Most people think having an instant connection with someone is as rare as a lightning strike.
On the other side are people who are socially intelligent and make instant and profound connections with others almost on a daily basis.
But what’s their secret? Do they read minds? Close, but no.
They plug into a conversation and can change its course from small talk about the weather to one that instantly makes a bond with the other person, regardless of their gender.
So let’s see what phrases they use to get under other people’s skin.
1) “I can relate”
This powerful phrase lets someone know they’re not alone in their feelings or situation.
By telling them how much you relate to their situation or experience, you’re validating their emotions and boosting empathy and rapport.
Even when you don’t relate 100% with someone’s circumstances, you can still say, “I somewhat relate to…” and then continue to explain with what part of their experience you relate.
Plus, sharing a personal experience that mirrors theirs helps create a sense of connection. It brings you closer and is a great segway to expand on your experience on the topic.
2) “Tell me more”
This phrase shows your curiosity and eagerness to delve deeper into the topic the other person is discussing.
It proves you’re not just passively listening but genuinely interested in their thoughts and experiences.
I had a friend telling me about their project at work. I can’t say I was very interested in it because, let’s be honest, his line of work is incredibly boring.
So when he mentioned that the project might take him to Italy, I jumped straight on the opportunity to steer the conversation in that direction.
This was a win-win because we both love Italy, its food, and its incredible sights.
3) “What would you do in my situation?”
Asking someone for their advice means trusting their judgment and willingness to be vulnerable. It also shifts the focus to their insights, encouraging a deeper connection.
Let’s face it, most people love talking more about themselves and the things that bother them.
That’s why you’re gravely bored when someone goes on and on about their kids, partner, and even travels, which is something that should excite us a bit more.
If you can ask them for some kind of advice, any advice really on any topic that concerns you too, the conversation will switch sides and be more engaging for both people.
4) “That’s a great point”
With this phrase, you basically validate their perspective. You also encourage them to continue sharing and boost their confidence in the conversation.
Socially intelligent people use this phrase when they sense that the person talking is unsure about their talking point.
It’s a great way to keep the conversation going and to hear more good perspectives if they’re competent to talk about the subject.
5) “I remember when we…”
Relating with someone is great, but referencing a shared memory or experience truly strengthens the bond between two people, as it reflects a shared history, mutual experience, and even adventure.
This is something you’ll hear between close friends, but you can use it in the workplace, too.
For instance, you can reference when you both had to stay late to put cigarette lighters into countless envelopes that were going out to clients as Christmas gifts.
Yup, you guessed it, that’s a real reference from my (distant) past.
It’s funny and ridiculous moments like these, and you remembering them that bring people closer together, even though you don’t have much else in common.
6) “What are your thoughts on this?”
Any natural conversation should involve an exchange of opinions, right? However, that’s not always the case, as one side sometimes hijacks the conversation.
Inviting other people’s opinions shows respect for their insights and encourages them to actively participate in the conversation. This, in turn, results in more engaging discussions.
Socially intelligent people know that a conversation should never be one-sided and that both sides should share their opinions equally.
7) “I’ve been wanting to discuss this with someone who appreciates this”
Many times I can’t find a person to talk to about things that interest me the most. For example, I can talk to my wife about the things we both love, like travel, food, and travel videos that have both.
But I’m also really interested in behind-the-scene process, especially video editing, composition, cinematography, color grading, etc. You know, things that are extremely important to make a great travel video.
That’s why whenever I overhear someone talking about this, I jump at the opportunity to talk about it.
This mostly happens in the most unusual places, such as a kids’ playground when I’m there with my son or even a beach.
That way, I’ve made some real connections with strangers basically, and we’ve stayed in touch too.
You see, expressing your desire to engage with someone who shares your interest immediately establishes common ground and encourages in-depth conversations.
8) “I see where you’re coming from”
Another way to make an instant connection with someone is to establish that you understand their viewpoint before expressing your own opinion.
That shows you’re willing to listen and consider their perspective, even if you don’t agree.
This is an easy “life hack” most people don’t use. Instead, they go straight at it, pulling them even further apart than they already are.
9) “You’ve given me a new perspective”
Expressing that you’ve learned something from person’s insights shows, not only gratitude, but also encourages a continued exchange of ideas.
This phrase validates their side of the story and definitely makes them feel more important.
After all, they opened someone’s eyes and gave them a new and different perspective on a topic that might even be incredibly important.
So if you want to make someone feel special and even more important than they are, use this powerful phrase.
Of course, be honest. Don’t use it for your own gain.
10) “Let’s find a solution together”
Collaborative language like this encourages teamwork and unity in addressing challenges.
When you say this to someone, you suggest that you value their input and are interested in working together on a resolution.
I often use this phrase when the other person messed something up. Instead of being angry and even resentful, I simply steer the convo to find a solution.
You see, there’s one secret you need to know about me. I have high blood pressure.
That’s why I can’t get mad at people anymore. So, I had to learn how to navigate the potential anger-inducing feelings into a more constructive realm.
11) “I’ve been thinking about this lately, too”
Sharing your reflections related to a topic shows you’ve already had similar thoughts. This opens the door to a deeper exploration of the subject.
You’re both already on the same page and can continue the conversation on a higher level than if one side wasn’t up to speed.
12) “Could you help me understand better?”
With this effective phrase, you highlight your willingness to learn, and you show your humility by admitting you don’t have all the answers.
You also encourage the other person to explain things in a way that resonates with you.
It’s not easy to admit you don’t know something. Some people also form unnecessary rivalries over nothing, and asking the other person for help feels like you’re climbing Mount Everest.
In many ways, asking for help with understanding something better is stepping out of the comfort zone for some people.
13) “I’m impressed by your knowledge about…”
Socially intelligent people know that compliments go a long way.
When you compliment someone’s expertise, you show respect for their skills and achievements.
It also encourages them to share more on the topic, leading to more enriching conversations.
And, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.
14) “I had a similar experience when…”
And lastly, sharing a personal story that relates to what they’re discussing creates a bridge of shared experience. It helps forge a stronger connection and allows you to find common ground.
I mean, that’s what we all should be striving for.
Making instant connections is great, but we shouldn’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
We often get a second chance, and developing a deeper bond is still possible.