Why? Because beliefs are way deep within the core identity with someone, and deep inside everybody wants to be understood and recognized. so if you let someone know that you have some strong core beliefs that are similar to theirs, they are going to feel like you're their best friend.
You don't have to agree with their beliefs completely. Just look for something that you DO agree with and focus on that.
For example, with scholars, you want to recognize the importance of education.
With hippies, you want to recognize the importance of freedom and doing whatever you want. (Even if you make it clear that you are still stuck in the "system" and can't travel as often as you'd like. The hippies would pity you, but they would still like you.)