Members: 0 member(s)

Shares ?

0

Clicks ?

0

Viral Lift ?

0%

User's Tags

Society 3,600 views Sep 12, 2017
What makes people click with each other?

I just finished reading Click: The Magic of Instant Connections (thx, Matthew Swann, for telling me about the book). It’s a book that tries to answer the question of why do two people click with each other. And I found it extremely edifying. Indeed, I would also say that I “clicked” with the book. (Not only was it interesting but it was light on the fluff and it was well organized: after each principle was explained, a visual map was shown, explaining how the principle integrated into the bigger picture.)

The authors of Click found five “accelerators” that foster clicking: vulnerability in communication, proximity, resonance, similarity, and environment. I’ll take you on a tour of each of the factors.

Vulnerability is pretty straightforward. If your’e vulnerable in your communication with someone, then through the principle of reciprocity, you two will be more likely to click. But what does being vulnerable mean? For our purposes we can say there are two types of speech: transactional and connective. Transactional speech conveys information whereas connective speech conveys emotion. Transactional speech can be divided into three levels: phatic speech, which are not emotionally revealing and consists mostly of social niceties such as “How are you?” and “It’s nice to see you”; factual speech, such as “I live in New York”; and evaluative statements, which reveal our views about people or situations: “That movie was really funny”, “I like your new haircut.” These statements encompass a certain limited amount of risk, because our statements are potentially in discord with others’ views.

 

Connective speech consists of gut-level and then peak statements. Gut-level statements are things like “I’m sad you’re not here” and “I’m so glad you’re in my life.” Clearly there is more risk incurred when making such a statement. And then peak statements might include thoughts like “When you said you felt I wasn’t good with children, I was dumbfounded–and hurt. Do you really think I’m that insensitive? That I wouldn’t make a good father? I guess at heart I’m terrified that I’m going to lose you.” Clearly peak statements harbor a tremendous amount of risk for rejection; you’re cutting through all the superficial bullshit and exposing your true motives and feelings. The upshot of making such statements is that by using peak level language, the chance of a magical “click” connection occurring is significantly greater.

 

The next accelerator of a click-connection is proximity. Simply by being near someone, you’re more likely to form a connection. This is because you’re going to have a lot of chance conversations that, over time, can amount to a serious relationship. One of the hazards of the modern digital workplace environment is that without being near each other, we miss out on a lot of random unnecessary social exchange, and that hurts our relationship building. Similarly, companies like Pixar have successfully employed this principle by placing the bathrooms and cafeteria and the certain of their office complexes. This forces people to be physically near each other, and improves relational chemistry. Physical proximity is another accelerant: just touching someone on the shoulder or arm can increase the level of trust.

 

Do you remember when I talked about Cziksentmihalyi’s Flow? It is that wonderful state that occurs when our mastery of a skill is met with an appropriate level of challenge. I’m going to introduce a new topic, and then I’m going to connect it to Flow. Are you familiar with the term “presence?” It’s really popular in the New Age community. “Be present.” For the longest time, I thought, what the fuck does that mean? Fortunately, the book Click actually presented a really good definition! It’s useful to view presence on a continuum. There’s simple presence, when we are simply present in a specific location or environment. And then there’s Transformative Presence: a meaningful interaction that touches the lives of those involved in a profound manner. Transformative Presence comprises four components: intentionality, mutuality, individuality, and attentiveness. Intentionality is entering an interaction with a sense of purpose and conscious awareness, and giving the interaction our undivided attention. Mutuality involves being open and available to meet the other person where they are. Mutuality requires focusing on the aspects of trust and honesty involved in the relationship, rather than giving advice or trying to solve a problem. Individuality means being authentic and aware of our own emotional reactions. I don’t know what “being authentic” even means since it sounds like such a loaded term, so I’m going to skip that, but awareness of our own emotional reactions is something that can be developed. A few of the tools I’ve used is knowing my behavioral triggers and monitoring my body language (though maybe I’m doing it wrong). Finally, attentiveness is demonstrating care through active involvement. Actively listening, asking to elaborate, sharing our own reactions, and generally demonstrating to the other person that we’re an active participant in the interaction.

