Most of us know "that person" and he won't give us a day. In the office, family gatherings in nearby communities, they avoid the interaction. Every time you try to establish a conversation, it doesn't seem to start. Is there any way to break the ice?

As tempting as a towel, if it is important to build relationships with people who are personally or professionally and emotionally distant, you can. The research provides some guidance.

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a close and harmonious relationship

Be faithful to the clichés. In most cases, your friendly proposals are indifferent. The problem is not with you, but with them. When your interaction meets their psychological needs, even the most independent, self-sufficient, and autonomous people can change from taciturn to sensitive. Since motivation is important, authenticity makes you attractive and approachable.

Zachary G. Baker et al. (I) (2020) explored the role of rapport in meeting basic psychological needs. [i] In their research, they found that rapport is positively correlated with several types of demand satisfaction, and it is possible to independently predict demand satisfaction in terms of autonomy and ability. , And relevance.

Baker et al. Explain that rapport consists of three main components: 1) positive influence, 2) mutual attention and 3) the level of coordination between interactive partners. They describe these three as similar to positive resonance, such as caring for each other, sharing positive emotions, and synchronizing biological behavior. They further pointed out that the perceived positive resonance has been found to be related to positive emotions and mental health, and to fewer illnesses, depressive symptoms, and loneliness.

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Combination with acquaintances

Who can you contact? Fortunately, intimacy is not a prerequisite for harmony. Baker et al. Please note that it is possible to build rapport with people we are not close to. This seems to indicate that you may be as successful as your family in establishing contact with distant colleagues.

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Baker et al. Please note that we often interact with people who are not close, because casual relationships are less burdensome in terms of creation and maintenance. Nonetheless, their findings indicate that the unique relationship between rapport and psychological needs occurs between time and relationship perception, between individuals, and within. The fact that these associations do not differ according to relationship type or intimacy indicates that all relationships are potentially important ways to satisfy psychological and emotional needs.

So how do we build rapport with the approachable and transcendent? Through the conversation context and content.

On the same page

Winning the victory of others is more than just words. Namkje Koudenburg et al. (Ii) (2017) studied the influence of dialogue form and content on the emergence and adjustment of social structure. [ii] Other findings include the observation that the feeling of "shared reality" not only results from the exchange of information but also from the exchange of information. Subjectively feel an unimpeded conversation experience. They describe the dialogue partner as being on the same "wavelength" of shared reality due to the inner feeling of the flow of dialogue.

They gave an example of a long-distance video call with a time lag and other factors that hinder chemical reactions. However, due to the inability to "click" with visitors, overseas job seekers who have an excellent resume, friendly personality, and acceptable answers to work-related questions may not be suitable. They pointed out that this may be due to people's lack of enthusiasm, seemingly remote or detached, or failing to respond to or ridicule the interviewer's jokes. Whether we realize it or not, this lack of communication will unknowingly cause interpersonal barriers.

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Obviously, to solve this problem requires planning and preparation, as well as sincere respect. However, if the connection is important, chemical reactions can be established through contact and dialogue.


[i] Baker, Zachary G., Emily M. Watlington, and C. Raymond Knee. 2020. “The Role of Rapport in Satisfying One’s Basic Psychological Needs.” Motivation and Emotion, January. doi:10.1007/s11031-020-09819-5.

[ii] Koudenburg, Namkje, Tom Postmes, and Ernestine H. Gordijn. 2017. “Beyond Content of Conversation: The Role of Conversational Form in the Emergence and Regulation of Social Structure.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 21 (1): 50–71. doi:10.1177/1088868315626022.

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