People gravitate towards what is familiar. From an evolutionary perspective, familiarity evolved because if what we did yesterday kept us alive, we would do it again. We reduce risk by doing the familiar.
In the same way, we chose similarity in our lives. Friends and others in our circle of influence tend to be most like us, having similar likes, values and goals. We like people who are more like us, because it reinforces and confirms our identity.
To instantly bond with someone, you can use this to your advantage, by searching for similarities with them. When someone says, I like your tie, I have one just like it, this may seem cheesy, but it works, because it grows bonds of familiarity and similarity.
As a motivational speaker, I am always looking for similarities that bring an audience together, so I can understand and be a part of their culture. Once I can figure out what makes a group unique, this information is what bonds the audience and creates congruence.
Use body language
Conversation techniques like mimicking, mirroring, active listening and paraphrasing work because they reinforce the speakers image of themselves. To disagree with someone, would instantly rock the boat and create distance, because you are saying, we are not alike.
Slick salesmen can bypass your better judgement by using these familiarity techniques to build rapport. Humorously, one friend of mine- tried to attract a guy, by suggesting she loved football( she knew he was an enthusiastic fan). Her gig was up when she didn't know what a touchdown was.
The crave to build familiarity is biological, studies show if you spend enough time with someone, your clothing will be similar, breathing rates line up, blood pressure alines, even speech patterns, values and more will grow together.
Thus, if you really want to bond with someone, find out about them, understand their interests, and use this to create familiarity. Don't underestimate the power of small talk, this seemingly irrelevant banter helps build and understanding of what makes someone tick.
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