It is connection not commonalities that create the bond in a friendship.
Often we walk into a room and gravitate towards people we think are like us. And then we proceed to ask questions about what they do, how many kids they have and so on to see if #1 they’re a nice person and #2 if they have anything in common with us.
The thing is it isn’t what we have in common that connects us or forms that deep bond of friendship, it is the connection we feel with the person, whatever that connection might be: trust, empathy, authenticity, vulnerability or just a feeling.
When we ask questions, when we get people to tell us stories, they open themselves up and share certain details that helps us to form that bond. Yes, they might share certain details that are like a “check mark” in your register of commonalities, but make no mistake the bond will be formed because of the feelings that you feel when you are around them.
But here’s the real truth, if we would stop judging people based on what they look like, how similar we think they might be to us and so on, and just walked up to every person in the room and asked them to tell us a story about their lives, a story that would generate feelings of trust, empathy, authenticity and vulnerability, I bet we would feel a lot more connections and make a lot more friends.
So next time you meet someone, instead of going into small talk just ask them — point blank— to tell you a story about themselves and make a new friend.