 

When you achieve a state of transformative presence, and combine it with a state of flow, you reach what the authors of Click term “Resonance“. Resonance = flow + transformative presence. When we’re in a state of resonance, others are more likely to enter that state as well and we are more likely to form a meaningful connection with someone. (Mirror neurons may be involved. This may also be due to emotional mirroring, which I don’t feel the authors spent enough time discussing. I know that when I feel emotionally mirrored with someone, I feel a great sense of “rapport” and “clicking”. This may be due to similar circumstances provoking parallel emotions due to shared values, which could well be classified as “similarity”, discussed next.)

 

Next on our accelerator list is similarity. The authors found that similarity has a long-lasting effect on the harmony of an interpersonal relationship, and moreover, it is quantity of similarities rather than quality of similarities that makes a difference. That is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re both Christian, or you both enjoy bass fishing. Each commonality could be tallied as a “point”; once you hit enough points, something occurs. It may be related to the in-group vs. out-group phenomenons. if you’re similar enough with someone, then they could view you as part of their in-group. This could well be incorporated into my future hypothetical Evil Textbook of Awesome Manipulation Techniques. An incredible pair of studies mentioned in the book demonstrate that sharing a birthday with someone dramatically increases compliance, and sharing a name dramatically increases dollars donated when solicited for a donation.

 

And what the authors dub “a safe place” is the last of our listed trigger for click. When people experience joint adversity, they are more likely to form lasting bonds; authors cite the example of war heroes who experienced “action” becoming disproportionately more likely to bond. I have a bone to pick with this because I believe that warring may trigger bonding via aptic structures; for example, certain apes exhibit bonding after raiding behavior, too. But I also remember my social psychology textbook from college talking about how fraternities exploit this phenomenon via hazing, creating a shared experience of adversity amongst the pledges. Safe places invoke a cultural frame, creating an us-vs-them, in-group/out-group dichotomy, and people are more likely to bond with members of an in-group (due to similarity).

 

I feel like there are two major accelerators that the authors neglected. One is when people speak to our ideal self. That is, they offer compliments tailored to the way we perceive ourselves, rather than the way others perceive us. I think I discussed this in more detail in a previous blog post, but if the truest and highest vision of myself is of a great writer, and then someone comes along and says “Zack, I think you are truly an exceptional writer”, then we’re probably going to click. (Sorry, stalkers, I don’t see myself as a great writer . I guess if I revealed more about myself then you would be more likely to “click” with this post. It’s risky, though – what if you make fun of me or invalidate my dream? Anyway, I would like to be seen as a great creative and a great intellectual.

 

Another one I think the authors failed to mention is if the person with whom you are relating possesses great cultural (tribal) capital under the culture with which you identify. For example, I really like basketball, so I think I’m going to be more likely to click with basketball players. For example, when I was living in Chicago and I saw Joakim Noah out at Crescendo, we clicked. (It was in the way we shook hands. You know how sometimes you go to do a high-five / handshake with someone and it feels completely rhythmic, like you transition from one step of the handshake to the next without any friction or awkardness? It was like that.) It’s also the reason why people claim to have connections with attractive members of the opposite sex; they possess cultural capital. Your body wants you to bond with them, to ensure your tribal protection.

 

Some people are naturally better than others at clicking. These people have lots of emotional intelligence, and the authors call them “high self monitors.” They have fluid personalities; they modulate their emotional expression so they can quickly pick up on social cues, they quickly incorporate local norms. They manage others’ perceptions: in an exchange, they act deliberately to create what the other person experiences. They are the center of social networks; in an office, information will tend to pass through them. High self monitor M.B.A.s become promoted more quickly than others.

 

And when you assemble teams of people who click, you get greater results. When people bicker, it is about the issues rather than personal attacks. They are tribally aligned and can focus on the attainment of goals; they don’t need to argue out of insecurity. The exact reasons for this are still fuzzy to me, and I’m yet to lay down an entire cognitive model, but it’s something that intuitively, I strongly believe. It’s one reason that Paul Graham places such an emphasis on startup founders that get along with each other. By clicking, you eliminate a layer of friction that is present in most relationships.

