Most relationships start out as a meeting between people who don’t know each other well (if at all). But what determines whether an interaction with a stranger will evolve into a friendship, a marriage, or nothing at all? When thinking about what predicts initial liking toward someone new, concepts like social status, attraction, and perceived similarity often come to mind. But subtle nonverbal behavior can also be important for planting seeds of rapport – seeds that can blossom into a meaningful relationship over time.
Many of us can think of interactions with someone – perhaps a partner or close friend – during which we felt “in sync” with that person: perhaps we experienced behavioral synchrony, or a sense of harmony, shared movement, and felt the person was easy to talk to.