Have you ever wondered how you eventually make friends with people? Oddly enough you and your closest friends hardly share life interests yet you get along so well? How did the guy/ girl at the gym who’s been there for months all of a sudden become so attractive to you and you can’t explain the sudden change?
It’s propinquity my friend, PROPINQUITY
I first discovered this word when I was reading the book Influencer by Kerry Patterson which mentioned that the ability to influence people is by getting them to like and respect you. It seems like common sense doesn’t it? However most organisations are run by bosses who are bullies and want to influence behaviour by dominating and barking orders… not all, but most still do.
If you want people to be more efficient at work or get people to buy your products, bottom line they must like people you. This is not only beneficial to work and business but for our mental state of well being. The more close connections we have with people the more likely we are to report feeling happy.
The figure was 5
If a person has more than 5 close friends they are more like to feel happy more often. This is purely because spending time with others allows us to feel good. We are listened to and feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves. We engage in more positive social conversations that uplift us.
It turns out through all of my reading of late ( by no surprise) everything is inter- related. Have more friends, live a happier life. Be in the close proximity to others often, you will by default have more friends.
Making friends is easy!
Making friends or being attracted to another person has more to do with the amount of times you are exposed to them, rather than personality type or any other commonality.
Propinquity is the study of how sheer closeness affects ones ability to create friendships and strengthen bonds between people. The closer you sit, live or work next to some one is actually a high predictor of weather they will become your friend or not.
In a study completed by social scientists in USA found that individuals who lived on the ground floor of an apartment block near the mail boxes, had far more friends in the building. This was compared to those that lived on the top floor. Living near the mail boxes meant that you would come across more people in your way in and out of your apartment by coincidence. You had more opportunity to create relationships. Familiarly cultivates attractiveness and closeness. This is a very handy hint to note.
Think about where you sit in your office space at work, or who you may have sat near at school or university. Would you consider yourself far more “friendly” or engage more in a social manner with these people?
A majority of the time the people we sit closest to at work or at school become our closest friends. Proximity is the key, the closer you are in distance the stronger the connection.
If you want some one to like you, go and sit next to them regularly
Although that statement sounds like it could be the recipe for an AVO. Remember there is a difference between stalking and making an effort to show up to interact with people you want to get to know!
Let’s not get weird about it…
Propinquity is cool because it removes the idea that you need to be an extrovert to have lots of friends and ultimately happiness. Not true at all. All you need to do it find way to get exposed to people on a regular basis.
You may want to try joining a sporting team. This is how I made most of my current friends, at gymnastics, salsa or gym. With my sports I turn up week after week, some times multiple times in a week to practice to perfection. At the start I always start by simply saying hello to regular faces that also show up every week. Then we start training together, by working on specific moves. Next thing you know where calling each other up to make sure were turning up! Then we eventually invite each other out on the weekends to catch up out side of sport. Great! Trust me when I say you can go from zero to hero by just showing up to something regularly.
You know what else works?
Discussion groups, join a business breakfast group or book club or cooking classes. There all loads of fun. I found even turning up to the same night club each week helps. I turn up to the same Latino salsa nights at least every second week. By default I have made friends with the band members, DJ’s other fellow Latin dancers my merely turning up and saying “Hi” to familiar faces. Give it a try you have nothing to lose but making new friends.
Have you got a story about propinquity you’d like to share?