“When people think of shared experience, what usually comes to mind is being with close others, such as friends or family, and talking with them,” study author Erica Boothby said in a statement. “We don’t realize the extent to which we are influenced by people around us.” Studies show why people bond over first-date horror stories or awkward middle-school memories. Or why, upon returning from a great vacation, we’re often more likely to dish to friends about the inept tour guide or inedible hotel breakfast, rather than the mesmerizing sights. In social interactions, people aim for relatability, not impressiveness. More important than having undergone something, it seems, is having someone understand.
Shared experiences cement relationships together and create a foundation for living a joyful life and building out an awesome vision. Whether it be with our spouse, our children, our family, our team, colleagues, or friends, shared experience creates a framework for living and productivity.
While there is no secret recipe for sharing an experience, check out these nine ways you can bond with someone.
- Create A Common Goal
Whether you create a fitness goal together, try to focus on your career, or aim to cut down on TV time, creating a shared purpose is a sure-fire way to encourage closeness.
- Go On A Trip
You don’t have to plan a big vacation abroad – even a day trip together can work to facilitate intimacy.
- Do Something Adventurous
Although this more applies to dating, research from multiples studies show that doing something thrilling can lead to increased attraction.
- Frequent A Shared Space
Occupying the same shared space can subconsciously make people feel more comfortable with you, according to Ori Brafman, coauthor of Click. So chat up your coworker in the break room, a friend waiting in line for the bathroom, or that guy you were eyeing in your neighborhood coffee shop.
- Share A Meal
“Cooking and eating with someone is a bonding experience as old as the human experience.”
- Dive Deep Into Personal Questions
Intimacy is essential for a bond, and talking about personal things off the bat helps accelerate that closeness.
- Share Your Hardships With Each Other
It’s not the most fun way, but expressing your struggles or hardships can help for a bond with someone, as it indicates a level of trust.
- Do Something Nice
Offering to help someone is a great way to take your relationship to the next level, whether it’s for a friend or someone you’re dating. Research shows that smaller gestures of support are more effective than overt favors, which can make someone feel trapped or obligated
- Create Physical Contact
Multiple studies show that emotions can even be conveyed through just touching alone. Think a hug, a pat on the back, or other signs of affection that can create intimacy.