 

For me, the book also prompts reflections on the value of organized religion, which I’m no longer as eager to dismiss as I was when I was younger.

When at the end of this year I compile my list of my favorite books I read this year, Click is definitely going to be on it. You can get it from Amazon for only $11.20 (I actually got it for $9.99, because I read it on my Kindle 3).

 

About author

Alex Wise is CEO of Loveawake.com free dating site and relationship coach. If youre interested in the online dating scene, leave a comment below, sign up at loveawake.com, or find us on twitter @Loveawake.


Tags: #  #engage 

Other Blogs

  • 09 Oct 2018
    Personal grooming can be a glorious thing. Let's face it: Liberal use of product is often the only slim line separating us from the apes.  Thanks to a marketing machine that only relatively recently discovered that they had the power to make dudes feel as insecure about their appearance as they've been making women feel for generations, attention to waxing, moisturizing, etc., is no longer strictly the territory of the Estrogen Brigade.  Guys today can run the personal grooming gamut from the "Unwashed Bike Messenger" (e.g. the only attention he pays to personal cleanliness is to the ironic mustache he obsessively grooms) to the "American Psycho," every inch of whom is so meticulously shaved, pruned, tanned, toned and combed that he puts you to shame.  Clearly, who you're more, interested in dating is a matter of personal choice; one woman might dig the funk, while another demands a man who's as dedicated to his mani-pedi regimen as she is. But what's a gal to do when she's on a date and her companion begins grooming himself at the table? Whether it's whipping out the nail clippers and going to town or producing a comb he then begins running through his locks. We've even heard of a dude who plucked out his stray nose hairs and thoughtfully placed them on a cocktail napkin ... "The Modern Gentleman: a Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy and Vice," by Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro, advises men thus: "Once the 30s have sprung, contemplate modern issues in hygiene and habits concerning exfoliation, cavities, regularity, and squamous cell carcinoma. A gentleman's outward presentation starts with management at the bathroom sink."  If he chooses a different location, you have a few choices. You can either try to laugh it off by cracking a joke, or make a mental note that (unless you want to find hair in your casseroles for the rest of your life) it might be time to kiss this one goodbye. If you're several dates into the relationship and you really like him, you can also have "the talk," where you gently explain that this behavior bothers you and you'd consider it a personal favor if he knock it off, stat. Absolute worst-case scenario (and if you're sure you never want to see him again), refer him to the sweet sounds of Bravo TV's "Countess LuAnn" and her etiquette-related dance song. And remember, personal grooming at the table is a no-no not just for guys, but for women as well. Considering re-applying your lip gloss, post-dessert? Think again, and excuse yourself to the ladies room to take a powder. Remember: How you comport yourself helps dictate how others act around and toward you, too. As the etiquette gurus at the Emily Post Institute like to put it, "In general, personal grooming should be done in private for the simple reason that it can be annoying and it's tacky."
    615 Posted by Robert Flint
  • 17 Sep 2018
    I work with quite a few young guys who work in construction who display abusive and irresponsible drinking. After a hard day’s work, it seems so right to go to the local watering hole to have a drink or two with one’s drinking buddies. Generally, however, it seems that the well-intentioned few brews turns out to be a situation in which many beers are consumed, a lot of money is spent, and a lot of time is spent at the local bar instead of spending time with their friends, wife or girlfriend, or with their family. Excessive and Unhealthy Drinking Can Result in Marital, Friendship, and Relationship Problems Is it really all that shocking under these circumstances that several these hard working guys suffer from alcohol related financial difficulties in spite of the fact that they make a very good wage? How complicated can it be for my hard working friends to understand that hazardous drinking usually leads to marital, communication, friendship, commitment, and relationship problems and often results in sexuality issues and affairs? Why are these alcohol abuse and alcoholic signs so hard for these hard working men to see? Abusive and Excessive Drinking Can Lead to DUIs, Work Problems, More Than a Few Health Problems, and a Variety of Mental Health Problems Such as Depression Should it actually be amazing to anyone that these hard working men could receive a drunk while driving arrest almost any day or night of the week? Is anyone actually surprised when these hard working men start to show up tardy for work because of their heavy and abusive drinking? Is anyone really all that shocked that several of these hard working guys need to reinforce their time management, anger management, and their stress management skills? Does it honestly astonish anyone