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4 Ways to Bond With Anyone

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Creating connections and making new friends as an adult can be challenging.  Remember when you were a kid and you could run up to anyone on the playground, start up a game of tag and be fast friends before the game was over? For a select few that ease of making new friends never goes away…for the rest of us connecting with new people and creating friendships as an adult feels so much more difficult.  Whether you’re starting a new job, moving to a new city, or just looking to expand your circle these four secrets will help you bond with anyone.

1. Work Out Together

There’s nothing like bonding over a bit of sweat {or pain}to make you feel close.  If you still want to talk to me after seeing the grimace on my face as I try to deadlift or my subpar Zumba moves, then there’s a good chance we can be friends.  You already have something in common-you’re in the gym!  Working out together is also a great way to strengthen {pun intented} current relationships.  My husband and I recently trained together for a half-marathon.  Knowing exactly what each other was going through and encouraging each other through the whole training process definitely made us stronger.  It also kept both of us on track when one wasn’t feeling up to training, the other could pull them along.

We saw this with our company flag football team, too!  People of all age groups and from all different departments, from maintenance men to accountants were on the field together with one goal.  I made friends on the field that I never would bump into in my day-to-day actions and even though we have very little else in common on the surface, we created bonds that just grew stronger over time.

2. Create A Ritual

It’s funny how well rituals work. There was an industry peer that I wanted to get to know better.  He was incredibly smart and also incredibly hard to get time with.  I asked him to co-host a monthly marketing happy hour we call “Thirsty Thursdays” with me.  I suggested we invite whomever we wanted to meet and/or people we wanted to connect each other with.  He loved the idea, and by month three, Thirsty Thursday grew from four members to over 15.  The side benefit was that he and I now had a monthly meeting and grew our acquaintance into a strong friendship.  Having time and place consistently on the calendar gave us the venue and built-in the commitment we needed to develop our bond.  Now, even when I can’t make the events, we hop on the phone and chat before or after.

On a much more personal scale, my husband and I have ‘coffee talk’ on Saturday mornings.  We reserve that time to discuss any news articles, work stuff, marketing ideas, etc. that we’ve come across the week before.  Working in two different cities during the week, it would be quite easy to forget all of the things that happen and have ‘nothing to talk about’ come the weekend.  Instead, we have lists of topics come Saturday morning, and we have a time set aside committed just to us.

3. Praise Them Publicly

It only makes sense that one of the key ways to endear yourself to someone is to publicly praise them.  The key here is finding a genuine, authentic way to do this.  In a work environment, I find a simple email thanking someone for a job well done with their supervisor copied and specific detail of why you are thanking them can go a long way.  A quick shout out on social is an easy nonintrusive way to let someone know you appreciate them.  This works if someone is fundraising online or wrote an excellent blog post, just sharing it with your network lets them know how highly you think of them.


4. Remember a Detail

It’s always impressive when people remember the little details even years after a conversation.  There’s a gentleman that I only see once a year at a conference. The first time we met, I told him how my goal each year is to take three trips, one for education or charity, one with family and one true vacation.  I am amazed that each year he remembers to ask where I went and what I’ve learned.  From food allergies to family to recognizing someone’s favorite spot in the yoga studio, recalling the details lets someone know that you were actually paying attention and care about what they shared with you.  It’s an easy way to communicate that you valued the time they invested talking to you.

Easy right? Which secret will you use?

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Also published on Medium.

About The Author


Not one to settle for status quo, Holli has spent her 20 year career shaking up the multifamily industry. From creating unheard of building amenities to designing lounge-like leasing centers, to major Pinterest fails in the kitchen, she is ever experimenting. It’s no surprise that she created a new way to match apartment renters with their perfect home. Holli is a featured speaker and session facilitator at regional and national industry conferences. When she’s not brainstorming the next marketing campaign, you can find Holli testing the limits of bottomless brunch or climbing the Peloton Leaderboard!

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