Clicking - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Clicking
Saturday, 19 August 2006 at 09:30 pm
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doseybat posted a thought-provoking poll about "clicking". It is something that happens to me quite a lot, finding that I feel close to someone within minutes of meeting them for the first time, and skipping right over the small talk and getting on to the interesting conversation so quickly it seems almost supernatural.

I'm not really keen on the explanations that doseybat suggested in her poll; mystical explanations are generally a cop-out, and reductionist explanations like depends on biochemistry/physics don't really help either. I mean, of course, all human behaviour depends ultimately on biochemistry and even more ultimately on physics, but that's not a useful level of explanation for "how does this particular aspect of human behaviour work?" In this particular case, becoming friends with someone faster than it would seem that you've rationally had time to know enough about them to be able to decide whether you're compatible.

It's such a joy when it happens. I mean, becoming friends with someone is always wonderful, but when it happens really really fast, it's easy to experience it as some kind of externally caused magical thing. I think sometimes it's a case of lowered inhibitions, that you meet someone at a time when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable and need to talk about some dramatic experience, and if you tell a total stranger something quite personal and they listen sympathetically, that can be a very bonding experience. But that's definitely not the whole story. I also don't think it's really connected to sex; instant attraction or even love can happen, but it's a different kind of instant connection from clicking.

The first person I experienced that absolutely amazing very rapid connection with was in fact doseybat, when I was 17 or so. She picked me out of a crowd and told me that she had a sense we would get on. And was she ever right; we just didn't stop talking for hours, and by the end of the couple of days of the conference, I trusted her with the most intimate and private things in my life. Which level of trust and intimacy led to us becoming even closer over the next several months, and the rest is history.

I clicked with MK at around the same time. We were at an Oxford interview together and I knew M would be one of the most important people in my life within hours of first setting eyes on him. The connection between us was so intense that he didn't even notice the woman who later became his wife even though she was, by sheer coincidence, present at the same interview. I did fall in love with MK at one point, but I don't think that was the explanation for how well we got on when we first met.

I fell in love with darcydodo quite literally at first sight. It's something I would never believe could happen if I hadn't experienced it. I think that coup de foudre probably influenced how quickly we became close friends in some ways, but I think there was a kind of click going on as well.

The first time I met loreid, we made no impression on eachother. The second time I was discovering table-top roleplaying for the first time in a game she was GMing. The third time, we clicked. A casual mutual acknowledgement turned into a several hour long conversation by the end of which we were as close as if we'd known eachother for years.

There's one person I clicked with who ended up hating me. So in that sense you could say that the "click" was mistaken. But then we were really good friends for a year before I offended her irrevocably, and I'm reluctant to recast the whole friendship as a negative because of the way it ended.

There are several people who were clearly kindred spirits from very early on in our mutual acquaintance, but whom I met in situations where it was possible to spend plenty of time getting to know eachother, so it seems less entirely inexplicable to have become close so quickly. pseudomonas and I started our continuing and wonderful conversation very soon after first meeting, but it took longer for me to become emotionally close to him. ID and I enjoyed eachother's company from the first, but spent a lot of time together for several weeks. Also he and I did end up dating briefly so perhaps there was an element of (unconscious at first) sexual attraction in how well we got on. lethargic_man similarly. He says that we clicked, but I wouldn't regard it as that. We had lots of fun conversations in the course of living together for a month, and that allowed a friendship to develop more naturally than in some of the other cases. But certainly we did like eachother pretty quickly. I love doseybat's describing us as like a conversational explosion though!

On the other hand, I've met quite a lot of colleagues or schoolfriends or whatever who were people I spent lots of time with and we gradually moved from being friendly acquaintances to quite good friends to really close friends. blue_mai for example, as well as my Dundee friends SC and LB. And Spanish M I disliked when I first met her, finding her arrogant. Which turned out to be not so much false as justified. And the miraculous thing was in how close we ended up being, not how fast we got to that situation. hatam_soferet similarly, I didn't really get on with her when we first met, I thought she was rather wet. But once I got to know her I was amazed at how entirely wrong I had been!

I don't quite know how to count people I've got to know through LJ and similar. It's the nature of the medium that relationships don't develop instantaneously. If someone made a really fantastic post or comment, my initial reaction would be to admire their qualities, not to feel any kind of emotional closeness. So the first time I met ajollypyruvate, we got on extremely well, but then again we'd been getting to know eachother via LJ for a while before that meeting. lethargic_man told me so much about how wonderful rysmiel is that I was really anxious about making a good impression. But email and LJ allowed us to discover that we get on really well long before we met in person. In some ways it did seem fast, especially since we were corresponding rather than spending time together, but that still feels like it's mostly on the rationally explicable side of things more than the mysterious side.

