Ever had a moment like this? A moment when there’s just something dislikeable about a person you can’t put your finger on? Unless you’re a professional relationship consultant, you probably aren’t aware of the importance of your body in social relations, and the way it mirrors what it sees.
Day to day life can be hard enough without the constant strain, drain and pressure of human relationships getting in the way. Life can be even harder when we find ourselves alienated and disconnected from everyone around us … without even knowing why.
Do you find yourself constantly clashing with people? Do you find yourself eternally shut off from everyone you meet and interact with? Do you want to know how to immediately connect with anyone and overcome your social isolation? Keep reading.
Your Body Has A Really Loud Mouth
The first thing to know about how to immediately connect with anyone is that your body speaks volumes about how you think and feel. It is said that 55% of what we each respond to in social situations is what we see, followed by what we hear (38%), and finally followed by the words that are spoken (7%).
This means that people first pay attention to what they see in you (i.e. your gestures and body language). The tone you choose and the words you choose to convey your message come later. I know that you’ve probably heard this all before, but it is imperative to grasp when you want to know how to immediately connect with anyone.
If you haven’t read up on the specifics of body language, and what is defined as open and closed body language, please do. Here are some links from previous posts that will summarize what you need to know easily:
- Body Language: Arm Gestures
- Body Language: Hands
- Body Language: Head
- Body Language: Legs
- Body Language: Mirroring
- Body Language: Palms and Thumbs
- Body Language: Personal Space
To give you a better picture of what closed and open body language is, let me ask you a question. When you meet a new person, or are standing in a group of people, do you see yourself:
a) Nodding, looking away, crossing your arms or putting them in your pockets, and hunching a little bit. You may notice your body pointing away from the person or people you’re speaking to.
b) Nodding, leaning forward, making eye contact, smiling, and using your hands a lot.
If you chose (a), you have some work to do; your body language is closed. People who chose (b) display open body language, and rarely find it difficult to connect with anyone.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
“People in rapport unconsciously synchronize each other’s body language and vocal characteristics.” – Nicholas Boothman, Convince Them In 90 Seconds
Learning how to immediately connect with anyone is not only important for making friends and overcoming social isolation, but for home life and business life as well. The truth is; many of us find ourselves coexisting with people we never chose to be around in the first place. That’s why learning how to copy how each person we meet behaves and talks is essential to build trust, understanding and above all, harmony.
This may seem a bit wacko, and almost comical, but people who mirror each other build immediate connections. Just observe any two people on the street, or any two people sitting at a cafe. Rest assured you will find that the happiest looking ones are those that mimic what the other is doing, and also, the way the other is talking. It’s a way of showing that “I get you” to the other person.
We can’t all be naturals at mirroring each other, which is why more often than not, it’s necessary to deliberately go out of our way to create connections with other people. As a highly reserved introvert, I’m not a natural at all, and quite frequently wish I was anywhere but talking to the people I come in contact with. But one of the many things I’ve learnt is that mirroring other people is essential to creating interpersonal serenity, and good will. And these are two essential ingredients to living a peaceful and psychologically sound life.
How To Get Started
You’ve just heard all the theory, but now you’ll need to know how to immediately connect with anyone.
I’ve listed a couple of exercises below you can try to create rapport unconsciously with other people. The most important thing to remember is that all of them require subtlety. You don’t want to go over the top and weird people out, the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Take a look at them, and try giving them a go:
Mirroring Body Language
For a few hours or even a whole day, try to mirror your body language to whoever you meet. Notice the connection you feel when you do what they do. Also try breaking your synchronicity every once and a while, and see if you can notice the difference.
- Subtlety is the key.
- Change your body language slowly, and only after a few seconds the other person has.
- Do as little as you can to mirror them, you don’t need to parrot every tiny thing they do.
For a few hours or a whole day, listen carefully to how each person you meet talks. Do they speak quickly, slowly, musically or animatedly? Do they speak loudly or softly, with high or deep voices? Notice the tone, pitch, volume and speed of each voice that talks to you and try to make your own voice match. Notice any differences that occur when you do this, for instance, does the person move closer to you, or open up to you even more than they usually would?
- Make slow changes.
- Try to be subtle (you don’t want them to think you’re mocking them).
- Don’t mirror accents from different nationalities, this is just bizarre.
- Do as little as you can to make changes.
Mirroring, like any social skill, can take practice. Luckily, you only need to spend about a day practising to become an expert! If you practice this simple skill, you’ll learn very quickly how to immediately connect with anyone. Good luck!