Chance Meetings are Wonderful, but Connecting is Magical

October 18, 2017

 

Meeting by chance is easy. It happens to us all the time. But connecting is truly magical. Two hearts and minds touch and we feel our worlds get in sync. How we both see entire galaxies where other people just see ordinary puddles, or how we laugh at the same time and for the same reasons.

Many people love fantasy and science-fiction. But we don’t see that life itself is far more incredible, magical, and even strange. What factors into that connection between two strangers who happen to be in the right place at the right time, and end up becoming attracted to one another?

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies, a single heart inhabiting two souls.

-Aristotle-

We’re not just talking about the process of falling in love, we’re also talking about the amazing set of circumstances that builds the most solid friendships. T

he ones think nothing of time or distance, but everything of understanding, special bonds, and that affectionate harmony where there’s mutual concern and true affection.

We connect, just like atoms, just like the moon attracts the water in sea and forms the tides. Maybe that’s what life is, letting this fantastic connection we establish with certain people over the course of our lives to bring us where we need to be.

Part of the maturation process where we’re allowed to learn, share, help and be helped, and leave an everlasting emotional mark on another person’s heart…

friendship

The Laws of Attraction in a Friendship

Elena and Sara met in college. In one of their mass communication classes the professor played a video of Monty Python, which made the whole class laugh. For a few seconds, normal.

But, when the rest of the class went back to silence and focused on their work, Sara kept on laughing and couldn’t stop. When Elena heard her, she couldn’t help but laugh out loud too. That marked the beginning of their friendship. A great friendship. 

When we talk about emotional relationships, or even friendship, the research tends to dig much deeper into the benefits provided by these types of bonds and not what causes them: the underlying processes that shape this sudden, but always definitive, “magical connection.” Moving forward, there’s something we need to know. It may seem odd…

Friendship has hidden processes that are much more complex than the ones that determine the simple fact of attraction in a romantic relationship. There are laws and psychological dynamics are quite interesting.

Self-Disclosure

The most authentic friendships aren’t just based on a set of shared interests, on having the same likes and values. In fact, not even getting along well together determines the strength and significance of a friendship.

Social psychology experts know there’s one point that determines whether or not a friendship will last. We’re talking about self-disclosure. We need to share our own worries, fears, and insecurities with other people in order to get help, to feel the intimacy and understanding that are so therapeutic.

When we tell someone our secret and they’re able to keep it, protect it, and give us their support, the magic begins. And when they open their heart and share their secrets too, that magic spreads.

two friends

Emotional “Glue” and the Law of  the Mirror

Once we’re sure we can trust that person, we still need other processes to consolidate this powerful bond that grew out of a coincidence. We’re talking about “emotional gifts,” which are, for example: loyalty, consideration, unconditional support, appreciation, sincerity, and the ability to help us grow.

Additionally, there is another even more interesting idea that the social psychologists, Carolyn Weisz and Lisa F. Wood, from the University of the Puget Sound, in Tacoma, Washington put forth. It’s the “mirror mirror” theory, or friendship’s law of the mirror. It’s actually as simple as it is important.

Connecting with someone means encountering a person who fits with our identity, someone who will often act like a reflection or balancing element, our personal center.

A good friend will be able to tell us, for example, that this decision we’ve made or that person we’ve fallen in love with doesn’t fit with who we are, or that they’re turning us into someone we’re not (they’re distancing us from our own reflection).

“Connecting” with Special People is Something our Brain Needs

Some people might call it a sixth sense, but a lot of times our brain knows who it’s best to “connect” with, who we should go out with to drown our pain in coffee and paint hope in the steam rising off a hot chocolate, and who it’s best to avoid, who we should close the door on in order to save ourselves from a selfish friendship.

two people connecting over coffee

Our brain benefits from solid and lasting friendships for one very concrete reason: they help us survive and give our daily life purpose. This fulfilling bond is better than medicine. It’s like a shot of dopamine and serotonin, happiness.

Let’s allow coincidence carry us away, let’s let life start magically connecting us with these special people who make life a more wonderful, warm, and interesting place to be.