Our mothers have always told us to stay away from strangers, much less talk to them. We’ve been trained, berated and warned into ignoring kind offers from alien characters, much less solicit unwanted conversations. But sometimes, initiating conversations with people you know nothing about, can allow you to reap unexpected rewards.
It might be scary, it might be awkward and your attempts at making good conversation might just fall flat on its face, but sometimes good things come out of these efforts to connect. Here are a few reasons why you should talk to strangers every single day.
#1: We are wired to connect
Our brains are literally created to connect with others. So while it may be great to have some alone time or simply switch to auto-pilot when going through your daily commute, the truth is that we crave connection. Satisfy your innate desire and the desire of others by reaching out and talking to strangers. A lack of human connection can make you feel depressed, alone and isolated.
Ever heard the saying “alone in a crowded room”? Throw away the self-harming notion and pluck up the courage to initiate small talk with the people surrounding you. You might just find the perfect ammo to chase away your Monday blues.
#2: You have the power to make someone’s day
Instead of always asking about “what does this do for me”? Ask what your actions can do for others. As the saying goes, everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. Help ease their worries and their woes by providing mindless banter or just a word of encouragement during the daily grind.
You never know when a simple “how are you?” or “my my, the weather is great today isn’t it?” can brighten up someone’s day and put a much needed smile on their face.
#3: You’ll probably gain new insights
Everyone you know has an entire history bottled up behind them. Some of the most interesting stories come from the people you know least about and while it may be counterintuitive to share your deepest secrets with strangers, sometimes they are the easiest people to open up to.
Got a problem you can’t seem to solve or an emotional hurdle you have trouble crossing? Speak with strangers and ask them for a fresh point of view. If you’re too afraid to open up, then just listen. There are always things to learn about from others.
#4: You may even find true love!
Seeds of love are everywhere. Allow them to blossom by plucking up the courage to strike a connection with the handsome young lad seated on the train beside you. Even if they seem aloof in the beginning, melt the ice with a megawatt smile or just wish them a good day ahead.
True love might not come around on your first try, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up immediately. Continue speaking to strangers you meet at any opportunity (on the train, bus or even when you’re having lunch alone). Step out of your comfort zone and put some change into your life. Even if you don’t end up meeting someone, you might just end up falling in love with the new person you’ve become.
#5: Use the chance to amp up on your social skills
Ever been afraid of being in social settings or have trouble initiating conversation topics at the dinner table? Boost your social skills by talking to strangers and use this precious time as practice.
The worst thing a stranger can do when you try bringing up a topic is to ignore you, or mutter something under their breath and walk away. Compare this to a presentation or a discussion with your superior, these practice sessions to boost your social skills have way less drawbacks and consequences.
Use your everyday commute wisely and practice talking to people you know nothing about. Not only will you notice your ability to speak improve, you will also be able to conquer other issues like stage fright or the fear of rejection.
There are a few things to be wary about when speaking to strangers (creeps, stalkers), but truth is, as an adult that’s able to assess the situation and only initiate contact when your instinct yells YES, speaking to strangers on a daily basis is a habit that will benefit you in the long term.
For those who are looking for a soulmate, widen your social circle with this small little trick and practice your signature smile. Who knows, the person you see everyday during your daily commute might just end up being the one you can spend the rest of your life with.
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