Relationships, whether platonic or romantic, are not easy to come by for most people. It requires a lot of effort since developing a close relationship with someone new can be challenging. Cultivating a deep and personal bond with someone can also be scary for people who may be introverted or antisocial. It requires a lot of trust and honesty from both parties to get closer.
Why Do We Need Close Relationships?
Humans are social animals and so we require bonds with other humans to maintain our sanity. According to Dr. Amir Levine, psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author, “Social connections are the most powerful way for us to regulate our emotional distress.” He further explained, “If you are in distress, being in proximity to someone you’re securely attached to is the most effective way to calm yourself.” Source
When people make deep and personal bonds with each other they are able to function with less anxieties about life as they have someone to rely on in their time of need. Hyper-independence is not particularly a healthy trait. It often stems from trauma and so should be dealt with as such. In these instances it is these close relationships that we have with people that allows us to feel safe in asking for help, being each other’s emotional support as well as having a constant companion that helps us deal with life.
Here’s how to find new friends, communicate on a deeper level, and build trust in order to bring the relationship closer.
1. Create a foundation of security
The first and foremost thing that any close relationship requires is a sense of security. There are five important and foundational aspects that make any relationship a secure one. These include consistency, reliability, availability, responsiveness and predictability. When these five elements become part of a relationship then the connection becomes deep and long lasting.
For example, while you do not have to respond to texts within minutes, however, reliability and availability entails that you create a baseline for responsiveness. This will make your friends feel more secure in your friendship.
2. Spend one-on-one time
After building trust and a sense of security it is important that you spend time with the other person. This helps in getting to know the other person better and developing a deep connection with them. Furthermore, if you are part of a group of people then it can become difficult to build a deep relationship with them. Cultivating closer friendships and relationships often require one-on-one settings.
3. Make an effort
Humans are complex creatures and oftentimes they are not how we perceive them to be. This means that sometimes people are reluctant to do something but all they need is a push from someone. Therefore, you must try becoming that person for them. If the person you are interested in stays aloof then you must try to involve them and make them feel important. This shows the other person that they have something worthwhile to contribute especially if the person is low on self-esteem and confidence.
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4. Be a listener
It is important that you try to be present for the other person. Listening attentively to someone is perhaps the most intimate thing that you can do. When the other person feels heard then they feel important and valued. This makes them get closer to you as they want to keep that emotional support.
5. Open yourself up to them
Sharing your life stories is equally important as listening to the other person’s experiences. A deep connection gets built when you share mutual experiences. Furthermore, it shows that you value the other person enough to be vulnerable in front of them.
Close relationships develop only when people are ready to be vulnerable and honest with each other as opposed to being superficial in their interactions. This means sharing the less flattering details about yourself. It is in these details that people find relatability and therefore, are able to develop that affinity with each other.
6. Identify their love language
Whether it be acts of services or words of affirmation, everyone has a certain love language that they respond to. There are five types of love language namely spending quality time, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch and acts of service. If, for instance, words of affirmation are their love language then you should use it to get close to them. It helps knowing how a person feels understood.
7. Find things in common
If you wish to connect with someone on a deeper level then it surely helps if you try to find things that are common between the two of you. For example, if there is a certain band that the two of you really like then you can spend quality time listening to their music and discussing your love for them with each other. There are countless stories of how people have come together over their love for certain things that have bonded them for life. This can be a stepping stone for your relationship and from here you can take things forward.
8. Give them compliments
Compliments are a great way of getting to someone’s heart. Human beings thrive on being praised and getting compliments. If it is a girl that you are wishing to get close to then do not just compliment her physical appearance but also praise their intellect. This will surely get you plus points from them. However, these compliments should be genuine because if it is mere flattery then the other person will be able to tell.
9. Find out how the person likes to be seen
Humans like to be understood in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. This phenomenon is defined in the form of self-affirmation theory. We all want others to confirm our opinions, whether positive or negative. The obtained results can be analyzed in such a way that humans like to communicate with people who provide them with feedback that is consistent with their accepted identity. It further indicates that when the beliefs of others about us are consistent with our beliefs about ourselves, our relationship with them flows more easily. Because in this case, we feel that the other party understands us, and as you know, understanding is an important component to create intimacy.
10. Give them gifts
Another way that can get you closer to someone is by giving them gifts especially when they are meaningful. Perhaps you found a shirt that reminded you of them then you should buy it and gift them. This way they will know that the thought of you crosses their mind and that they pay attention to your wants and needs.
Gift giving is an act that brings people closer as it can show how much you value and care for that person. Gifts do not have to be expensive to be worth giving but rather they should be thoughtful and meaningful.
Having meaningful relationships is a huge asset, and if you feel like you don’t have one, you can feel lonely. Social connections create a positive cycle of social, emotional and physical health. Humans are social animals and they need each other for survival. It is not possible to carry on with your life in a healthy way without having close knit relations whether they be romantic or platonic. The need for intimacy with other people is present in everyone. However, not everyone is well-versed in how to get closer to someone.