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The Pitfalls of Nonverbal Rapport – Pt. 3

Creating An Unwanted Attachment.

This is another way you can get in trouble with nonverbal rapport….

Have you ever met someone and wanted to get to know them better? You actively sought to establish rapport, only to find out that the person was not what they seemed – and they would not leave you alone. Strangely, the harder you tried to break off the conversation or the relationship, the more attached they became….

Just about everyone has had that experience at one time or another. It can be anything from dealing with a needy friend or coworker to a stalker. It happens when you establish great rapport by pacing and leading.

It starts when you begin a conversation and seek to establish rapport. In doing so, you may match the other person’s body language, attitude, and focus on ways to make the other person more feel more comfortable. You may really like them! This purposeful rapport making is called pacing.

After you have paced the other person for a while, change your technique, posture, and tone a little bit and see if they begin to follow your lead. If so, you are then leading the other person in the communication and it is an indication that you have been very successful in creating rapport. Once you are leading the person, they will try to maintain rapport with you.

If you happen to establish rapport with someone who is generally reclusive or shy, you may be one of a select, small group of people with whom they feel comfortable and understood. Most people will cling to that kind of excellent communication because oit is rare for them.

But what if you change your mind? What if, over the course of your conversation or relationship, you discover something that goes against your morals or bothers you such that you would like to walk away from the person and relationship?

You have to be equally adept at unmaking rapport. But how can you disengage with grace and without causing any sort of major emotional response, like anger?

Some people choose to avoid the person and hope that they lose interest. Some people might try to be mean and hurt the other person emotionally – hoping that they will go away on their own. These techniques can backfire badly. There are other things you can do to break rapport. Here are a few ways you can do that….

Be selective!

Look before you leap. Be selective about the people with whom you seek to establish rapport. If possible, observe them from a distance and see how they interact with other people. Find out what you can about them ahead of time.

Here and now anchor

The here and now anchor is discussed in the previous post is always a good place to start. It will allow you to reboot your attitude to the one you were in when the communication started. When you do that, they will respond to your change of attitude, as well.

Mismatch posture

You can also begin to mismatch body language and posture. Pay attention to their response. Do they change their posture to match yours? If so, rapport is still going strong. If not, you might be breaking the connection.

Change your attitude

You can do this subtly by focusing on something that causes you to have feelings and emotions that are radically different than the other person’s. For example, if someone is focused intensely on something that makes them mad, you can begin tuning into a thought or feeling that is the opposite, like a day at the beach.

If they are focused intensely, your casual attitude will begin to bother them. They will likely try to bring you back into the intense emotions. If you are able to hold your casual attitude, they will likely get bored and you will have a way out of the communication.

Remember to practice these skills over the holidays!


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