How do you build a deep connection with someone, even in the scope of just one conversation?
One interesting and unique way to do this is to use the power of “roleplaying the future.”
This is a really fun and easy way to let yourself build an immediate connection with someone – and it plays off a fundamental way our minds work and interpret our relationships.
Ask yourself, “What typically makes a relationship develop into something that is deep, genuine, and meaningful?” Often a relationship at that level encompasses a wide range of experiences that we share with someone over a long period of time.
When you first meet someone, you’re basically at “Stage 1” of the relationship journey. In your mind, it’s “that time you first met at a restaurant” or “that time you were introduced to each other.”
However, this perspective actually creates a “mental limit” to how deep you’re willing to get with someone when you first meet them. After all, you just met them.
In most situations, you normally wouldn’t build a super strong bond with that person until you’ve met them again, and again, and again…and slowly began to develop a deep and long-term connection that grew over time.
But this is a mental block more than anything else. There’s no real reason why we can’t have “multiple experiences” with a person our first time meeting them – and by doing that we can build a deeper connection at a faster rate.
This is why “roleplaying the future” can be so powerful when building a bond with someone – as it gives us the opportunity to walk through a multitude of experiences in a very short amount of time.
Roleplaying the Future in Your Conversations
The essence of “roleplaying the future” is simple.
Just turn the conversation into a future, hypothetical scenario that involves both you and the person you want to connect with. Then ask the person to imagine it with you and ask them questions about what that situation would be like.
Here’s a small example. Imagine you met a cool person at a party or bar – and they seem like an awesome person that you’d like to develop a friendship with.
Perhaps you are both musicians – you play the guitar and he plays the drums – and that’s a common interest you share that you would like to build off of.
Start off the conversation by saying something like…
You: “Hey, imagine if we started a band together and played shows together.”
New Friend: “Hm…that could be fun.”
You: “Yeah…imagine if we were so good we actually got famous and played sold out shows?”
New Friend: “Haha, that would be awesome.”
You: “If we started a band, what type of music do you think we’d play?”
New Friend: “Probably some type of heavy rock or metal.”
You: “Yeah, what would be our main influences?”
New Friend: “I’d like to play in a band that is a mixture between Black Sabbath and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
You: “That would be interesting. We could go on tour, visit new countries, and party every night!”
New Friend: “Hahaha.”
This is just a quick and easy example of “roleplaying the future.”
The main idea is to take the conversation to some hypothetical scenario in the future where you both share an experience together. And by doing this, you automatically form a stronger connection with that person by adding extra depth to how you view the relationship.
In general, the idea of “roleplaying the future” (or “planning a future together”) with someone is a very important aspect of creating a long and lasting bond with that person. In close relationships, we often do this without even realizing it.
This is especially true in romantic relationships, where serious couples will often talk endlessly about what they expect from the future, including how many kids they will have, where they will live, and what their home will be like.
Of course, we should never roleplay the future with someone if we plan on misleading them or manipulating them. If you’re making promises with someone you’re dating with no intentions of following through on them, then that is unethical and immoral.
However, even “roleplaying the future” in an obviously joking and teasing way can be a fun and effective way to build deeper connections with people.
Joking around about marriage, kids, and a house with a white picket fence when you first meet a guy or girl at a bar or party can be a really fun hypothetical conversation – even if it’s known between both of you that it’s not actually serious.
In the same way, you may want to roleplay more bizarre future situations. “Hey, what if we became monks and started meditating in caves?” or “Hey, what if we dropped everything in our lives and started traveling the world?” can both be fun starting points for interesting conversations.
Through the power of conversation and imagination, we can embark on all types of experiences with a person during our first time meeting them – and we never actually have to stand up or go anywhere to achieve it.
Often times these hypothetical conversations are way more entertaining and interesting than just chatting about what’s right in front of you. “I like your shoes” and “The food here is good” may be common threads during a typical conversation, but they don’t add too much depth to the interaction.
Try using the “power of roleplaying” in your own conversations – whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker, or loved one. It’s a very effective way to spice up your interactions with people and connect with others on a different level.
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