Some of the best gifts this world has to offer is friendships, friends that were once simple passing strangers whom you loved to ignore and had not one bit of interest or care of who and what they are going through.
Their lives are irrelevant to yours and had nothing to add to your life?
Oh, how we were proven wrong. The days when this stranger sat right next to you on the bus or in math class; this nice stranger is now your life’s biggest blessing, you live simply would not be the same without them….
In the process of us going on our daily lives, barely making eye contact with a stranger or taking a real genuine moment to ask and actually LISTEN to what that person has to say about their day, is actually making us less fulfilled individuals.
It’s in our nature to be social creatures and it’s no doubt that we thrive by connecting with other members of our kind; we always have and always will. Whether we are ‘introverts’ or ‘extroverts.’ We NEED people.
Ever wonder why some people are lonely although they live in large cities or have maybe because loneliness isn’t a just a physical state. It’s a depleting perspective; a clinging sentiment that has to be combatted by being aware and active of the situation and without communication these feelings of isolation and emptiness will continue to subside.
The beauty of a good conversation is, no matter where we go, we get to take it with us and can return to it whenever we want. To borrow from Frank McCourt:
Your mind is a treasure house that you should stock well and it’s the one part of you the world can’t interfere with.
In other words, feed your big beautiful mysterious mind with good soulful conversations.
No matter what you communication style is or how you tend to label yourself as; remember that you can always benefit from talking to strangers.
For starters, you just never know what starting a conversation with a new person could lead to: the knowledge of something new you’ve been dying to find answers to, or the discovery of the next big adventure you’ve been meaning to venture into. The chances of learning a little thing or two from a stranger you meet randomly is endless; and as they say, its what you make of it. If you’re gonna have a leap of faith a speak to a stranger, its suggested to be in a decent polite intrigued mood vs the bitchy one, it will certainly make things much easier and fun for everyone involved in the experiment.
Talking to strangers is like traveling in time and space, it allows you to traverse to these exquisite undiscovered territories of another human being; it’s a journey into a completely unknown person’s mind and sometimes even soul; use it wisely and don’t slip into belittlement.
So to make this short, plain and simple: Talk to a stranger next time you’re out and about. You can run into a world you never know existed.
Random Talk is Soulful Talk…
According to some research, talking to strangers can make us consciously and certainly happier and to prove it, behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder conducted an experiment in which they asked a group of Chicago commuters do actually ‘speak to others’ they don’t know’ on the ride.
*The researchers have even offered these individuals $5 Starbucks gift cards as compensation for their participation.
One group of participants were asked to act normally on their commutes, which entailed being as anti-social as can be and not speak or make eye contact with anyone, while the another group were opted to spark up conversations with strangers; and finally, the third group was given no explicit instructions for their commutes.
Most of the participants assumed they’d be more content sitting by their lonesome. However, the group of participants who sparked convo’s with others showed higher levels of happiness, subsequently reporting more pleasant commutes than those who remained in solitude.
Surprisingly, the social genes didn’t impact the results, as the experiment found that both introverts and extroverts reported feeling happier after talking to someone new on their way to work!
The results corroborated what the researchers have noted: people have a skewed perception when what actually makes them content and ‘happy.’
We’re mistaken, constantly assuming that it’s best if we ‘leave people be’ and that others would rather be left alone instead of converse with others, when in reality (in most cases), starting a simple conversation could lead to a quite positive change in our entire day, maybe even year!
It’s strange how most any of us would just assume that regardless of the context, it’s always safer and better if we just keep our distance.
We are born as social creatures, it’s what makes us human, or as Aristotle once stated:
Man is by nature a social animal.
Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
So, the next time you like someone’s perfume or secretly interested in the book they’re ready, don’t fight the urge and bite your tongue, go ahead and start the conversation!. Communication is one of life’s greatest gifts, use it!
Social connection is necessary, our brains actually Need it..
We generate our identities through these social bonds. There’s a reason we subconsciously long for community, we would simply not function properly without it!
As the Atlantic puts it:
Just as human beings have a basic need for food and shelter, we also have a basic need to belong to a group and form relationships.
…Having strong social bonds is as good for you as quitting smoking. Connecting with other people, even in the most basic ways, also makes you happier.
Naturally we all want to feel like we belong, and conversations certainly help tremendously in this endeavor. Note that isolation from others and overly limiting one’s experiences can eventually lead to despair and confusion. Don’t hide from people and watch the world from behind a white screen; open yourself up to the world and all of its inhabitants, there’s a surprise at every corner.