Next time you are hanging out with someone or a group you’ve just met, resist the temptation to give them your resume. “Here’s where I work, this cool degree I have, the distant place I recently traveled to, some impressive fact about myself, yada yada.” This won’t create much of a bond with your new friend. It’s most likely to create more distance between the two of you. And the result will be them giving you their resume in return.
(Photo: Rhododendron Park Kromlau by Jacob Riglin)
Instead, ask your new friend about themselves with genuine interest. Then, when it’s your turn to talk, share a funny story about yourself or about a unique situation you were recently in. Particularly if it’s one that you don’t come out as the hero. Or, if you are feeling particularly daring, tell a mildly embarrassing story about yourself. Share that thing that you usually edit and don’t talk about. (But avoid stories that are overly personal, traumatizing, super gross-out, or one in which you ended up really angry, as these type of stories will have the opposite effect.) This type of sharing that leaves you somewhat exposed will cause the other person to then do the same. And it is in this vulnerability, that deep bonds are forged and strengthened.
Jeremi McManus is a Relationship Therapist, Couples Therapist, and Author who works with people who want more fulfilling and satisfying relationships. His own ups and downs in dating and relating were instrumental in leading him into this field. If you feel like you could use some perspective, he looks forward to hearing from you. Jeremi is a Licensed Psychotherapist and delighted to call San Francisco home.