If you’ve ever watched a comedian, you know that the best of them develop a hook — a phrase or image that they keep coming back to throughout their performance. This repetition helps to develop a connection with the audience while forging a bond of familiarity.

The same thing happens with relationships — you develop that inside joke or touchpoint that gets referred to many years after it first occurred. Such is the case with one of my friends who would make this (horrid-looking) concoction of orange pop and vanilla ice cream for her dessert in the cafeteria. That was literally 20+ years ago but we still joke about it.

It turns out that she is not the only one who enjoys the combination. When one of her colleagues realized that he had found another Orangesicle aficionado, he gifted her with a make-your-own-kit. Because he acted on it, the orange connection became more than a one-off comment that would be forgotten — and now is likely to be the hook between them for years to come.

Connections can take many forms: food, pop culture, vacation spots, animals, hobbies, etc. but it takes intentionality to turn them into a hook. The next time you hear a possible linkage with someone, do something to give it staying power, even if it means perpetuating the (nasty) combination of orange pop and ice cream!

Love to you, Jen. All in fun!

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