym. Then one day you wake up and realize, what is this all about? Why do I feel so alone? One of the most beautiful things about the human experience is building real, emotional connections with people.
Learning how to build an emotional connection is a skill. When you were a child, it probably came naturally to you. But as we become adults, we get stuck in our ways, we learn to isolate ourselves, and soon we start to wonder, “how can I meet someone I have chemistry with?’
It’s not that difficult. In fact, you already know how to instinctively, but it is an art in of itself and one’s skills can always be polished. Learning how to build connections will help you in ALL facets of life: from your job, to your home life, to your love life, to your friendships.
All too often I hear people say, “there was just no chemistry”. Well chemistry isn’t just a lightening bolt that happens. It takes work and effort even if at times it feels like it doesn’t. One or more of the participants in the conversation are leading the driving to build that connection and understand the basics of creating chemistry (whether they know it or not).
It’s your job on a date to build that connection and chemistry with the other person and you can learn how to be better at it.
Here are eight ways to create chemistry with anyone:
1) Remember their name
People can retain information 5 times faster than people can speak. That’s why it’s so easy to drift off when listening to a lecture or someone talking in general. By saying a person’s name in conversation, you immediately grab their attention and focus and make them feel closer to you.
Hearing their name is like music to their ears but be careful to not use it too much in the conversation. I once met with a woman who probably said my name about 15 times in our 30 minute conversation. It just or sounded odd and ingenuine as if she was trying too hard.
2) Be Positive and Smile :)
People love good energy and the person who exudes it. Upon meeting anyone new and throughout your conversation, be sure to smile. Even if you’re not happy, this will make the other person happier, which in turn will positively affect your mood.
Think about how you’d perceive someone who has a neutral face versus one with a smile. Automatically you like the smiling person more. A smile gives off a warmth and makes people feel at ease around you.
Also, your brain pays attention to what your body is doing. You can actually trick yourself into being a happier person by smiling more often. You’ll eventually become the happier, relaxed, and more confident person you are acting like.
Nobody likes a whiner and if you’re talking negatively about someone, you’re only going to make your audience think, “I wonder what he/she says about me behind my back.” It’s important to always be polite and never talk bad about others or complain about things. This is especially important while on the date.
Never ever be rude or talk negatively to the wait-staff. This says more about you than them. In fact, you should go out of your way to compliment people around you.
I’ve always held the belief that if I can say something nice about someone, even a complete stranger, then I will. It’s worth seeing the smile on their face and knowing that I may have perked up their day a bit. Try it for yourself - if you see someone and think, “Wow! That’s a great dress (or tie or whatever),” then let them know it. It’ll not only make them feel good and more confident about themselves, but it’ll make you as well!
If you find yourself feeling down and that things are not going your way, remember that thoughts create words, which then lead to actions.
Control your thoughts by making yourself repeat positive ideas/images/thoughts etc. and pinch yourself when you notice a negative thought creeping in. Eventually you will have less bruises and more smile lines, which is a great thing in this case.
You are what you think.
Don’t forget to smile!
3) Learn to Listen
Listening is an art. You must be truly prepared to give your attention to the other person and become genuinely interested in other people.
Instead of diving into a conversation about yourself, open the conversation up to your date (or your boss, or your friend) and encourage them to share something about themselves. You can always learn something from someone new you meet so make it your mission to get something out of every conversation.
Don’t just ask questions like, “what do you do for a living?” Ask them “Why they do what they do”.
A sure way to begin building an emotional connection is to talk about the other person’s interests. This makes them want to be fully engaged.
4) Know the Art of Conversation
Always be listening for hooks in their speech. What this means is that if they say something, listen for opportunities to take the conversation further. For example, if she says, “My sister and I are going to the lake after work.” You have several hooks here to go off of.
You could ask:
- Is your sister older or younger?
- How many siblings do you have?
- You seem like you must be the older sister. (Which will inevitably make her ask you why you think that)
- Why do you go to that lake?
- What do you do for work? (Then ask why)
You don’t want to continue asking questions, so get them to ask you questions. Human behavior is pretty predictable. If you say, “Where I grew up, we didn’t have that…”. This will inevitably make the other person ask you where you grew up.
