The Fastest (And Strangest) Ways To Make Friends, Says Science

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How To Make Friends And Form New Relationships

New BFFs in no time.

The relationships we form in our lives, whether they're romantic, platonic, or familial, impacts and shapes who we are. It's human nature to want to socialize and form relationships with others

Unfortunately, some of us have a harder time meeting people and forming friendships and relationships.

In an article for New York Magazine, behavioral scientist Jon Levy narrates his trip to Nice, France, where he was researching for his book The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure.

"I needed to understand how to build meaningful relationships quickly," he wrote. It was during this trip that he uncovered the 5 scientific secrets on how to make friends:

1. Do a litmus test.


This doesn't mean dunking them in a solution and seeing if they change colors or not. This litmus test is as simple as just asking the right questions that tell you quickly about the other person's personality.

"If you want to find out if a person is adventurous, ask them: 'What’s the wildest thing that you have done on a dare?'" said Levy. "If you wave at someone from across the room and they wave back, they’re friendly, so you can approach."

2. Use the "Ben Franklin effect."

This refers to Ben Franklin winning over a rival by asking to borrow a rare book. Research from The Tavistock Insitute found that strangers bond quickly by doing favors for each other.

Start off with a small and simple favor (like in Franklin's case, borrowing a book) and then continue asking for favors that get progressively larger. The more the other does for you shows how much they invest in their relationship with you. Of course, this is a two-way street so you too should invest in the relationship with the other person by doing them favors.

3. Find something you have in common.


This is probably the simplest way to make friends, which we also tend to do. We are naturally drawn to someone with the same likes, dislikes, beliefs, and background as us.

4. Try the "misattribution of arousal" technique.

This does not necessarily mean sexual arousal. What you are arousing are positive thoughts and feelings regarding another person.

"Research from the University of British Columbia found that when in exciting situations, people attribute their feelings to the people they’re with, not just the experience," writes Levy. "You may seem funnier by taking a date to a comedy club or more attractive by participating in daring activities."

5. End your interaction on a high note.


Levy explained using what scientists call "The Peak End Rule."

"If you drag out your experiences, the momentum and enjoyment will fall. They will end on a lower note, and people will remember you less fondly," he said. If you want your new friends or potential love interests to remember you fondly, leave them with a strong and positive impression.

Before you know it, you'll be making new and unexpected friends.

Don't forget that a friendship is also a relationship. Invest time and effort into making it stronger to withstand the test of time.