Right now I'm in the process of clicking really intensely with ploni_bat_ploni. She very graciously invited me to her Friday night meal last week. I was deeply impressed at her hosting anything at all within less than 24 hours of arriving in the country, and that was a successful dinner party by any standards. It helps that her guests, some of the crowd from Paideia, are a fascinating and delightful bunch of people. I think ploni_bat_ploni is possibly more outgoing than I am, which is pretty unusual. And of course lethargic_man's good reports had primed us to like eachother. We ended up having one of those conversations that are impossible to end and I got home way later than I'd planned. And then ploni_bat_ploni invited me back on Saturday afternoon, along with my friend M, and we talked a whole bunch more.

And this week more or less the same thing, except this time ploni_bat_ploni's Friday night included about 15 guests. Also, we got to the point where we in this little bubble of learning interesting things about eachother and I felt guilty that we were ignoring the rest of the company to an extent that could have been rude. We've spent most of today having more wonderful conversations about every possible topic; got hissed at in shul for talking, which is something I generally avoid doing because it annoys me when other people do it and because I actually do want to concentrate on the prayers, but we just had so much to say to eachother we couldn't shut up for the whole 2 hours of the service! And this afternoon we talked and talked and talked, not quite 10 hours non-stop but not far off. *bounce* Yay ploni_bat_ploni!

In between all this, I've been quite sociable and quite productive at work. This has led to less time for LJ, which is why I've been somewhat silent recently. Hung out with "Milo" on Sunday. He's still courting me, and I still feel like we don't really have all that much to say to eachother, but he's a decent guy and I can't blame him for trying. I think I have convinced him now that I really mean it when I say I don't want to go out with him, but we'll see.

Worky stuff: I have got the microscopy up and running and I'm pretty certain I've seen something interesting and important, though of course I need to see it more than once and run all the checks, this is science after all. But it's satisfying. And I'm just getting going on some traditional biochemistry and generally I'm happier about work stuff than I have been for many weeks. Plus, people are coming back from summer holidays so I'm getting more social interaction and more people around to pester if I can't find things or don't know how to use the equipment or whatever.

This weekend, as well as getting on marvellously well with ploni_bat_ploni, I've been feeling really part of the Jewish community. Lots of little things coming together just right. I went with ploni_bat_ploni to try out the Orthodox shul on Friday night. The atmosphere was the best of what an Orthodox service can be, everyone was both spirited and spiritual, the pacing was just right, the people leading the service did exactly the right amount of giving people guidance without showing off. The Orthodox style doesn't suit me in general, but when it happens in a really great community, it can be wonderful in its own way and last night was an example.

The trouble is that that sense of being in a really prayerful environment isn't happening in the Great Synagogue. Ideologically the community is a good fit for me, and many people have been kind and welcoming and so on. But the services feel overly formal and the congregation is mostly an audience. Undoubtedly, an audience for a highly skilled performance, but I want to be part of a community, not a member of an audience. And today somehow the atmosphere worked a lot better than it has up to now. No organ music, for a start, which is a great bonus from my point of view. Also it was an egalitarian service in practice as well as in name, which does make me feel more comfortable even though I'm surprised that's the case.

Also after the service I found I was chatting to lots of people at a level beyond the polite small talk, and every time I was in a conversation I was getting interrupted by someone who positively wanted to talk to me. And I've been approached to get involved in the traditional Egalitarian sub-group, and the Progressive sub-group. And there are a bunch of old school European intellectual types who have a sort of salon thing Saturday afternoons, and they've taken to inviting me to join them sitting in a very posh café having deep intellectual discussions and generally acting as if we were in pre-war Vienna or something. So yay Jewish community; I can see this is going to work even if it's taken a while to get to this level of comfort.


Whereaboooots: Chez Ploni_bat_ploni, Stockholm, Sweden
Moooood: lovedblessed
Tuuuuune: Green Day: Boulevard of broken dreams
Discussion: 32 contributions | Contribute something
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:August 19th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I would have assumed clicking was conversing in the same way, so finding it easy to say things, and interesting to listen, and wanting to talk about the same things. And perhaps looking or having subconscious cues that you subconciously expect to mean that.

And I would say it's a very good thing, but not 'better' than getting to know someone over time.
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:August 20th, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry, 02:22 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
You're definitely right, clicking isn't more important or better than getting to know someone more slowly, it's just more surprising. I should have expressed that more clearly, I think.

I like your explanation of clicking too, it makes sense and I think it's at the right level. Thank you.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - cartesiandaemon (8/21/06 01:21 am)
(no subject) - cartesiandaemon (8/21/06 01:21 am)
(no subject) - livredor (8/27/06 03:49 pm)
(no subject) - cartesiandaemon (8/31/06 02:01 pm)
hatam_soferet: default
From:hatam_soferet
Date:August 20th, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
4 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I was just trying to remember what my first impressions of you were - I can't remember, though. I think you were just another adjunct of Adam, except more forceful and a bit scary. Then you got all cool and wonderful.

