Did you ever experience a strange connection with someone whom you meet often and find them attractive? And sometimes you may not be able to define that relationship. Such physical proximity or an interpersonal attraction is known as “Propinquity”. It can be a physical or mental proximity among people. People with similar ideologies, attitudes, and nature tend to from best relationships.
Propinquity generally happens between people who are similar in nature and have the same beliefs. It is also referred to be a physical or psychological proximity between individuals that leads to friendships or relationships. The Propinquity effect is the tendency that leads the individuals in creating friendship or romantic relationships with each other. Frequent interactions with people at work and study places are a key to build a close bond with people.
The interactions play a key role in defining how close the relationship is formed and people with high propinquity tend to form close relationships. It is often the exposure between people that helps in creating a strong bond. For any bond to create trust is the main important element and you often tend to trust people whom you interact with daily.
The Propinquity effect came into the picture in the year 1950 in the paper “The Spatial Ecology of Group Formation” and was proposed by psychologists Kurt Back, Leon Festinger and Stanley Schachter.
The effect was explained as an interaction with people that happens very frequently helps in making friends. As we meet people quite often, we get to know about them and their nature. By this, we understand people and start liking for each other and want to meet them more often. We find them attractive and develop a close bond. This can happen in neighborhoods, workplaces, colleges, coaching classes and many other places where people tend to meet more.
The propinquity you have with an individual at the workplace is an “Occupational propinquity” and “Residential propinquity” is the one that you have with people at your residence or neighborhood. However, the effect doesn’t seem to exist between people who barely communicate with each other. Propinquity brings a huge difference in the trust and respect you have for each other. You develop affection, liking, similarities and tend to grow together.
You are more likely to be friends and go on a date with someone you encounter daily and have constant interactions with, rather than any stranger. This is simply because you feel secure with them and have a liking and affection towards them.
A boss who interacts with his\her subordinates and employees more often tends to have a good relationship with them. You may have the best relationship with the favorite teacher of yours than the other teachers because you tend to like her more than other teachers. You may have propinquity with the bench mate or a best friend of yours whom you tend to meet daily. You may even tend to have propinquity with someone you met online and have a good friendship with them. However, the rate of propinquity decreases with the virtual interactions and they result in weaker bonds. Propinquity effect is all to do with the real and frequent interactions.