We want to see ourselves in other people

A lot of us want to reaffirm our shared experience.

That’s why you see Asians hanging out with Asians. Whites hanging out with whites. Black with blacks, etc. 

But you also see entrepreneurs hanging out with other entrepreneurs. Widows with other widows. Skaters with other skaters.

When we know that someone has shared a similar experience growing up to us, then we feel an instant bond. It’s a signal that says “they know what it’s like to be me. They understand the struggles I had to go through”.

That’s why I like talking to Praxians, who’ve gone through similar struggles at work.

That’s why I like talking to Vietnamese people, who’ve gone through a similar upbringing at home.

That’s why I like talking to anime fans, who’ve gone through the experience of being the nerd at school.

That’s why I like talking to travelers, who’ve gone through the same cycles of extreme fun, romance, loneliness, and joy.

That’s why I like talking to disgruntled college students, who’ve gone through the same feelings of frustration at school as I did.

I could go on.

The “shared experience” effect doesn’t mean you don’t like talking to people who you haven’t shared an experience with. It just means it’s a faster rate of trust that’s built. 

Because of that shared experience, you start to see them as kin — one who is in your tribe.

Note that a shared experience doesn’t have to be something in the past.

It could simply be the moment you create together right now.

When you create moments in the present, you create new feelings and experiences that you can both experience and remember together. The more shared memories you can create with the person, the higher chance they’ll be able to trust you.

And building that trust is a very powerful tool.