Guys build relationships through shoulder-to-shoulder interactions. These interactions include: playing sports together, watching sports together, or getting drinks at a bar together.
Girls are the opposite. Girls build relationships through face to face interactions and by being vulnerable with one another. Shared experiences and talking about things we have done and been through is what brings us closer together.
This process of being vulnerable and sharing stories about our experiences is what is referred to as "giving bricks."
During sorority recruitment work week, we had an amazing public speaker who came to talk to us about the relationship between sorority women and potential new members, and how to quickly and effectively build a good rapport.
Throughout her speech, so many new concepts and analogies unfolded before my eyes that ended up leaving a huge impact on me. Namely, her concept of "giving bricks." The topic of conversation began with how to break beneath the surface level with a person you have just met and dig deeper. During sorority recruitment, it is important to get to know who a girl is deep down, beyond what her major is and where she is from. Small talk is friendly, sure. However, small talk does not enable you to fully understand and capture who a person truly is.
Imagine a tall brick wall. Reach up as high as you can and pick off a brick from the very top. Now give it to someone you just met. Just like in Jenga, taking a block from the top essentially does nothing and will not cause your tower to come crashing to the floor. In relationship building, if you share a very small, surface level piece of information with somebody, it will not negatively affect your relationship with that person but it won't make it better either. Handing over a brick from the top of your wall is not the way to dig deep and find out who somebody is.
Now imagine yourself taking a brick from the center of your wall. It's a little tougher to access and takes some effort to remove it, but again, it will not send your wall toppling to the ground. Sharing something personal with another person will actually encourage them to do the same with you. If you give someone a brick from the middle, they likely will give you one from the middle of their wall too because you just opened up a conversation. You are inviting them to dive below the surface level and your vulnerability will give them the confidence to share something a little more personal with you. Not harmful, not too invasive, but just enough to catch a glimpse at their character and what they are interested in or what is important to them.
Finally, try taking a brick from the very base of your wall. It is taxing. It is hardest to access, and it made the rest of your structure shake and teeter a bit. Selecting a brick from the most important part of your wall is the hardest grab thus far. It literally is the foundation of the rest of your wall. You are the wall. Digging deep, getting vulnerable, and sharing personal information about what we value and fear most, trust and steer clear of most is what will build the most authentic, genuine relationship. It is the most vulnerable you can be with another person.
If you decide to give a brick from the bottom of your wall to another person, they will crouch down and pick up a brick straight from their foundation too and hand it straight over. Giving a brick from the base is equivalent to building a strong, lasting relationship with another person. It is something intimate and deep you get to experience together. Your closest friends are the people you share the most bricks with, and the people you call acquaintances only get the bricks from the tippy top.
Whether you chose to give a brick from the top, middle, or base to hand over to someone will determine how close you are willing to get to them. If your goal is to get to know them, you have to share something about yourself.
What is important to you? What motivates you in life? What are the things that make up YOUR foundation?