Sometimes it’s love at first sight… or bros at first sight. In Click: The Magic of Instant Connections, Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman explore the whys of instant connections and the ways they shape our relationships.
1) People who undergo an MRI while deeply in love show the same brain activity as those under the influence of the likes of cocaine and amphetamines. In a sense, you’re “addicted” to your beloved, or the rush you feel while deep in conversation with a pending bestie.
2) Conversely, when we’re ignored, the part of our brain responsible for pain–actual, physical pain–lights up. That’s why separation from the other half of our click couplet can feel like a bodily wound.
3) Studies show that people who are casually touched during even in the most banal conversation rated the toucher as more receptive and trustworthy than those who remained hands-off. If you and your clickee so much as shook hands or brushed elbows during your initial encounters, that’s probably one of the reasons why the magic happened.
4) Don’t run off to the nearest pheromone peddler, but women who were exposed to the scent of cotton pads worn close to mens’ bodies–even though they didn’t know the pads were even in the room–rated pictures of those men as more attractive and confident.
5) Nobody has to be in actual danger, but we are more apt to click with another person when placed in a vulnerable situation, such as sitting in the same waiting room or meeting at a training clinic.
6) The more personal first few discussions, the better the chance you’ll form a strong bond. A study researchers conducted at Stony Brook University which told randomly paired students to ask one another increasingly personal questions showed that the deeper the discussion, the stronger the click. The experiment yielded at least one engaged couple.
7) Providing an opportunity for empathy is a click accelerator. We can even feel closer to a computer if it “discloses” a weakness. A Harvard study asked students about deeply personal issues on a computer-generated survey, but for some, the screen displayed a message mentioning that it sometimes malfunctioned. Students who saw the message were far more responsive and less guarded than those who did not. They even described the computer as “friendly” and “kind.”
8) Take a look at your contacts list: Chances are there are more friends (and exes) in it with a last name similar to yours, especially if you met them while seated alphabetically. Simple proximity is such a major factor in finding a click partner that a survey of police academy cadets revealed that 90% of people who made friends during training happened to find them in the seat right to them.
9) If you live in a dorm or apartment, your position in the middle of the hall or on the corner makes a difference. Over and over again, scientists have found that people who are literally in the middle of the action make more connections than those stranded on the edges.
10) Speaking of scientists and proximity, those who collaborate with a colleague are six times more likely to do so with an office neighbor than those who are on another floor–even in if they belong to the same department.
11) As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to interact with someone to be perceived as more attractive and friendly. You just have to… be around.
Psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh asked similar-looking women to attend varying number of classes in a college course. The women did not participate in class or talk to the other students. Yet the woman who attended the most classes was rated as more attractive and intelligent than the women who attended less or none.
Moral of the story: Show up.
12) Even the smallest link can create a clicky feeling. Psychologists at Santa Clara University found that when a planted assistant asked for a charitable donation from a female research subject, she doubled her contribution when the “volunteer” was wearing a tag with a name that matched her own.
13) Social butterflies might just be naturally better at mirroring our moods, tastes, and even physical postures. Those with more friends and acquaintances were more likely to unconsciously duplicate a researcher’s body language in a controlled setting.