What is the Role of Resonance in Relationships?

Ideas. Insight. Inspiration.

What is the Role of Resonance in Relationships?

August 22, 2008 Persuasion Popular 5

I actually do think there is something that might roughly be called a law of attraction that is at work in the universe. I think of it as the approximate rule (not law) of resonance. In this final post in my blog series on attraction of likes and opposites and how this figures into our persuasive communication, I will attempt to answer the question, “What is the role of resonance in relationships?”

It turns out that resonance is a common and observable phenomenon, and, in fact, may be one of the most amazing and unexpected phenomena in our universe. Resonance can be found running through just about every aspect of physics, but most people are unfamiliar with it. It makes many things possible including music, radio and TV. You can hear the sound of resonance in the Universe itself! Check out this clip about the sound of Jupiter…the planet, not the Roman god…

Nikola Tesla, extraordinary inventor and genius of electricity, was obsessed with resonance. He once caused a small earthquake in his laboratory using it, which had the definite result of broken windows, shaking buildings and people running out into the street throughout his Manhattan neighborhood.

How does resonance work? Well, we know that a vibrating object can somehow filter out other frequencies in a complex excitation or vibrational stimulus, and respond by picking out its resonant frequencies and vibrating at its natural rate.

But how does all this translate into human terms? I suppose for this to make sense, we’d have to talk about people as if there are frequencies involved, right? As in, you and I are on the same frequency! Or we could talk about vibrations, as in ‘I’m diggin’ those good vibrations!’ Or we could just keep it simple and talk about resonating, as in ‘I really resonate with what you’re saying.’ Or we could use the term wavelengths, as in ‘we’re on the same wavelength!’

When dance movements are synchronized, they take on a sense of wholeness that moves those of us watching it. When people sing together in harmony (voices resonating the same frequencies), the effect is often profoundly moving for those listening to it. And when people are so in sync that they can practically complete each other’s sentences, we who bear witness marvel at the resonance between them.

So there is some aspect of this natural phenomenon at work in us, in our world and in our lives. Just as we are part of the universe rather than apart from it, the same principles and effects by which nature does what nature does are at work in our lives.

With what do we resonate in each other? The foundational stuff, to be sure. Our values. If my values and your values are similar, we detect that pattern of resonance and begin to share an orbit. People form organizations around their shared values, volunteer their time and energy and money in service to those values, work with great diligence to effect the world based on those values.

We resonate when we have a shared background. If you and I come from a similar background, heard in our accents and colloquialisms, we detect a pattern of resonance and our sense of connection grows. Our way with words. People who have served in the military or other form of national service resonate with others who share this background. My daughter served in Americorps, and the friendships she made during her national service continue to be among her most cherished ones. People who have gone through tragedy and triumph together find resonance in the memories of it.

And we resonate with people with whom we have current experience in common. Getting married? Having a baby? Going through loss? Getting downsized? Starting a business? Wishing you were rich? You resonate with people who are walking in your shoes, or talking about your fears and desires.

In the complex excitation of life, the fact is that people have a wonderful and natural ability to filter out other frequencies and signals and resonate with matching ones.

Resonance doesn’t mean that you’ll attract people and events that weren’t there all along. But if you pay attention to what’s already there, you can resonate with it and make something of it. If you choose to resonate with people, to allow resonance to be the main frequency in the relationship, the resulting rapport and communication potential is dramaticaly enhanced. And matching those frequencies and signals is what blending is all about. Read about it here. This idea is at the core of the art of persuasion, and effectively dealing with difficult people, too!

I’d love to know if you resonate with what I’ve written. Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

In order to keep the blog going, I’ve got to write about something. Sometimes, I write about skills you can use. Sometimes, I write about the meaning of events. Sometimes, we explore the belief-behavior-experience dynamic of self fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes, I write about the use of persuasion in various aspects of human endeavor, like business, and politics, and the business of politics. And sometimes, I just vent while waiting for a better idea. I’m not saying which of these is behind my next post, but I’ll begin next week’s blog entries with my answer to one of the most searched questions on the series of tubes that is the internet – How Can You Get Rich On The Internet? Hint: Get lots of people to send you their money!

