27 thoughts on “Why We “Click” With Some People and Not With Others

  • June 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I have encountered both types of friendships in the past and current. I knew they existed, but could never explain them. Your analogy did a wonderful job of clarification. Thanks!

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    • June 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      So glad you found the analogy helpful, as I did – my mentor is full of similar gems (thank goodness!) 🙂

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  • June 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    So many truisms in your article. One thing that struck me was that, at least for me, those truly organic, rich, easy friendships are few. I felt saddened to realize that at this time in my life, I have no ‘real’ friends. I’m talking those kind of friends that will back you, defend you, tell you truthful things (even painful truths), laugh with and at you while you oblige their gloating, etc.. Those ‘cordial’ type friends usually aren’t around when the chips are down or if any inconvenience is entailed. Sadly, I think our culture cultivates and nurtures ‘distant/remote’ friendships which ultimately is a disservice to our ability to experience life’s gifts.

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    • June 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      This may be true – but I have also experienced that even if the culture pushes us one way, we can still choose to go another. That is the good news for me – and oddly, I also enjoy some uniquely rich friendships that have formed through email, texting, and social media – friendships I would never otherwise be able to have. My mentor continually teaches me that, while I can’t necessarily control how life approaches me or what it offers, I can most definitely control what I let in and accept! For what it may be worth…

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    • July 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Loved your comments and really identify with the statement about not having any “real friends”. I had total hip replacement surgeries (left one, then right one 8 weeks later). During the course of those surgeries and recuperations at home, only two friends came to see me in the hospital, one a former co-worker, the other a nurse who instructs nursing students and has been a good friend since the late 60s. Only one other friend picked up the phone to call me. She called a second time when playing cards (and having adult beverages) with another friend and ended up putting her on the phone. That “good friend” never initiated a single call to me. I received a grand total of 2 cards from friends. This was exactly two years ago. Many friends did seem concerned and asked my husband “how I was doing” when they would see him at the golf course. Would have been really special if they had asked ME. I have used those experiences to do my darndest to support friends or people I know who may be going through tough times. I try not to always make it about me but I just don’t understand people sometimes. I think maybe they don’t know WHAT to do so they do NOTHING.

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      • July 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

        Jo – thank you for sharing your experiences. I think it is beautiful that you have used your experiences to reach out and support others who may be feeling isolated during life’s rougher moments. My mentor has often reminded me that I may not be able to control how others befriend me, but I can most certainly control how I befriend others. I find this reassuring (even if it is also painful at times to feel unsupported). I also truly agree that sometimes people just don’t know what to do (reason being, in the past I have also found myself in that boat, realizing only too late what I could have done to help a struggling friend). Thanks again for sharing!

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  • June 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I love this article! And I definitely know which pots I enjoy stirring more than others.
    Thanks

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    • June 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Me too! So glad you enjoyed the post!

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  • June 19, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Once I inherited a friend when our mutual friend moved away. I realized it was never going to work
    when she called and kind of demanded to know why I
    hadn’t called her. My completely reactive response was, “Was I supposed to call you?” This friendship was not meant to be.

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    • June 19, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      I would feel exactly the same way – what a strange expectation (at least to my mind!) But what is even weirder (to me at least) is to think that somewhere out in this great wide world of ours, there might be someone that inherited friend totally clicks with…..we really can be so different!!

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  • June 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I’m not sure that the phrase ‘pots of energy’ really tells us any more about the nature of it. Of course one can speak of humans as pots of energy, but what does that actually mean? It’s just a visual image. It explains nothing. If you’re going to say that the energy in your pot is different to the energy in some people’s pots and similar to others then I can’t see how that’s any better analogy than saying you are on their wavelength or not. To speak of pots of energy is an image with not real content.

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    • June 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Rachel – not everything I share here will resonate with everyone – if it doesn’t “click,” then clearly it is not meant for you! But thanks for reading – and you are right, saying you are “on someone’s wavelength” is another good analogy for a concept that perhaps resonates, but which (for the moment anyway) may lack a full explanation.

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  • June 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Temperament is the core of our being which connects to all our relationships -easy or challenging. I like the idea that it could be explained by “pots of energy” that match or don’t match. An important question what draws us to others or who do we find challenging ?

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    • June 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Nanci-that is a great question, I agree! I have found both types of people can teach us so much (although the ones we click with tend to be the more pleasant of the lessons!)

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  • June 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    They also make for a “good fit” with our own temperament and therefore less energy to maintain. However, as my father wisely told me, “you can pick your friends but not your relatives.”

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    • June 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Haha – sounds like your father is a wise man indeed, Nanci!

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  • July 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    A fascinating subject and one of which I would be interested to hear an in depth discussion. I share Rachel’s sense that this doesn’t offer an insight into ‘why’ we click with some and not others. The message could be delivered thus: if you are close friends then you click , if you are not then you don’t. I would still love to know why. I also think it is rather glib simply to suggest that because Rachel has highlighted this shortcoming, it must be that the article just doesn’t ‘click’ for her. The article does not address its own subject title.

