Conversation with a stranger

On 18 June, 2009 by Carol

Image: Strangers by yazzros
Peter was one of the people i used to see every morning in the bus on my way to work. He used to sit there and look more active than i did at 6.30 in the morning. Intriguing…considering that everyone else in that bus was either asleep or deep into their thoughts…sitting there quietly.
One day, i was on my way back home and he was too. He sat right in front of me and just said: “People don’t talk to each other anymore these days.”
True enough.

Since that day, we started terrorizing the sleepy passengers with our loud laughs and we just couldn’t stop talking, showing off who’s PC’s or other equipment was better…

So, why aren’t we talking to strangers? Is it because our mommy and daddy once told us not to do so? Will they hurt us if we start a conversation with them or are we just afraid that we won’t have much to say?

You’ll be surprised how interesting strangers can be. And they will be strangers to you until you say hello.

Of course, i have my share of talks with strangers and not even once i can recall having a bad experience.

How do we start talking to strangers?

Jessy was another passenger travelling with the same train i did. One morning she fell asleep right in front of me with her mouth wide open and i started giggling. Of course, she wasn’t really asleep. It was more of a coma. So, i didn’t say anything that day…
But then, one morning we started talking and we made a long conversation about men with lots of hair on their chest and arms and how uncomfortable they must be feeling when is hot outside.
We instantly became friends.
The same happened with Peter and other strangers i talked to.

Again…how do we start a conversation with a stranger? Start simple. The weather – as cheesy as it may seem – is the best. Or the traffic…or any neutral and friendly subject that anybody can talk about: music, sports, books, tech…you name it.

Now you might wonder what’s the point in talking to strangers?

First, we don’t always have to gain something from someone. Or do we?

Second, it improves your conversational skills. You will turn out into a friendly freak and there’s absolutely no harm in that.

And third – as someone dear to me once advised me on cutting the emotions and blackouts when giving a presentation – it helps you be more comfortable speaking to those strangers staring at you while you give your presentation and make you treat them a lot different than “the dudes you have to convince of your idea or buy your product”.
They will sure appreciate that more and feel at ease with you.

That someone taught me this and i am grateful.

So, what i have learned is that talking to strangers is not only fun and you’ll end up with some beautiful friendships, but it can help you overcome blocks and emotions on professional level.

Give it a try. You haven’t got anything to lose.

  • jay

    That is very true,Im sure great things would happen if people interacted a bit more with eachother. Or at least it would lighten up the mood.

    • Carol

      A stranger is a stranger till one says “hello”.

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