• Behavioural Shift

Talking to Strangers: when it's advantageous.

Updated: Aug 4

by Carole Railton When I was growing up, I was told by my parents never to talk to strangers. I hope that other parents are giving their children the same message. When we are adults though, it's time to change.

American studies have found that people who interact with strangers, even for a short while, are happier. We are hardwired to connect to others. So why do so few people do this? Is it because we fear rejection?

How do we approach talking to strangers? Use open-ended questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. Often these sentences begin with words such as "what", "where", "how", "why" and "when". Also ask people what they think about an issue; people love giving their opinions.

I urge you to take a chance and speak to the next couple of people you meet. This is especially important in these Covid-19 times as the need to reach out to others is greater than ever. More people are frightened about life as a consequence of having to wear a mask.


"I urge you to take a chance and speak to the next couple of people you meet"


Photo: by Carole Railton (copyright). "American studies have found that people who interact with strangers, even for a short while, are happier."



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