11 psychological tricks that will help you build instant rapport with anyone

Ever been in that awkward spot? You know, when you meet someone new and words just don’t seem to come out right.

We’ve all been there, it’s okay.

But what if I told you there’s a way to make these meetings less awkward? A way to immediately connect with anyone – your new boss, a stranger at a party, anyone.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not.

This article is going to give you the keys to that secret door. We’ll explore ten easy hacks that can help you build an instant connection with anyone you meet.

These are not some high-brow psychological theories – just simple, practical stuff that anyone can use.

So let’s get the ball rolling. Your journey towards becoming a people magnet starts now.


Let’s dive right in!

1. Smile – It’s More Powerful Than You Think.

Ever noticed how you instantly feel a bit better when you see someone smiling at you?

That’s not a coincidence. A genuine smile is a universal sign of friendliness and warmth.

When you meet someone new, shoot them a sincere, warm smile. Not a big, fake grin – just a simple, relaxed smile.

It sends out a message: “I’m friendly and approachable”.

Remember, people usually mirror the behavior they see.

So, if you start the conversation with a smile, they’re likely to respond in kind.

Simple? Absolutely. Effective? You bet!

2. Listen Actively – It’s The Fastest Way To Someone’s Heart.

You know the feeling when someone is truly listening to you? It’s like you’re the most important person in the world at that moment. That’s the power of active listening!

When you meet someone new, really listen to them. Don’t just nod along while planning what you’re going to say next.

Focus on their words, their expressions, and their feelings. Show that you’re interested and engaged.

Ask follow-up questions, mirror their expressions, and give feedback. This makes them feel valued and heard.

Believe it or not, this simple act can build a strong connection faster than anything else. So next time you’re in a conversation, remember to listen – not just hear.

3. Use Their Name – It’s The Sweetest Sound.

Remember when you were in a crowd and you heard someone call your name? You probably turned around immediately.

That’s because our names are incredibly important to us. It’s a core part of our identity.

When you use someone’s name in a conversation, it instantly creates a personal connection. It shows that you see them as an individual, not just another face in the crowd.

A few years ago, I was at a networking event with dozens of people. I met a guy named Jake and we had a brief chat.

A couple of hours later, I saw him again and said, “Hey Jake, great to see you again.”

His face lit up immediately. He was pleasantly surprised that I remembered his name amidst all those people.

From that moment, our conversation flowed more naturally and we ended up becoming good friends.

So remember: Use their name. It’s a small effort that makes a big difference.

4. Find Common Ground – It’s The Glue That Bonds.

It’s human nature to feel more comfortable with people who are like us. When you share something in common with someone, it can instantly create a bond.

This could be anything – hobbies, favorite books, travel destinations, or even the most disliked vegetable! The point is to find something you both agree on or enjoy.

People are more likely to form a closer bond with others who share similar views or interests. This is because shared interests or viewpoints create a sense of familiarity and comfort.

So next time you’re trying to build rapport, try to find something you both have in common. 

5. Show Genuine Empathy – It’s The Heartbeat Of Connection.

We all have ups and downs, right? And there’s nothing more comforting during a tough time than someone who truly understands and empathizes with our situation.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings. When you meet someone new, showing genuine empathy can help build a deep, instant connection.

For example, if someone shares a difficult experience with you, don’t just respond with a generic “I’m sorry to hear that.” Instead, try to imagine how they might be feeling. Respond in a way that shows you understand their emotions.

The beauty of empathy is that it goes beyond mere words. It’s about feeling with people.

And when you can do that, you’re no longer a stranger – you’re someone who gets it, who understands. That creates a bond like no other.

6. Be Authentic – It’s The Key To Trust.

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to appear more likable or charismatic. But in my experience, nothing beats good old authenticity.

People can usually tell when you’re not being genuine. It creates a barrier that prevents any real connection. On the other hand, when you’re honest and true to yourself, people are more likely to trust and respect you.

I remember when I started my first job, I was trying so hard to be the person I thought they wanted me to be. I dressed differently, talked differently, even pretended to like things I didn’t.

But it didn’t work. My colleagues could tell I was putting on a show and it created distance rather than closeness.

It was only when I started being myself – quirks, flaws and all – that I began to form real connections. My colleagues appreciated my authenticity and it made our relationships much stronger.

So remember, be yourself. It’s the most likable you can be.

7. Ditch The Judgement – It’s A Connection Killer.

Let’s get real here. We all judge people to some extent. It’s human nature. But when you’re trying to build rapport, judgement is your worst enemy.

Think about it – how do you feel when you sense that someone is judging you? Defensive? Uncomfortable? Definitely not like opening up and connecting, right?

So here’s the deal: If you want to build instant rapport, you’ve got to put aside your judgements.

Enter every conversation with an open mind. Accept that people have different views, experiences and ways of doing things.

Don’t evaluate or classify their thoughts as right or wrong. Just listen, understand and respect their perspective. This openness will encourage them to do the same for you.

This one’s tough, I know. But trust me – it’s a game changer!

8. Use Positive Body Language – It Speaks Louder Than Words.

You’ve probably heard this before, but it bears repeating: Most of our communication is non-verbal.

It’s not just about what we say, but how we say it.

Positive body language can make you seem more approachable and trustworthy.

This includes maintaining eye contact, having an open posture, nodding when appropriate, and mirroring the other person’s gestures subtly.

People who use positive body language are perceived as more likable and influential.

So remember to be mindful of your body language. It’s an easy, yet powerful way to build instant rapport.

9. Be Curious – It Opens Doors.

There’s something incredibly appealing about someone who shows genuine curiosity.

It shows that you’re interested in the other person, and that you value what they have to say.

I’ve always been a naturally curious person. As a kid, I’d drive my parents crazy with my endless “why” questions.

But this trait has served me well as an adult, especially when meeting new people.

Instead of sticking to surface-level small talk, I like to dig a little deeper. I ask about their interests, their experiences, their dreams and plans.

I’ve found that people love when you take a real interest in their lives. It makes them feel valued and understood.

So next time you’re in a conversation, channel your inner detective. Ask questions, show interest, be curious.

You’ll be surprised at how much closer it brings you to the other person.

10. Don’t Pretend To Be Perfect – It’s Overrated.

Let’s face it, nobody likes a know-it-all. People who act like they have all the answers often come off as arrogant and unapproachable.

On the other hand, admitting that you don’t know everything makes you seem more human and relatable.

Remember, it’s okay to show vulnerability. It’s okay to admit when you’re wrong or when you’ve made a mistake.

These are the moments that make us real, that make us human. And this authenticity helps build deeper connections with others.

So next time you’re in a conversation, don’t shy away from showing your imperfect side. It might just be the thing that makes the other person feel comfortable enough to do the same.

11. Be Respectful – It’s Non-negotiable.

No matter who you’re talking to – whether it’s your boss, a waiter at a restaurant, or someone you just met – everyone deserves respect. It’s the foundation of any healthy relationship.

Being respectful means listening attentively when they’re speaking, not interrupting, acknowledging their feelings, and treating them with kindness and courtesy.

When people feel respected, they feel valued. And when they feel valued, they’re more likely to trust and connect with you.

So always remember: Respect isn’t just about good manners – it’s a powerful tool for building rapport.

And there you have it! Eleven simple yet effective psychological tricks to help you build instant rapport with anyone. Remember, these tips aren’t one-time hacks – they’re habits that you can cultivate and use in every aspect of your life. 

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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