How To Get People Comfortable With You By Adam Lyones
The problem that many people face when building commonalities is that they end up finding one connection and milking it for all its worth. Identifying that someone you’re interested in shares your love for salsa music isn’t an invitation to speak to them solely about salsa music all night. Drilling home just one connection is only going to end up boring someone and having them try to escape you.
The real trick to building a solid connection or rapport with someone is to ensure you have a good number of topics and things in common with each other. What would be even better in fact is to find commonalities that the other person is interested in,that way, the conversation will flow thick and fast, not from you trying to draw the conversation from them, but because they have a genuine love and desire to talk about those topics.
Different people obviously have a preference for different subjects. This is kind of an obvious statement. So why then do people insist on having the same boring conversations when they first meet? The questions are always the same. What do you do for a living? Where do you live? Mundane questions that we’ve all answered time and time again.
If you really want to identify topics that someone likes to talk about, then you need to ask them what really gets them going. In short, you need to identify their passions in life, their dreams, and their aspirations. You need to identify what they do in their time-off beyond the basic day-to-day drudgery.
Once they start telling you what they love in life, all you have to do is respond with a statement of your own about that particular topic and voila! You’ve managed to build a commonality.
You: What’s your idea of fun when you’re not at work?
Her: Curling up in front of a movie.
You: Yes I love that! With a nice, hot chocolate and maybe a nice fireplace in the background.
Her: Yes, yes, that sounds great, I love doing that.
You: I know, people just don’t get enough quiet time to enjoy themselves. When were you last able to do it?
As you can see, most of that short encounter was built up from statements, which, as we identified, is a very natural form of conversation, and as we know the conversational topic is one the other person enjoys and one we can relate to ourselves, we’ve built a commonality. The more of these we build up, the stronger the connection and the easier the conversation will be.
People often ask if there are any topics of conversation that should be avoided when you first meet someone. I suggested earlier that you stay away from certain topics, especially before you’ve had a chance to look for or create some commonalities. The problem is that there really isn’t an easy answer to this. Some people love talking about politics, whereas some hate the topic completely. The real trick to making a solid friend is to be sure that you calibrate your conversation to the other person. Whether you like talking about soccer is almost irrelevant if you’re trying to build a connection with someone new. You really want to talk about topics they’re interested in. Likewise don’t make the assumption that people want to avoid certain topics.