If you want someone to open up to you, just make them laugh. Sharing a few good giggles and chuckles makes people more willing to tell others something personal about themselves, without even necessarily being aware that they are doing so. These are among the findings of a study led by Alan Gray of University College London in the UK, published in Springer’s journal Human Nature.
The act of verbally opening up to someone is a crucial building block that helps to form new relationships and intensify social bonds. Such self-disclosure can be of a highly sensitive nature – like sharing one’s religious convictions or personal fears – or a superficial tidbit such as one’s favorite type of food.