And, for the sake of contrast, here’s a reminder of something available to you from me for free (In other words, it’s not going to make me rich, but it might make a difference in YOUR life!) If you haven’t already, swing by LearnToPersuade.com and take advantage of a limited time offer for a free listen to my $49 audio program on Dealing With People You Can’t Stand. You’ll find this fun filled audio to be loaded with useful ideas to deal with the pushy people, negative people, distracting and disruptive people, the, er, difficult people in your life.

Be well,


5 Responses

  1. When we meet people we ‘resonate’ with it endorses our desires. In other words, a train spotter may feel very alone in their hobby as it’s not a common one! This lack of commonality may make them wonder why they like something others do not, are they weird for example, or odd? So when someone comes along who shares that interest, it assures them they are not odd and there is good reason to like what they like.

    In resonance thus comes reassurance.

    Also, our experience of something magnifies when it is shared. We become more excited , be experience a certain ‘high’. A high undoubtably caused by adrenalin.

    But the question is, why do we need the reassurance of others to enjoy what we enjoy and why do we enjoy it more when others are enjoying it at the same time?

    I believe those answers may be in ‘mob mentality’ and ‘herd behavior’

    The need to move and act together as ‘one’ which herds do for reasons of strength and survival. A need for rapid communication through the herd if danger presents. Trust that when one bull runs the others should do the same rather than waiting to find out why he’s running.

    Social animals need to rely and trust the signals of others, they need to ‘resonate’ with each other and act when another acts.

    When people around us become excitable we too can ‘catch’ their buzz. We laugh when others laugh even though we don;t why they are laughing. When people are down it can bring down our good mood. In essence we are very sensitive to the moods and expressions of other people.

    If we ourselves though are generally high energy people, we are happier in the company of like minded people and calmer, stiller people are happier with similar who don’t try to ‘excite’ their calm state which they prefer.

    Comedians will tell you how different some cultures respond to humor. Some become very loud and create a ‘buzz’ whereas enjoy the humor just as much but with little response. The comedian can find it hard relating to the quieter crowd as he can’t ‘feel’ the warmth and pleasure of the people there.

    Sometimes we need others raised spirits to raise our own.

    We are all connected by the air that fills the spaces between us. Perhaps when we become charged, a small electrical charge is released that travels to the nearest person and gives them a little jolt. Who knows………

    Fascinating topic

  2. Please excuse vast typo’s , seems I have a few words missing there!

  3. vast typo’s and missing aside , I resonate with your comment and appreciate very much!


  4. gary C Smith says:

    Prior to some MAGICAL experiences in the early 1980’s I was involved in an esoteric school where, after much conscious lablor and voluntary suffering, we studied processes of learning.

    The classics of imitation, and competition were easily understood. My years as a athlete spurred by my ego showed in endeavors from business, relationships, and as a professional athlete.. And imitation took ancient tenets such as “Man can do what man has done” and inspired me to take risks and change behaviors and go beyond my limits. This was greatly expanded in my magical era and into NLP studies.

    The third type of learning the school taught was called magnetism. It’s here I resonate with your blog and the unique and practical nature of your communication. Magnetism showed in finding a teacher, trusting a young mother that some naturopaths teaching communication skills were of great benefit, that choosing an unknown cassette tape from hundreds would have a message to reconnect with old friends.

    During the ‘school’ we had the provildege of working with Peter Brooks on the movie Meeting with Remarkable Men (of which in my version of Meeting with Remarkable Men, Dr Ricki is himself a chapter). We were a farm in Oregon and created the tools for the scene in the Gobi Desert where the ‘seekers of truth’ rode the sheep cart and used stilts during sandsorms. Watch the movie and at the beginning is an example of an ancient festivial in which singers and musicans are to resonate with the mountain. The concept, a ‘truth’ if such things exists has been around for ages. Your translation of these ancient concepts resonates with me. Thank you.

  5. Gary,

    Thanks for joining the conversation! (And for the compliments!)

    Is there a link to your movie? Please post it here if there is.

    be well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *