Help someone feel seen, and make a new friend in the process
“Let go of expectations from other people, and flip your brain to think about them instead of you.”
As an avid traveler for work and fun, May Pang deeply understands the value of human connection. That quality relationships are so vital to humans, they help us live 50% longer and with more satisfaction than if we’d received a 100% increase in our income. That intimacy can make a place, a dot on a map, feel like home.
May is also a serial social experimenter. So, when she moved halfway around the world, from Australia to LA, with a generous travel budget and a healthy fear of LA traffic, she set herself a new challenge — take Lyfts at every opportunity and make an intimate connection each time.
The result? A lot of new friends, and a reliable system for creating deep connections quickly and authentically.
Listen in as Matt East, host of the Better Humans Podcast, and May discuss her article, “How to Instantly Create Intimacy With Any Person You Meet” and the four phases of establishing a connection.
Matt: What inspired you to write this?
May: Well, I’ve thought a lot about the importance of creating meaningful connections in my life. I’ve moved a lot in my life, and I also tend to travel solo a lot for rock climbing. This is a sport that necessitates creating a relationship with somebody you literally have to trust with your life and then they, in turn, have to trust you with their life.
And my job involves addressing problem projects with teams from across the country. A lot of times these are people that I’ve never met in person and it’s entering into a really kind of volatile situation. So for me, the ability to meaningfully connect with another human being is probably the most impactful skill that I can have in my life.
But I also love conducting these self-imposed social experiments. And this particular one I chose because I came from Australia to the U.S., and even within the first few days that I was in the U.S. it was really clear to me just how pervasive loneliness is in this country.