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Better Living Through Chemistry July 11, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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Isn’t it great when you have  chemistry with someone? You love to be around them, your conversations are interesting and enjoyable and while you may not always agree on everything, there is an almost built-in respect and trust. And it’s just all kinds of fun to be with them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enjoy that kind of rapport with everyone  particularly the important relationships in your life where it’s missing?

Can great chemistry be created?

I was chatting with someone this morning about the notion of creating chemistry and his immediate response was that it’s not possible to manufacture chemistry—it’s either there or it’s not. And as much as I wanted to disagree with him, I reluctantly agreed. Yes, there is something indefinable about that magic that sometimes happens between two people. It’s well—magic. (One of my great talents, in case you have missed it, is my ability to state the obvious.)

Is creating chemistry a bit like making yourself fall in love?

That conversation did start me thinking about how to improve those relationships that are more difficult and less satisfying  than the ones that click. And maybe trying to create chemistry is a bit like convincing yourself that you should fall in love with someone when you’re not. I’ve never had much success with that particular endeavor. But maybe, just maybe  if you took a look at how you act with another person when the two of you are clicking you might uncover some possibilities.

Here’s my list of some things I’ve noticed:

  • I look directly at the person when I’m talking to them and make significant eye contact—not just little glances here and there—I really see that person.
  • I notice the nuances of their language choice and even remark upon it when I find it compelling or thought-provoking.
  • My body language unconsciously mimics that of the other person and theirs of me. I know that this is something that scientists tell us and I noticed it once again a few days ago. I recently was having a conversation with one of my coaching clients with whom I click. We began the conversation with each of us forward in our chairs, then when one of us moved back or moved forward the other person did the same. It was a bit like a dance.
  • I often tell the person what I find interesting, great, unique, enjoyable about him or her. It’s easy to give appreciation to the person.
  • There is a give and take in the conversation with no one person dominating. It ebbs and flows with each person speaking for a time and then turning over to the other.
  • There’s a lot of laughter and lightness in the conversation even when the topic may be serious.

I could go on but I don’t want to do all of your work for you. Take some time to make your own list of behaviors that you notice when you’re clicking with another person.

Next Step

Once you have determined what your own particular set of behaviors are in that circumstance, think about applying these behaviors with other people. I’m talking about the relationships that could benefit from an infusion of better chemistry.  Am I suggesting that you’ll be able to manufacture what does not exist? Well, not exactly. But I hearken to the often-repeated advice: Fake it till you make it. You may not suddenly start clicking with the person but my guess is that your change of intention and/or action will make some (positive) change in the relationship. Who wouldn’t respond to someone telling they are amazingly clever and entertaining? Or to being listened to as though every word that escapes their lips is a gem of great magnitude. You may have to do this consciously at first but my guess is that as time goes on you will find a change in your own attitude and theirs. Just remember not to be a big goofy fake or that will do more harm than good. But don’t you think it just might improve things all around?

I offer that it would…

—Amara

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