Building Relationships: 9 Actions to Bond with Others

Note: This is a guest post from Thanh Lu of

You always hear that relationship is the basis for long term personal and business success. “Care” is the only strategy you need to connect and establish a great relationship that is based on trust and friendship. In Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People, getting people to like you and having genuine relationships with other people is the essence to a good quality of life. There are numerous reminders to nurture relationship and make the other person feel appreciated. I always wondered what that meant – how do you translate that into actions? How do you really translate that into real actions to be equivalent to creating a bond with another person? Abstract goals need to be measurable in real actions.

Below are 9 actions to build relationships with others:

1. Ask about their families/pets/significant others

Nothing gets to the heart of the matter faster than a person’s parents or girlfriend or boyfriend. In your conversations, ask about the people that are close to them. Even a simple “How are your parents/girl/boyfriend?” bring out a human element that creates an opportunity for bonding.

2. Talk about their interests/hobbies/current events

It’s common wisdom that people love to talk about their hot buttons. Find something, an idea or a philosophy or a hobby that others are passionate about and just ask a question. With the power of social media today it is not hard to find hot buttons to focus on.

3. Give small token of gifts

Small gifts go a long way; a small gift shows that you’re thinking of them, that you invested thoughts into them. Some examples of gifts could be: gift certificates, movie tickets, candy, snacks, baked goods, shirt, hat, cards, lunch, stationery, etc. Small gifts are often more meaningful than bigger gifts on special occasions as they provide reminders of the relationship more often than gifts on special occasions.

4. Better yet – give personalized gifts

Make a gift that you are good at in your hobby. Whether it is writing, painting, technology, computers, these personalized gifts can be practical. Upgrade a computer program, knit a scarf, crochet, sew a shirt, or make a photo album – these ideas create memories and plenty of usage.

5. Get involved and bring ideas

People are always working on some projects, professionally or personally. Get involved and bring ideas. People express themselves through their work, as a hobby or in business. When you dive into something they’re working on and offer resources and your findings, you tell the other person you appreciate them for who they are and who they’re trying to be.

6. Ask good questions, and then listen

When people vent and talk about the problems they’re facing, listen and ask questions. Ask good questions. You get to know people through their struggles and challenges.

7. Always start with a positive introduction

Greet people with an upbeat persona. A strong hello or a smile makes a huge difference in a person’s day. And everyone wants that sense of recognition that comes through in your positive greetings.

8. Be comfortable. Be real. Be authentic you.

Don’t forget to be who you are. When you’re comfortable, you’re real. Show up to your friend’s house. Call unexpectedly. Drop by your colleague’s place for lunch. Be goofy or be intense. When you are who you are, you share a part of that with the other person, creating a stronger bond.

9. Reach a little further and reach out to their significant others

Nothing says more that you care than when you reach beyond that person to their family and friends. Send birthday cards to their family members or loved ones. Buy a toy for their siblings or a snack for their pet. Families and friends are extensions of who we are, so when others notice us for those extensions, it creates stronger bonds.

Thanh likes to blog about success, social cultures, and moral wisdom at . She explores insights and perspectives for a good quality of life.

Photo by batega


  1. This is a lovely post and perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day. Kindness is always my key word for relationships, whether with friends, spouse or children. If you can be kind in your interractions, even during conflict, you create a trust and intimacy that will support both people.

    This is a wonderful blog. Thank you for all you offer! In fact, I have included your blog in a list of my favorites on my blog!

  2. Interesting topic. I think the key to great relationships is to not be strangers to one another. This is why asking questions about the other person, opening yourself and of course, listening, are all very important. These are the things I focus on and the thing I teach my clients.


  3. Great Post. I find it very useful to build good relationships.

    I agree ” Care ” is the key to do that.

    The 9 actions are really effective to show this care and I think
    ” Talk about their interests/hobbies/current events ” is the most effective one.

    I can add ” Deal with the good in others and forget the bad ” to the list to build comforting relationships.

  4. You have mentioned all good points and they make sense. To summarize, treat everyone like you would expect to be treated and everything else falls into place. I think point number 8 is the key to everything as well, be authentic and do not pretend to be who you are not.

  5. I’m sorry to disagree, but this post just seems to me like “how to buy a friendship and take advantage of it”. Really doesn’t seem to fit the spirit of this good blog.

  6. Hmm not sure. In the ideal world these would work – but in reality I’d say not, unless you want to be the nice guy provider who will get walked over – it’s biological rather than logical.

  7. @Barrie – Thanks for the comments Barrie. I agree that kindness goes a long way.

    @Abohadi – I’m glad you like the suggestions. I also like “Deal with the good in others and forget the bad.” However, sometimes I wonder if there’s a fine line with forgetting the bad.

    @Eduard @Sanjay – Thanks for the comments.

    @Claudio – Although these are 9 things that I personally do to bond & develop with people in my life, as I intentional extend myself towards other, I’m glad you disagree. Maybe I could learn something from you. Would you suggest on how you bond with others or build relationships with people in your life? I’m curious to know your thoughts.

