July 1, 2013 David Morin

Become Close Friends With Anyone in Less Than 60 Minutes

Scientists at Stony Brook University, NY, have discovered a method to become close friends with almost anyone in less than 60 minutes. The technique will not just help you out with building deep relationships quickly but also lets you know what to always say next in a conversation. Today professionals such as police, interrogators, and psychologists have learned from these findings how to build trust and a relationship with a stranger rapidly.

This technique works best when you meet someone one on one. Therefore, it is perfect to use when meeting someone over a cup of coffee, while traveling or at a party. You can use it with anyone, such as a business colleague, an old friend, an acquaintance or even a relative you haven’t previously gotten to know well.

The Fast Friend Procedure

During a period that can be as brief as 45 minutes, you go through a series of questions that gradually become more and more personal. In a highly condensed timeframe, this simulates the same experience that otherwise takes months or years for friends to go through. In the lab, test persons read questions from a set of cards. In the real world, you have to interweave the questions throughout your ongoing conversation.

…it is important that you start off easy and proceed progressively.  After about 30 minutes of talking, you can start asking about deeper matters…

First, ask something that is just slightly personal. Make sure that you relate the question to what you are currently talking about. For example, say that your friend is talking about an unpleasant phone call he or she recently had to make. You can ask, “When you make a telephone call, do you rehearse it beforehand?” After your conversation partner has answered, refer to yourself to reveal something slightly personal as well, maybe along the lines of, “I actually rehearse several times when I’m about to call someone I don’t know that well.”

If your questions become too personal too quickly they might be perceived as unpleasant, probing and scary. Therefore, it is important that you start off easy and proceed progressively. After about 30 minutes of talking, you can start asking about deeper matters

Deeper questions may be, “What is your most terrible memory?” Even more personal questions could follow the tack of, “When was the last time you cried in front of someone else?” If you have gradually learned to know each other through the easier but still personal questions, then it’s fine to ask such very deep questions and they will feel natural.

Remember to reveal as many personal things about yourself as your friend is disclosing. You can even switch the order of the questions and start off by revealing something personal about you, and then ask the person a related personal question. If you reveal personal things first, your friend will become more comfortable opening up to you.

To get a deeper understanding of how the method works, we asked one of the developers of this procedure, Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould in the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto, two questions:

What is your advice or precaution to people who want to use the Fast Friend Procedure principles in their personal life to make friends?


Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould

When entering a new social group (i.e., meeting people for the first time), it’s always helpful to have some questions like the Fast Friends questions to get the conversation rolling. Generally, people like to talk about themselves, and they will appreciate that you want to know more about them. The two things to remember, though, is that not everyone is the same, and there is a big difference between interacting with a stranger than interacting with a friend.

In my research, some people become stressed during the first Fast Friends session, although pretty much everyone becomes comfortable by the second time they do the Fast Friends with another person. So, you always have to feel out a new interaction partner: back off if they seem like they don’t want to share and be sure that you reciprocate in kind by sharing equivalent levels of information with them. For the most part, people like to be asked about themselves, especially with questions that are somewhat unique and quirky!

In short, what do you think it is in the procedure that makes it so effective?

The Fast Friends procedure is effective because it mimics the way friendships develop naturally. When you first meet someone, you move beyond mere strangers by getting to know one another. The other person may tell you a little bit more about themselves, then you respond in kind by telling them a little more about you, and the process continues back-and-forth like that. The Fast Friends procedure just formalizes and accelerates this process!

Some of the Questions that the Researchers use:

• Would you like to be famous? In what way?

• Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why?

• When did you last sing to yourself or to someone else?

• Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

• If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

• If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Here is a link to the full list of instructions and questions that was used by the researchers.

You could also try this method on people that you have known for a long time already. If you haven’t previously had these kinds of conversations, this method will help your existing friendships grow stronger.

Comments (18)

  1. Jeff

    Link won’t work again

    • David Morin

      Thanks, updated the link!

  2. Irwin

    For the whole list

  3. Justin

    But what if it’s a person that you used to kind of know but fell out of touch with?

    • David Morin

      Try applying the general principle, of asking gradually more personal questions and sharing equally. If they reciprocate you can get more personal. You can also let this process happen over a longer time depending on the situation.

  4. Katie

    I am very excited to try this at my school. Would it also work on entire friend groups of 3 people?
    If so, how?

  5. Moises

    Would you text this questions to someone or in person? In person is best but sometimes you do not get that chance in person. Some suggestions please.

    • Katie

      Hmmm….if I were you, then I would try to do this in person. Even though it may seem more confrontational, it is actually more comfortable and is perceived as less psychopath-y when the person you are speaking to can hear your voice.

      Hope I helped!!

      • Katie

        Though I would also suggest you ask others, as I am no social expert!

  6. Callie

    I think this is a great way for people that would be rather shy, like my younger self, or isolated from social experience to get to know other people. it’s a nice tactic to learn and experiment on new people or friends that you know already. 🙂 Friendship is the most important thing in the world.

  7. James

    I feel like this would be effective for making friends with girls, but not with guys.

  8. I’m not seeing the link to the whole list =[

    Could you guys post it?

    • David Morin

      Link fixed!

  9. marlon

    would u say this work even on someone you once were good friends with but lost contact? becuz i would very much like to become good friends again with some of my old friends. thnaks!

    • David Morin

      Yes, sure Marlon. Just make sure to proceed incrementally.

  10. Crawford1

    I’m gonna try this on every girl I meet from now on, too 😉

    • sunnid

      And watch them get even more cautious. Thanks a lot, bro.

  11. Jen

    Wow! I love this method, I think I’ve been using it unconsciously for the last couple of years actually. When I was younger I only had one friend, but nowadays I don’t really have any big problems with meeting friends. I think that’s because I’ve just started listening to people more, not only to their words. I also listen to the feelings and that’s what’s made the difference to me 🙂 Keep spreading the love!

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