Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Boomerang Effect

For those of you "Daily Remedy" regulars, you already know, that I love everything about social interactions. This interest has actually raised over the years and still continues to grow. As a kid, I used to get in trouble a lot in class for talking too much.

I can only imagine the terror I would be now!

One of the things that I've always been pretty good at is making friends. Yes, making friends. I honestly get along with practically everybody. Sure there are people I don't particularly care for, but I still get along with them, and in general, most people are always pretty nice!

Recently, I was thinking about how I interact with other people and why I manage to make great friends. I know this is no breakthrough in the history of social science whatsoever, but I don't think most people actually think about the way they interact with people.

I have discovered the secrets to always having great interactions! I call it "The Boomerang Effect!

OK,ok, its actually not much different than the cliche' "Do unto others as you'd have done to yourself." But, I've added a little "Arun Flava" to this and made it my own theory.

Essentially, it boils down to making the people around you feel great. The beauty of this is, that you will naturally feel great in response and people will naturally gravitate towards you and make you feel great too!

Big deal right? Well, after my intense analysis, I've broken down a couple of interesting natural behaviors of mine that I think help me get along with people.

1. Being a "Namer." Last week, a couple of girls that I've recently become acquainted with mentioned I am a "namer." Apparently, a namer is a person who, in conversation with someone else, uses that persons name quite a bit. I thought about this for awhile and realized that I do use peoples names a LOT in conversation.

They went on to talk about how it subtly makes the recipient feel good when someone is a namer. I thought about this statement and realized how true this is ESPECIALLY when first meeting someone. I am always skeptical of people remembering my name when I meet them, but when they do, and they use it, it actually does make me feel pretty good (despite being consciously aware of this relation most of the time). I definitely think being a namer has an unacknowledged, yet powerful effect on subtly (and unintentionally on my end) making someone feel great.

2. Optimism. Looking at everything with a "glass half full" perspective comes out when interacting with people and makes everyone feel good. People can't help but feed off of someone who radiates positive energy, and being optimistic about not only your endeavors, but other peoples as well creates a great atmosphere.

3. Immediate comfort. Some people take some time to "warm up" when meeting new people and don't really break out of their shell until they feel comfort. Well I'm obviously not one of those types of people. I generally conversate with everyone as if I already know them.

I am kind of a joker by nature, and I like to tease my friends a lot. In fact, I think teasing is great because everybody gets a good laugh but no one is really offended. At first, I think new people are kind of surprised that I would tease them when I don't even know them, but its always in good spirit, and they quickly realize that its just my joker nature. These fun interactions seem to build rapport really fast.

4. Body Language. Number one, is the magic of smiling! I could write an entire post about the power that a simple smile has! It radiates so much positive energy that people just HAVE to like you if you smile a lot!

Also, positive touching is also great (keep your minds out of the gutter!). Just things like patting someone on the back or a playful punch to the shoulder establishes a new level of comfort. Again, I was totally unaware I did this until someone pointed out to me that I do this. The scientific term for this type of touching is called "Kinaesthetics."

I was hesitant to write this post for a few reasons. One is, I am afraid as coming off as arrogant or artificial claiming that "I have discovered the secret to making friends and use these secrets all the time!" That is not the case.

After chatting with some friends over the years and recently just thinking about what makes me who I am, I realized that these are behaviors of mine that happen to help me make friends. This morning, I received an email from a friend thanking me for something subtle I said last night and didn't even think about. I called her a "world class hugger" because she honestly gives great hugs. She emailed me saying "that really means a lot to me because I love hugging!"

That actually made me feel really good that something as little as that compliment, made her feel good enough to send me an email.

Classic Boomerang Effect. I happened to make her feel good last night, and she reciprocated with gratitude. Plus, I'm sure I'll be getting a lot more great hugs!

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