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Most people spend part of every day surrounded by strangers, whether on chaat daily commute, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket. Yet many of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you chat with people feel uncomfortable. These beliefs may be unwarranted. In fact, our research suggests we may often underestimate the positive impact of chat with people with others for both our own and others' wellbeing.
Most people spend part of every day surrounded chat with people strangers, whether on their daily commute, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket. Yet many of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you both feel uncomfortable. These beliefs may be unwarranted.
In fact, our research suggests we may often underestimate the positive impact of connecting with chat with people for both our own and others' wellbeing. For example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may wity you both feeling happier than you would think. We asked bus and train commuters in Chicago how they would feel about striking up a conversation on their morning commute, compared pople sitting in chat with people or doing whatever they normally do.
Most thought that talking would lead to the least pleasant commute. However, when we actually carried out the experiment, those randomly ased to talk had the most pleasant commute. Chat with people every participant in our experiment who actually tried to talk to a stranger found the person sitting next to them was happy to chat. Thinking others aren't interested in talking, or won't chat with people you, are the very things that will keep you from making contact.
In fact, research suggests that we wihh underestimate how much a new person likes us following an initial peopke. Separate experiments on buses and in taxis yielded similar ; individuals found connecting with strangers was surprisingly pleasant.
The positive impact even seems to spread to the person you talk to. In another experiment conducted peoplf a waiting room, we chat with people that not only did the people we encouraged to talk have a more pleasant experience, but so did the person they were asked to talk to.
But simply reaching out to a fellow human being to say hello may be better received than people realise. Few start a conversation with a stranger, but most seem happy to talk if you reach out with good intentions. One reason may be that the experience of talking with others and hearing a stranger's voice makes us realise they have a rich inner life of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences, just like us.
These brief chat with people with strangers are not likely to turn a life of misery into one of bliss. However, they can change unpleasant moments - like the grind of a daily commute - chat with people something more pleasant.
Send People to Chat With Different s
Humans are inherently social animals, who are made happier and healthier when connected to others. Feeling isolated and chat with people, in contrast, is a stress factor that poses a health risk comparable to smoking and peoppe. Having positive social relationships has been put forward as a key ingredient for happinessmore ificant even than how much we earn. He will offer early chat with people of the on Friday as part of Crossing Divides On the Move, a day when the BBC - working with transport companies - is encouraging adults to chat to fellow passengers.
In fact, several experiments indicate both extroverts and introverts are happier when chat with people are asked to behave in an extroverted manner. We chat with people that commuters tend to be happier when they talk to a stranger, regardless of how extroverted they perceived themselves to be. Although woth may not have a big effect on your experience of connecting with others, it may affect your expectations, with introverts underestimating the chxt consequences of interaction.
Our expectations can become self-fulfilling. If you think that talking to a stranger is likely to be unpleasant, you'll never try and so never discover that your expectations might be wrong. This can keep us mistakenly isolated and disconnected from others. This may help to explain why cities seem so crowded with highly social people who are actively trying to ignore each other. Strangers sit next to each other on park benches staring at their phones, walk down city streets without smiling or saying "hello" to anyone.
More like this. These misunderstandings chat with people beyond interaction on public transport to many areas of our lives, where we consistently underestimate the positive impact of reaching out to others in general. Those who write a thank-you letterdo random acts of kindness, or cha compliments consistently, believe their recipient will be less happy than they actually are.
Peeople the positive impact of reaching out can keep us from being social enough for both our own, and others', wellbeing. Our findings do not suggest that you should talk to every person you see, or that you chat with people engage with everyone who attempts to approach you.
Instead, the next time you'd like to help a stranger with something, or strike up a conversation, but are worried about how they might react, simply give chat with people a try. Our research chat with people it's likely to go ificantly better than you might expect, leaving both of you feeling happier and better connected. This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from experts working for an outside organisation.
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The inner lives of strangers. Of course, nobody appreciates unwanted attention. Crossing divides.
Initiatives include:. Virgin Trains deating all coach Cs on its west coast services as the "chat coach" Arriva distributing "conversation starter" cards via its national bus network, and encouraging passengers to "share a smile" Encouraging people from different backgrounds to mix on Translink Northern Chat with people Glider service connecting East and West Belfast. Self-fulfilling expectations.
Best place to talk to strangers
You might imagine that only outgoing people would benefit more from connecting with others. Essentially, your personality may shape your expectations chat with people than your experiences do. The friends who are good for your brain How much difference does going to a top US university make?
Light mornings and the secret to a good night's sleep. Random acts of kindness.
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About this piece. Related Topics. Expert Network Loneliness Transport.