Incidentally, I'm jolly jolly glad you're getting on with plonibatploni. If she can convince Paideia to pay for my flight, I wanna come visit!
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livredor: portrait
From:livredor
Date:August 20th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
18 hours after journal entry, 03:36 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Wow, you thought I was an adjunct of Adam, and you met me at the time in my life when I had least connection with him, it was just after we'd split up and we were only semi-talking. I'm sorry I scared you though. It's so lovely how well it all worked out in the end *bouncehug*

I think if anyone can convince Paideia to bring you out here, it's ploni_bat_ploni. That would be the coolest thing ever if it did happen. *dreams*
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:August 20th, 2006 09:05 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 09:05 am (lethargic_man's time)
(Link)
Everyone who meets ploni_bat_ploni seems to get on really well with her; it's not just you and me and hatam_soferet, the same seems to have happened with the people on Ta'amim too, including snjstar and, as I see from ploni_bat_ploni's other blog, Petra too.
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:August 20th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
19 hours after journal entry, 04:05 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Who's Petra? I will ask ploni_bat_ploni about the other blog rather than you, because it's up to her to decide whether she wants me to see it.

ploni_bat_ploni has seriously impressive people skills; I'm not at all surprised that she makes a strong impression on lots of people or that it's a positive one. I was just dumbstruck with admiration how well she was dealing with everyone at her Friday night meals, including me... it still works even if I can see it working, that kind of thing.
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(no subject) - lethargic_man (8/20/06 04:49 pm)
greengolux: default
From:greengolux
Date:August 20th, 2006 11:02 am (UTC)
14 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I'm surprised that so many people who answered doseybat's poll experienced "clicking" and found it important, because it's something I don't think I do. Even when I meet someone for the first time and get on with them really well and find it really easy to talk with them and like them a lot, there's always the caveat at the back of my mind telling me that actually I barely know this person, and that even though I like them and seem to feel comfortable with them, I don't really know who they are or what the relationship will turn out to be like in the long term.

I suspect my experiences with first impressions aren't that different from other people's, but that I'm more cautious about who I call a friend and whether I count that initial sense of "clicking" as important. For me, what's more important in friendships is how they develop and sustain themselves, and first impressions really don't count for much at all in that. (The person you clicked with and then fell out with after about a year, for example - I normally don't feel like I can call someone a friend until I've known them for at least a year, regardless of how well we get on initially, because up until that point I don't know if it's a relationship that is going to be sustainable as a friendship.)
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:August 20th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 06:16 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Very interesting comment, thank you. I didn't say that clicking is important; on the whole I think it isn't, and one of the things I was trying to say in this post is that some of the most precious people in my life are people I didn't click with instantly.

It sounds to me as if you trust less easily than I do. (Not a criticism, just an observation.) Generally, if I get on well with someone and enjoy their company, and they seem to like me, then I will regard them as a friend and not worry that they might actually be a horrible person and I haven't realized it. I can't really describe how a friend becomes a close friend. Sometimes it is just because I've known the person long enough that we have a shared background and that makes me feel close to them. But very often it's something that happens early on in the relationship.

I take your point that if we quarrelled so horribly, perhaps I wasn't really friends with the person. But I think a relationship can be precious even without lasting forever. (Similarly, I don't regard my past romantic relationships as failures because they eventually came to an end.)
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - greengolux (8/21/06 09:10 am)
(no subject) - livredor (8/27/06 04:14 pm)
(no subject) - doseybat (8/20/06 11:01 pm)
(no subject) - greengolux (8/21/06 08:48 am)
(no subject) - doseybat (8/21/06 06:47 pm)
(no subject) - livredor (8/27/06 04:26 pm)
snjstar: default
From:snjstar
Date:August 20th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
19 hours after journal entry, 04:06 pm (snjstar's time)
(Link)
ploni_bat_ploni is great! I am glad the 2 of you get on so well.
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livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:August 20th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 06:17 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Yay, this can be a ploni_bat_ploni appreciation thread!
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(no subject) - snjstar (8/20/06 06:19 pm)
Username as link - livredor (8/27/06 04:29 pm)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 20th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry

Too much flattery, honestly.

(Link)
Hi everyone,

Wow, what a thread! I never had such a strong fanbase. Me? People skills? Tell the folks at my high school and you'd be treated to a fine laugh. I often feel I come across as too intense and find it hard to balance my enthusiasm with giving people space. Glad it hasn't backfired in this case. I can be *bit* overbearing and excessively bubbly so I am surprised you all seem to put up with it, especially Sjnstar, who had to LIVE with me for an entire month!!!

