To unlock her box of secrets, open with a joke. People are more likely to share intimate details about themselves when they’re laughing, finds new research from the U.K.
In the study, participants who watched a clip of stand-up comedy revealed more personal tidbits to strangers in the room than those who viewed a golf instruction video or nature documentary. One person even confessed, “I broke my collarbone falling off a pole while pole dancing.”
Sure, laughing puts you in a good mood, but why does it also encourage you to share things that you might otherwise keep tightly under wraps?
“Every time you laugh, you release endorphins that relax you into feeling like you’re not actually revealing that much,” says study author Alan Gray, Ph.D. (c), a research assistant at University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Eventually, you don’t even realize that you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position.
“It could also be that when you laugh, you shift your attention away from yourself,” says Gray. “By thinking about something else, you’re less likely to be concerned about coming across as weird or unlikable.”
Past research shows that the more intimate details you share about yourself, the more intimate your relationship becomes. So when you make her laugh, she’ll automatically feel closer to you.
Flex Your Funny Bone by learning some proven strategies to tell better jokes. Not much of a comic? Don’t force it. Just take her to a comedy club, or choose a funny flick over a horror film. She’ll be spilling her beans in no time.