The new Coca-Cola ad spells it out pretty well. We bustle about our lives, in our own social whirl, all the time not being very social!
Why despite being social animals who apparently enjoying social engagement, do we avoid chatting with strangers?
Well, according to a journal of *Experimental Psychology it’s because we think that strangers don’t want to talk with us.
JUST SEE WHAT HAPPENED WHEN ONE MAN STARTED TO DANCE DURING HIS TRAIN JOURNEY!
In their study in Chicago some commuters were asked to talk with a stranger on a train. Others were asked to sit quietly alone, or just do whatever they’d normally do on their commute.
When they later filled in a survey about how they felt it turns out that the people who had to strike up conversations on a subway reported feeling happier than those who didn’t.
Another group of people who did not participate in that survey, were asked to predict how they might feel in each situation. Guess what? they thought talking with strangers would be the least enjoyable, by far. Wow! How wrong can our thinking be!!
So now you know that those strangers in your life are actually quite open to having a conversation with you, will you take the initiative in future?
Go on, next time you hop on a subway, board a plane or enter a waiting room – say hello and see who is brave enough to chat back to you. It could make all the difference from having an average day to having a really happy one!
Go well till the next time
- Nicholas Epley & Juliana Schroeder: Mistakenly Seeking Solitude