Well, since we're all wrapped up in a collective love-fest, you should all come over. There's enough room in my room! (And that is no joke!). And I live walking distance from shul, thank G-d.

Hatam Soferet: in a few days or weeks, once I am settled in at Paideia and they like me sufficiently enough, I will try to work my magic for you at Paideia -- see if they are interested in a sofrut course. Drop me a line to remind me, ok?

And of course, I could repay the compliments to all of you. I am really glad I met Livredor: she's made my time here a lot less lonely. I really feel I have a friend with whom, through mutual friends, I share some kind of a past. That's really nice when you're a new immigrant.

Besides, she's brilliant, kind and funny. What else do you need?

P.S. Yeah, we got hissed at in shul! And that despite the fact we are both serious daveners. Oh my G-d...
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snjstar: default
From:snjstar
Date:August 20th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 06:48 pm (snjstar's time)

Re: Too much flattery, honestly.

(Link)
Thanks for the compliment!
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doseybat: default
From:doseybat
Date:August 20th, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, August 21st, 2006 01:39 am (doseybat's time)
(Link)
I'm not really keen on the explanations that [info]doseybat suggested in her poll; mystical explanations are generally a cop-out, and reductionist explanations like depends on biochemistry/physics don't really help either

I plead guilty to cringeworthy poll options! I wanted to know what people thought, and wanted to see a numerical distribution of opinion without biasing the outcome. When I came to write the poll though I realised that in fact I had very little idea what people's responses would be; hence an attempt at wide and vague coverage of the possible kinds of cause.

Fascinated by your chronological analysis of clicking versus resulting friendship; I have tried a brief similar analysis and out of the people I have been close with it seems I clicked with less than 50%..

To what extent is "clicking" a realisation that the other person likes you and a rapid response to it? Watching myself over the last couple of weeks I have been struck by how my feelings towards total stangers changed as soon as I noticed what I perceived to be a positive interest in me.
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blue_mai: default
From:blue_mai
Date:August 22nd, 2006 09:41 am (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 09:41 am (blue_mai's time)
(Link)
me too i didn't reply to your poll, i thought about it for a while because i wanted to and am interested in it, but found it too reductive and didn't want to tick any of the options. but i'm not as good as livredor at following these things up... should do...
ah! have to do work. boo. back later
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doseybat: default
From:doseybat
Date:August 20th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, August 21st, 2006 02:07 am (doseybat's time)
(Link)
And I meant to say fantastic about work picking up!
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rysmiel: get yourself connected
From:rysmiel
Date:August 21st, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 11:21 am (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
I do not think I do "clicking" at the within-minutes level with someone formerly a total stranger. I certainly can become quite fond of someone over an evening's or a few day's chatting - and I have certainly had people become close from that, but it does take a while.

I find it very hard to calibrate how I am going to find people com,patible for close connection. And I have found that there are people with whom I connect very well in email and less so in person, as well as vice versa; the degree to which you and I connected and became comfortable in person was an extremely pleasant surprise and definitely not an expectation I had based on how well we were getting on in email.
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From:curious_reader
Date:August 21st, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry

relationships

(Link)
Well, in email you can actually think about what you are saying. I often don't and offend people (not on purpose) when they are too sensitiv which I can't know beforehand. I somehow never get somebody I really click with become real friends. Whoever comes to me is not the person I would choose and if it is someone I was interested in this person is not staying.
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leora: ouroboros
From:leora
Date:August 21st, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 01:40 pm (leora's time)
(Link)
For me, clicking requires the following: Someone able to understand me more or less, someone interested in roughly the same things I am, and for me to have the energy, desire, and mood to click with someone when I meet them.

Basically, I can choose to click with people or not, if the prerequisites are there on their side, and so whether I click with people has, in my experience, been most often based on the mood I am in when I meet them. So, it means very little to me generally.

I can even click with people where the prerequisites aren't all there and we're a bad but not awful fit if I have lots of energy and desire to be very likeable.
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wiredwytch: venice
From:wiredwytch
Date:August 22nd, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 09:57 pm (wiredwytch's time)
(Link)
A little bit late, but I wanted to contribute my thoughts on clicking as well.

In my case clicking really depends on my mood and the situation. I'm more likely to click with someone when I am for example at a party or a meeting with friends than when I am somewhere I have never been before and feel a bit alone. It also largely depends on mutual interests and perhaps first impressions, even though I agree with you: those can be extremely wrong.

Usually my friendship with someone grows more gradual and slow, and I come to appreciate them more and more over time. But the clicking thing does happen occasionally and it's always nice when that happens. I value both origins of friendship and when you click with someone a friendship can develop extremely fast and soon reach a stage another friendship took years to reach.
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