As you get older, it can be tougher to make to new friends. You can help yourself out, though, by opening up and sharing secrets with someone you think might be interested in friendship.
Photo by Dani_vr
Making new friends can be a weird song and dance, almost as if it were dating. You don’t want to be too needy, but you also want them to know you’re interested in getting to know them. A recent study led by psychology Professor Arthur Aron at Stony Brook University, and published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests that divulging a secret to an acquaintance can help you pave the way to friendship much faster than normal. In the study, researchers found evidence that suggests that building a relationship can be sped up by moving right past forced small talk and using self-disclosure to build trust and understanding.
Of course, you don’t want to go running around sharing your deepest, darkest secrets to strangers. You just want to open up and help them see more of who you really are as a person, especially if you can share something that relates to your current situation. Maybe admit you’ve never tried the drink they’re sipping on, or that you think the pop song playing is actually a guilty pleasure of yours. They will feel like you trust them and will be more likely to open up as well. The next time you meet someone you seem to get along with, share a secret about something relatable. You might just get a new friend out of it.
The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness [The journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin via American Psychological Association]