Growing up we were always told, "Don't talk to strangers!" It's good advice, but humans thrive on social interaction and maybe talking to someone new every now and then might be good for you!
In an article in the New York Times, author Jane E. Brody came across a book written in 2011 titled "Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don’t Seem to Matter …But Really Do.” Written by science writer Melina Blau and psychology professor Karen Fingerman, the book takes a look at the casual connections we have with people.
People like the barista we chat with on our Starbucks morning run, or the person who cuts our hair, or even people we run into at the gym. Dr. Fingerman says these kinds of tiny relationships are helpful and give people a sense of belonging and community.
It's a "basic human need" to feel like you belong to something. Fingeman and Blau write:
"Consequential strangers anchor us in the world and give us a sense of being plugged into something larger. They also enhance and enrich our lives and offer us opportunities for novel experiences and information that is beyond the purview of our inner circles. They are vital social connections — people who help you get through the day and make life more interesting.”
Sometimes small talk and chit chat can be annoying, but with all this Coronavirus stuff we miss going out and feeling like normal people! Now go out there and talk to strangers. Just please don't make it creepy and please mind the personal space of those around you.
Click here to read the full New York Times article, and listen to our discussing below: