Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating

Penetrate Me

In First Date, Relationships on July 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

The Theory of Social Penetration: The process by which two people willingly and repeatedly reveal more intimate details about themselves through meaningful conversation. Upon first meeting, conversations usually contain very superficial references like the weather, a shared observation, or a query into the other’s past weekend.

Subconsciously, we all use social penetration theory to our own advantage. We reveal as much personal information to others as we feel befits that particular relationship. Be it an acquaintance, a supervisor, a friend, a lover, or a family member, the level of info volunteered defines the relationship.

It’s been scientifically proven that when people first meet they will like each other more if they are able to speak about more intimate topics. Everyone has had that superficial conversation where the topic never bleeds past the cordial. Isn’t it awkward as hell when you can’t seem to keep the conversation going. It just sputters along like a car stalling out in first gear.

To be more likable, have better conversation skills, make more friends or even have better first dates use these simple social penetration techniques.

1) Openers: To open a conversation it only requires an attentive eye. The key here is sincerity. You have to seem/be sincerely interested into something the other person relates to (a noticable possession usually works well). Find something on or around your intended target and comment on it with sincerity.
Example: I’m feeling your shoes. Where did you get them from?

2) Reflectors: To keep a person talking, reflect back what they are saying. Paraphrase and/or attempt to deduce their meaning. The reflection technique shows them that you are listening. If you are able to deduce meaning, they will automatically feel a connection to you. It means that you get them and that’s GOLD  in terms of first impressions.
They Say – It took me forever to find these shoes.
You Say – You must have really wanted them to keep looking for so long. (You are paraphrasing their statement about their shoe search and deducing that they really wanted the shoes.

3) Segues: Make sure you change the topic of conversation before it goes stale, you will need to stay in control while still showing interest. Segues are a great way to penetrate into more intimate/personal topics.
Example: You seem to really know what you want in life. It makes me wonder what you do for a living.

4) Closers: Keep control of the conversation. Don’t let it sputter out. The best way to show a person you are interested and keep them interested is to end the conversation on your terms. I know this may sound odd but really this is to leave them wanting more before their excitement dies down.
Example: I really enjoyed this and wouldn’t mind continuing this later. Would you mind if we exchanged contact info and grab a coffee sometime.

People liked to be liked. If you are sincerely interested in someone, it shows. For those times when your conversation skills seem to be lacking, try one of the above techniques and see where you end up.



  1. […] sure to keep these things  in mind for making a memorable, positive […]

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