to know that these construction workers eventually complain about alcohol-related health problems such as hangovers, alcohol poisoning, a loss of energy, and sleep disturbances? Should it truly be surprising to anyone that many of these construction workers smoke quite a lot and need to quit smoking? Should it truly be flabbergasting to anyone that my hard working buddies need to improve upon their parenting and family skills? Should it honestly be amazing to anyone that these hard working guys could receive a DUI almost any day or night of the week? Is anyone truly astounded when these hard working guys start to show up late for work due to their heavy drinking? Does it truly surprise anyone to know that my hard working pals eventually complain about alcohol-related health problems such as hangovers, alcohol poisoning, a loss of energy, and sleep disturbances? Is it honestly amazing that many of these construction workers are starting to have different mental health problems like depression?  Why can’t these hard working men see these alcohol abuse effects? To a relatively great extent, my hard working friends have gotten into a dysfunctional circumstance that is leading them to a life of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. My wish is that these construction workers will eventually see that irresponsible and heavy drinking isn’t their “friend” and that they need to talk to their physician or someone at the local drug and alcohol rehab center about their problem drinking. Regarding the drinking problems manifested by my hard working pals, the point to highlight is that honesty is needed. Indeed, these construction workers, similar to others who engage in irresponsible drinking, need to look at their behavior and make a factual appraisal of what heavy and abusive drinking is doing to their mental health, to their finances, to their health, to their relationships, and to their jobs. In a word, these hard working men need to realize the alcohol side effects of their heavy drinking. There’s Room For Optimism If Those Who Engage in Excessive and Hazardous Drinking Can Become Encouraged to Get the Alcohol Rehab and Alcohol Detox They Require My hard working buddies need to get motivated and inspired about wanting to make a positive change in their lives. Stated another way, these hard working guys need to get motivated to go to their physician or to the local alcohol rehabilitation center and discover whether or not they are essentially abusing alcohol or if they are addicted to alcohol. Based on the information that is revealed, my hard working friends then need to get the alcohol rehab and the alcohol detoxification they require. The good news is that there’s a vast number of treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, rehab programs, and drug and alcohol treatment clinics where my hard working pals can get first-rate rehab for their hazardous and excessive drinking. And with some effort, it’s even possible to find rehabilitation facilities, treatment centers, rehab programs, drug and alcohol treatment clinics, and hospitals that are cost effective. Professional Alcohol Abuse or Alcohol Dependency Help Can Begin With a Single Phone Call There were unquestionably times in the past when top-of-the-line help for alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction was more expensive and far less available that it is now. Due to the significant increase of alcohol dependency and alcohol abuse in the past two decades, however, an alcohol addicted person or an alcohol abuser more often than not has few, if any, feasible reasons for failing to come to terms with his or her irresponsible and abusive drinking. In actual fact, to begin the change process all it routinely takes is a phone call to one’s physician or to someone at the local alcohol treatment facility. Thereafter, long term alcohol recovery necessitates follow through, commitment, and a genuine desire to change one’s detrimental lifestyle and enhance one’s self image, spirituality, and one’s loving and intimate relationships.  
    543 Posted by Robert Flint
  • 13 Nov 2017
    For some people online singles events can be an outstanding way to meet people. For others, it's too much like the bar scene they're trying to avoid. One thing is for sure: everyone knows why they're there! All-in-all the best advice we can offer to singles events is to consider them. If there's an event in your area--especially if it involves something that you're particularly interested in--think about it.   The most common concern people have is of looking silly because they're going to an event like this alone. Think about it this way instead: everyone there is single! You'll be just like everyone else in that regard. Singles events--even if you don't meet a someone compatible for dating--can be a LOT of fun.   If you want to meet someone special it's going to take a bit of searching online and a bit of concerted effort. Our advice to most people is this: where else can you go to learn a TON about--and (essentially) meet singles--all from the comfort of your own home in front of your computer?   Not only that, but where else can you go from that environment, to one where you can meet other great singles in your area in a fun, structured fashion? Enough said! 
    336 Posted by Robert Flint