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    • July 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Hector – thank you for sharing your “take” on the article and opening up a forum here for a more in depth discussion. I do recognize that, perhaps for you and for Rachel (and maybe for others as well) the article fell short. But I can also share that, for me personally, I deeply resonate with the explanation (the “why” of this post) that my mentor shared and so for me as the writer, the title and the post do connect. I “get” what my mentor means by “pots of energy” – to me, that means going back to the very source, the architecture, of a human being’s innate nature – and recognizing that we do not all have the same characteristics (perhaps by design and even necessity as different characteristics are needed in this world and we can’t all have all of them?) As such, we will have to work harder to resonate with those who spring from different “pots” than we did. Maybe that helps – maybe it doesn’t. All that to say, I get the analogy – it has helped me – which is why I chose to share it here on my blog with Psych Central. But it may not resonate for everyone, which I wholeheartedly respect….and accept. Thanks for sharing.

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      • June 24, 2015 at 11:52 pm

        I was reading this article as I would any other in hopes of getting an “aha” moment and I surely did when I read “pots of energy”. It simply clicked just like I have clicked with some people instantly and with others, as much as we have both tried, we just don’t get that aha moment. We are not wired the same. That is why some people don’t need much of an explanation they just get the phrase “pot of energy” and others don’t.

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      • June 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        This is such a great point, JC – thank you! It eases some of my concerns about other comments as well – you, me, my mentor, we must al be from the same “pot!” I appreciate your comment very much!

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  • September 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    When I was in my late teens I met a guy a year or so younger than me in driver’s ed class. I thought he was funny most of the time but his clingyness was really annoying and something about him rubbed me the wrong way. I’m not even sure how we ended up hanging out outside class, probably agreed cause I was too nice to say ‘no’. Somehow the kid grew on me, like someone you just wanted to get away from but when you finally did you actually missed them. It was weird. We were pretty much best friends for a summer and he was probably the greatest friend I’ve had before or since. In the end I cut him loose because my boyfriend (now husband) didn’t like him hanging around all the time. It’s probably my biggest regret but I’ll always have fond memories of him and I hope that he’s forgiven me for being a crappy friend, where ever he is now. In any case I feel this friendship came about through time and maybe force on his part lol, not organically although eventually it did feel natural.

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    • September 20, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      This is so very interesting – I too have had occasional friendships that “grew on me,” as you say, and while I have to say none of them have lasted as long as the ones that just “clicked” right away, they have always left me with lots of good lessons learned and some very fond memories. I really appreciate you sharing your story – we may never truly understand how or why friendships happen with some people and not with others, but contemplating the blessings of our friendships is always a worthy endeavor. Thanks again for reading and sharing!

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  • January 27, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Interesting article. I too have both types of friends and often felt terrible guilt about not wanting to make more time for the latter, as they may at one time been a big part of my life in some respect. Those friends now are more social media friends and though some want to meet up, time and place constraints seem to override my feelings of trying to make the timing work. But what to do when the later type of friend, someone who once did actually mean a lot though not always an easy-going thing, insists you travel from another state to get together, and every fiber of your being resists it? Not that I don’t ever want to speak to that friend again, but I enjoy the long-distanceness of the relationship (and seeing what they and their family is up to), as being with that person is at times trying, especially with our very different lifestyles and priorities.

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    • January 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Well, my mentor always says that when we don’t feel peace about something, that is not the right moment to make a decision. I sometimes interpret that to mean that my decision is “no” until it becomes a “yes” (an interesting technique my life coach taught me). As long as it’s a no, it’s a no – pressure from the other person won’t change that, and neither will my efforts to try to ignore the no or turn the no into a yes. At least that has always held true in my life. Recently I had to issue a very firm “no” to a similarly persistent friend and it was not easy. But it was still easier than saying yes to her (and thus no to myself and all my instincts that were telling me no is the right response). I hope that helps a bit!! In the end, I now suspect we can’t ever really know why we are getting a no – it could be for the reasons we think it is, and it could be for reasons we couldn’t possibly fathom. I have been trying to learn to just trust my yesses and no’s for what they are and not attempt to dig too much deeper. For what that may be worth….

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  • March 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I have feelings for this person, and they have feelings for me. Circustances are preventing us from actually dating (we work together) but we hang out as friends a decent amount. We just aren’t on the same wavelength, there are frequent miscommunications and we often have to explain ourselves to each other. Is there any hope for us in the future?

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    • March 20, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      I truly believe there is always hope for anything our heart can dream up or resonate with. I also think that, at least for me personally, impatience frequently gets in the way of my heart’s dreams and even tries to tell me what my heart is dreaming of or resonating with is not possible or will never happen. Also, my mentor is teaching me that where there is true friendship – the kind that comes with unconditional respect and love – in many ways the goal of any relationship has already been achieved. I don’t know if that offers any insight or comfort but I hope it does.

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  • November 16, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I think Jungian Psychology and Cognitive Function Theory explains this.

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