Have you ever experienced that a child has asked you if you wanted to hear a secret, and when you said yes they told you something that was, clearly, not much of a secret at all?
Have you ever felt pleasantly surprised when someone you didn’t think considered you a close friend trusted you with a secret?
Have you ever had fun with a friend because of inside jokes about something that just the two of you knew about?
All of these are examples of natural ways in which people use secrets to bond with each other.
Normally we only expect to share secrets with the people we know very well. People we trust. People we are close with. And that’s not only true for deep, personal, and sensitive secrets. It’s true for almost any secret, no matter how small and insignificant.
Sharing a secret with someone enables us and that person to experience our circumstances slightly different than everyone else around us – while knowing that it is only the two of us who are having that particular experience.
This creates a deep rapport, a deeper bond.
There’s also an implied trust that comes along with sharing a secret. And since it is something that we’re only used to doing with someone close to us – we tend to immediately feel closer to someone when we have a shared secret, whether we’ve known them for years or minutes.
All of this makes sharing a secret with someone an incredibly powerful tool to deepen our connection with them, in seconds.
And you can use this little technique in basically any setting. If you’re meeting an interesting stranger at a party, you can share a fun and harmless secret to immediately deepen your bond. If you want to connect more with a friend, you can share something that you usually don’t share with others. In each case, the two of you will now have something that is uniquely yours. That will tie you together.
I used this technique last at the New Years party I went to this year. I had planned a little surprise for a friend of mine, a gift I had brought along for her that she didn’t know about. Early in the evening, while talking to her friend that I was meeting for the first time, I told the friend that I just had to tell her something I was excited about, but that she had to promise not to tell our mutual friend about it. She curiously agreed and I told her about the gift I was planning on giving our mutual friend right after midnight.
Three more times that night, this new person sought me out to talk more about the gift. When I gave it, she was there cheering and smiling, and afterwards she came to talk to me about how much our mutual friend liked it.
A small, happy, secret between the two of us became the foundation for a great connection.
Don’t go overboard with this, though.
If you start having fake secrets with the people you talk to things will eventually get awkward, because they’ll usually find out. And if you start sharing secrets with everyone, the effect wears off.
But whenever you have a little something to share with someone, don’t hesitate to share it with someone who you normally wouldn’t – but that you want to connect with on a slightly deeper level.
Oh, and keep these secrets positive, happy, or at the very least neutral when you’re sharing them with people who don’t know you well. Your deepest, darkest secrets might not always be the best things to lead with when you’re meeting someone new 😉
If you want to learn more about how to create new connections and make new friends, I strongly recommend you check out my new course “How to make friends and create better social circles” here (for the next 4 days, this link will give you a discounted price!).