    In some ways, I could see your point that being nice and wanting to bond could be seen as buying & taking advantage of relationships. However, aren’t relationships first about creating a connection, as with your friends, colleagues, or business associates – because people’s ultimate need is appreciation & emotional connection.

    @Craig – I appreciate your comments. However, I don’t view these ideas as invitations to walk over me because I own it, I’m not doing anything out of my will. Could you elaborate on what would work in reality instead? I’m always opened to learn.

    Thank you.

  8. Similar to what you’ve written that my most successful relationships come when I show interest in the other person first. When I give out, I get back and their is a mutual exchange in friendship.

  9. […] Day category, I found an interesting post from Life Optimizer. Here you’ll learn the 9 ways you can make an instant bond with a person. These have some great tips for creating a friendship with someone you just […]

  10. Thanh,

    Good post. Went into my selections for today. Liked how you didn’t emphasize superficial methods of getting close to someone. Instead recommended real, human ways to connect.


  11. I just wrote on how to strengthen relationships the other day, things people can do together that create memories and build the stuff that good, active relationships are made of.

    Sort of a more active take on what you’ve written here, in terms of what people can do together to strengthen their bonds, once they have an existing relationship.

    Good stuff here!
    Miche 🙂

  12. don’t forget to be genuine about what you’re doing. i’s really easy to read if you really care, or if you’re filling a schedule of soaping someone.

  13. I agree – positive intros start things off on the right foot.

  14. […] Latumahina presents Building Relationships: 9 Actions to Bond with Others posted at Life […]

  15. very nice article Donald:) , i like point number six the most because its sometimes a challenge to prevent yourself from talking about yourself in the pretense of new people

  16. @Chris, @J.D. @alex440 @Farouk – thanks for your comments.
    @Steve- thanks for the feedback! 🙂
    @Miche – I checked out your article and I love the connection. You have many great ideas about strengthening the essence of a relationship. Your writing is awesome!

  17. Hi Thanh,

    These are really good tips. I practice some of them. I don’t usually have problems at getting to know people and and I actually make very good friends.

    My problem is being able to keep the friendship for a long time. If I stop seeing my friends for some reason, I find it difficult to keep in touch with them. I need to work on that.

  18. Awesome advice. I’ve always had problems created new friendships. I’ll have to try these out.

    Also, Dale Carnegie is amazing.

  19. @Isaac,

    Thanks for your comments and for sharing your story.

    You bring up a very good point about some friendships dying because we don’t tend to it.

    When friendships fade, I really don’t see anything wrong with that as long as it’s natural, and not because of misunderstanding or fights. When friendships fade, it can be easily picked up when the opportunity is there.

    I think it’s also important to understand the purpose of your friendships. Some friendships are casual and social, and you meet up whenever there’s an event. Others friendships are deep and connected and you rely on each other to understand life. Maybe you need to have friends to talk business with, or sports with, or girls with. They vary. Then there are friends that you just talk about anything ridiculous. If you understand the purpose of your friendship, you also understand the elements of the friendship, and understand that some friends aren’t meant to last, endure, or be constant.

    It also depends on what your definition of a good friend is. Someone to listen to you, share business ideas, support you in your endeavors…?

    Because you aren’t dead yet, there’s still time. How do you really define friendships lasting…you’re still alive.

    In my case, my closest friend lives in Paris and I live in CA. We email constantly, speak every few weeks, and see each other x2 a year. She is thousands of miles away, but feel like she’s next door. She fits my definition of a close friend because she understands and supports me.

    There are people that I see and talk to every week, but they don’t fit my definition as a close friend. And that’s OK too, they’re good casual friends. If I wanted to take it up a notch, I would first begin to share a bit of myself and start to understand them by listening to them.

    Hope that helps.


  20. Interesting and true post. I liked the tips because, as someone who suffers from social anxiety, I sometimes struggle with different methods of connecting with people. I will keep these in mind as I work on learning how to build successful business relationships. Thanks for the post!

  21. […] enjoy the holidays and make those genuine connections with people. You are in the business of building relationships with people. You offer value and a prescription to a problem you might just be able to help them […]

  22. Realy amazing advices, i always have problems in making new friends and talking to new people

  23. Wow man. This was so informative! Even though it was only 9 points while I usually see like 50 in other sites, I think it did a great job! My friend Brittany and I have already become better friends thanks to this. She has told me about her entire life and family and I know them all on a first name basis. We hang out regularly and we have a lot of fun together. Best advice 10/10 would meet another person and do it all over again. Best website by far, lifeoptimizer is the best website ever I love it and no I am not paid to say this. I really enjoyed this article and hope to see plenty more even though it is 6 years old by now.

    This has changed my life forever and hopefully all of you underpaid workers for this company that made this article realize you have done a greatness even though this job might kinda blow. Like totally you guys don’t get paid enough for this. WOW JK SHE SUCKS NOW OMG DUDE SHE WAS TOTALLY IGNORING ME EVERYTHING SUCKS!!!! I HATE YOU GUYS YOU MISLED ME COMPLETELY. I HOPE YOU ALL STAY UNDERPAID YOU SUCK!


Comments are closed.