Talk to strangers

Would talking to strangers on your commute to work make your ride more pleasant?

From long-haul flights to our daily commute, we cringe at the very thought of being that person who tries to talk with people around. But science tells us how our intuition is dead wrong here. 

Participants on commuter trains and public buses were asked to do one of three things – do what they normally do, keep to themselves or make a connection with a stranger. They then filled out a survey to measure the consequences of their action only to find that making a connection gave them the most positive experience.

Research tells us that socializing is a better mood-booster than eating, shopping, relaxing or watching TV, even if it is with a stranger. Also, we don’t need to have scintillating conversations – everyday interactions such as greeting the neighbour, or asking the barista about his day go a long way. And yes –  this also holds true for introverts.

We crave for social contact despite our intuition telling us otherwise. I hope that a crisis like the one we are going through now helps us value this better.

Inspriation: Conversation with Laurie Santos

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