Because students will view you as more competent and having higher character if you use them.
What is "affinity" anyway?
It's having "a positive attitude towards another person" according to McCrosky and Wheeless (1976). What is "affinity seeking"? Apparently, it's the process people use when attempting to get others to like them.
Two guys (Frymier & Thompson, 1992) studied the effects of affinity seeking behaviors on perceptions of teacher credibility and found that they had a big impact on how students perceived their teachers. The researchers found that these behaviors positively related to what students thought about the competence and character of the teacher in a significant way.
So what, right? What can we do to increase our "affinity seeking behaviors"? Here's an idea that has worked for me.
1. Find a way to like yourself so others (students) will end up liking you.
This whole idea of using "affinity seeking behaviors" is really just a fancy way of saying that we gotta find a way to get students to like us. How do we do that? Haven't we all been down this road, a lot? We have someone we like and we really want them to like us. So, we change the way we dress/act/eat/play/sit/talk, etc. And, inevitably it doesn't work. It did for a little while but eventually we come to our senses. We realize we couldn't keep acting we were someone else and finally realized that we'd much rather be ourselves. Finally, we realize that who we really are is enough.
This is the point. When we realize that we are enough, we no longer need put on the act. We can just be happy with who we are and content that we are this way.
Affinity seeking behaviors, to me, are behaviors that make us who we are as individuals. No one can tell you how to get others to like you if you don't like yourself.
Find a way to like yourself.
Your students need you.