Communicate with impact to move a relationship forward

Feel invisible, that no one notices you? Do you sometimes observe couples and think “Why did they pick that person, they are not even nice to them?” Do you have trouble moving from friendship to romance and intimacy? If so, the “Art of Impacting” as described in “PAIRING: How to Achieve Genuine Intimacy” by George R. Bach and Ronald M. Deutsch may be for you. While this book was from the age of encounter groups it has great truth that is timeless. Without creating impact, there are no sparks to start a relationship.

Talking about the weather, sports, news, or music does not create impact.

Being nice does not create impact. Bach and Deutsch say:

“Expressing real feelings in a real way creates impact.” “In expressing real feelings to someone, one also expresses trust and acceptance.”

Having impact leads to intimacy which means being close, feeling understood, accepted, and valued.

How does one express real feelings? It could be a smile, a look — more often it is what you choose to notice and say about the other person and yourself. Saying something outrageous or very personal (“no one has ever told me that!”) could also have impact as long as it is real.  Expressing real feelings also means letting the other person know how what they say and do affects you.

Interesting enough, expressing negative feelings and reservations (in a good way) is one effective way of creating impact. After all, negative feelings and reservations are honest and expressing them helps create trust and even acceptance (because the other person will understand that you are being real with them).

When you are real with someone, they are likely to be real in return. Being real together builds trust and leads to intimacy. Being real is scary which helps generate the sparks which lead to intimacy.

Shy people often make two critical mistakes by:

  1. being too nice
  2. saying only what they think the other person wants to hear

Being nice and cautious in what one says does not create impact and intimacy. When stressed, people who are shy often become even “nicer” and more cautious creating even less of a chance to really get to know the other person.

People working on their shyness and trying to avoid the two critical mistakes above often go a bit overboard. For example, telling someone you love them on the first date is expressing real feelings; but is too much, too soon. Instead, tell them some ways they are impacting you which gives them an opportunity to also express some real feelings.

The wonderful thing about impact is that it is created from honesty.


“PAIRING: How to Achieve Genuine Intimacy” by George R. Bach and Ronald M. Deutsch. Copyright 1970.