Tell a story and learn how to do it the right way. Storytelling in of itself is a gift. There’s a true art to it. To build up the suspense and share just enough details as to describe the scene, but not too much that it drags on forever.
Everyone loves a good story. Pick one of your favorites and practice telling it. Each time work on your story to deliver it that best way you can.
5) Be Genuine
I was recently at a surprise dinner party for a girlfriend of mine and the group was split into two tables. After walking around the room and introducing myself to everyone I had to choose where to sit. I could sit with the people who were younger and friend of my friend or I could choose to sit at the table with my friend’s parents and their friends, the 60+ crowd.
What table did I choose? The older group. Why? Because older people tend to be more genuine, interesting, and open. They’re confident in who they are and aren’t afraid to show it.
I could immediately sense the people at the younger table were going to be closed off and it would be like pulling teeth to get a conversation going. They’re insecure and see any new comer as a threat and don’t want to be open and inviting at risk of not “looking cool”.
This behavior is so unattractive and it’s rare to see people who are confident and secure enough in themselves to really open up to new people, but when you do meet them, you remember them. Everyone is attracted to and wishes they could be more like them.
Being your true, authentic self, means leaving your mask at home. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not and most people can see right through your disguise.
Notice your behavior or ask a trusted friend for their honest opinion. Make sure you tell them you won’t hold it against them (and don’t). You are looking for constructive feedback to help make yourself a better person.
Are you overly arrogant or cocky? Are you wearing too much make up? Are you constantly sitting with your arms crossed and never letting anyone in? If you appear to have a guard up (through your attitude, your face paint, or your body language), you might as well have a neon sign over your head that says, “ Do NOT approach me.”
People can always feel genuineness and they are more likely to be attracted to and engaged with real authentic people.
6) Avoid Judgement
Everyone is an individual. As the saying goes, “To each his own”. People who condemn or look down upon others who are different are all too often the most insecure and unhappy individuals I’ve ever met.
It’s important to remember that everyone has a story and they are who they are and where they are for a reason. Not everyone is created the same or has the same ambitions. If they were, we’d all be bored and wouldn’t have the creativity this world exudes today.
Get to know and appreciate each individual for they are. They’re on a path just as you and it’s not our place to judge (unless of course, they’re doing something harmful to someone or something). Every unique individual is a contributor to this awesome country we live in and it’s important to recognize the need for diversity not only physically, but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.
7) Know your audience
When you first meet someone, speak to them as you would speak to the Queen or the President, with respect and dignity. Topics like religion or politics are off the table until you know where someone stands.
Do not make any brash opinionated comments about how much you “hate” something, for all you know the person you are talking to might love the thing you just said you hated. Avoid anything you wouldn’t talk to your grandmother about. Keep the conversation PG-13. No sexual or bathroom topics allowed.
Emotional connections are built on trust and getting to know the person. While some topics are fair game for your buddies (who have known you for 10 years), new people in your life don’t know you, and thus you should present your most well-kept, top-notch self.
8) Let Your Guard Down
It’s alright to have a little guard up around your heart. Everybody does. But at some point, if you are trying to create an emotional connection with someone, the guard has to come down. If you go through life shutting everyone out, you will never know what it feels like to be loved.
Confidence is knowing who you are and being ok with the world seeing you. If you’re confident, you will not have a problem with people knowing who you are. This transparency makes people think they can trust you, because they are seeing your authentic self.
That’s why the older group at the dinner party were so much more inviting. At that point in their lives, they knew who they were and had no problem letting the world see.
If you’re having trouble letting your guard down so people can get to know you better, you may need to do a little self reflection to understand why that is.
Giving and receiving love, attention, affection, admiration, are all important parts of the human experience. Try to think back on a time when you were emotionally invested, when your heart was open and you were happy and content.
Why did your guard went up in the first place? Little by little you can start to break down that wall. When you let other’s in, you will be amazed by how happy -- and emotionally connected-- you will really feel.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou
Do you have any tips on how to create a connection or chemistry with someone? Let us know by sharing them below.