Momma always said, “Don’t talk to strangers.” Momma knew that strangers could be dangerous and that if, as a kid, you talked to them, you could be taken advantage of. While this is true, even if you are not a kid, why is the 5and2Guy telling you to talk to strangers? Because, as adults, talking to strangers is important. Why is it important? Check out why…
Broaden Your Social Circle
Wouldn’t it be nice to take a ride to the grocery store and be surrounded by friends? One way to make that happen is to talk to strangers. Well, maybe they won’t necessarily become your friends but they will at least be acquaintances. By talking to people, you will start to see familiar faces everywhere you go. Saying hi to the grocery store cashier by using his/her name tag will help you remember them. Since everyone loves the sound of their own name, they will most likely remember you too. If you say hi to enough people whenever you are out, you are bound to see them again and get a “hi” back. This is how friendships get started. You never know, you may have a future best friend you are missing out on. Go ahead and say hi!!!
Make Someone Smile
A smile can make someone happier just by the simple act of doing it. Studies have shown that people who smile frequently are generally happier than people who do not. I make it a point to keep my head up while I am walking and give anyone a smile who I make eye contact with. I feel better when I am smiling and when I give a smile away. It doesn’t cost you anything to smile, so why not share it with someone?
You also never know when someone needs a smile, unless it is written all over their face. It has been said that most people you encounter are fighting some kind of internal battle. Too many people are over-stressed, over-worked, and overwhelmed. It just may be that your smile is the one thing that day that can give them hope and turn their day around. A smile is infectious. So, give them a smile and watch it change their day!!!
This one may seem selfish, but it really isn’t. We need to all work together to make this world go round. By talking to strangers, you may find a new job opportunity, a new social group, or future business partner. By meeting people and reaching out to them, you may build a friendship that can open doors for you. Perhaps they know about a job that would change your life. Perhaps you talk with someone who has similar interests and can point you to a special organization you didn’t know about. Perhaps they are someone you could find yourself partnering with in future business ventures. You never know, but sometimes talking to strangers can do that.
I met one of my good friends and long time customers at my son’s t-ball game about ten years ago. We happened to strike up a conversation and have been in each other’s lives ever since. We have been in business together for about ten years and he is one of my really good friends. All of this because one of us had the courage to say hi. I don’t remember who initiated the conversation, but I am so thankful it happened.
Be Smart And Be Safe
Now you still need to use some common sense when talking to strangers. Only talk to strangers in public places where it is safe. Make sure the conversation is platonic and don’t give any impression that it is anything other than that. Don’t share any personal information with anyone you don’t know. The opportunities and potential friends you can make here takes time to build. It takes time to feel safe, so don’t move too fast. And please ensure your smiles to people are friendly and nothing more. You don’t want to pick up any unwanted attention!!!
Talking to strangers is something that, as kids, we were told not to do. But as adults, it is important that we talk to strangers, smile at them, and expand our social and business circles. Talking to strangers has many benefits and can do wonders for your happiness. I know it can feel a little odd at first to smile and say hi to people you don’t know, but do it anyway. The only way to grow as an individual is to get out of your comfort zone and say hi to people. Give them a smile. Brighten their day. They may need that smile. If you do this enough, someone will give you that smile when you need it one day too!!!
Talk to a stranger today, but be safe and smart!!!