How to connect with others

Strong connections with others form friendships and friendships require four basic building blocks.

  1. Proximity = distance between you and the individual.
  2. Frequency = the number of interactions you have.
  3. Duration = length of time with the individual.
  4. Intensity = degree of satisfying their psychological and/or physical needs.

The golden rule of friendships is to make people feel good about themselves. To do that use empathetic statements to express that you see the world through their eyes. Other useful tools include using compliments, ideally trying to get the person to compliment themselves. Also seeking commonalities help people feel they are “normal” and you are similar to them, so have a similar worldview.

For verbal behaviour, remember LOVE

  • Listen = eye contact, don’t interrupt, parrot back what they say.
  • Observe = interpret their body language and look for meaning behind their words.
  • Vocalise = Don’t call people out, elevate their status by using compliments, ask about them.
  • Empathise = use empathetic statements to appear that you see the world through their eyes.

To develop short-term relationships to long term caring think CARE.

  • Compassion = show that you care about their life and challenges.
  • Active listening = use verbal and non-verbal nudges to keep them talking, focus on what they are saying, compliment them on good points and suggestions.
  • Reinforcement = reinforce positive attention on them.
  • Empathy = show that you see the world through their eyes.

Lastly, remember Dale Carnegie’s advice on getting people to like you.

  1. Become genuinely interested in them.
  2. Smile.
  3. Use their name.
  4. Listen, encourage them to talk.
  5. Talk in terms of their interests.
  6. Make them feel important.