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The science of magical connections
- Read in 16 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 10 key ideas
Click (2010) delves into the miraculous topic of quick-set intimacy and explores what’s at work when we’re instantly drawn to some person or thing. It examines how and why clicking makes our life more meaningful and outlines the (very ordinary) factors that can make such “magical” connections more likely.
Key idea 1 of 10
Clicking is when you suddenly feel a highly pleasurable, almost “magical" connection.
Consider this familiar scene:
Two strangers happen to meet somewhere – perhaps it’s on a train, during a long journey. One of them notices the other is reading a book by their favorite writer and can’t resist mentioning it. Instantly, the pair are drawn to each other and as they start to chat about this and that, each of them begins to feel as if they’ve known the other person for their entire life.
This is clicking and it’s one of the most enjoyable things you can experience.
One main reason is that we experience clicking as a kind of euphoria.
In one experiment, neuroscientists scanned the brains of people who’d clicked in a particularly romantic way: they’d fallen in love. The scans showed that those areas of the brain usually associated with pleasurable experiences were exceptionally active. In fact, the level of activity that the scientists observed commonly indicates a state of euphoria – a level of pleasure typically triggered by drugs like cocaine.
Another reason is that we tend to think of clicking as meaningful. Indeed, we often even experience it as almost “magical.”
When one psychologist asked a diverse group of people to recall an almost magical experience, out of all the events of their very different lives most people named precisely those moments when they’d experienced an instant connection with someone.
One woman, for instance, described how she and a stranger had locked eyes and were struck by an immediate sense of shared intimacy. Within no time, they’d become a couple.
Furthermore, nearly all the participants used the same attributes to describe those moments; they called them energizing, thrilling, special or euphoric. Even when the same question was posed to an entirely different group, they used the exact same adjectives.
So clicking can make us wildly happy and can even cause us to believe that, in those moments when our lives intersect with those of others, we are experiencing something out of the ordinary.