On the list of top ten things parents tell their children, we do not have to look far to find the adage, “Don’t talk to strangers.” While that advice may be fine for youngsters, as we grow older we learn that talking to strangers might not be such a bad thing. In fact, there are many benefits to starting a conversation with someone we are just meeting for the first time.
Here are five reasons we should talk to strangers:
1. We can make a new friend.
As we’ve mentioned before on The Daily Positive
, strangers can become lifelong friends. After all, every single one of your best friends was once a stranger. Through a few small words of affirmation, validation, and compliments, we can turn a new face into a
2. We can make a weak tie and it may lead to a new job.
Our lives are filled with strong ties and weak ties. Strong ties are the friends and
talk to the most. Weak ties are those folks we may not have seen for years, but we still send Christmas cards. One study found
that people are 58% more likely to get a new job through weak ties than strong ties. This is because our weak ties run with different crowds, thus, they have access to and knowledge of opportunities we and our strong ties may have never known. Maybe not everyone we meet will become our new BFF, but just because they won’t be in our wedding doesn’t mean that they can’t add value to our lives, and vice versa.
3. We can become better at talking with people we know.
From work meetings to first dates, our lives are filled with stressful situations. We are constantly being put on stage and told to showcase our best stuff. We rarely get the chance to have a no-pressure conversation with someone. Strangers who we know nothing about and they know nothing about us takes away the pressure to perform. When we are relaxed and able to just be ourselves, we can become better speakers. And when we become better speakers, we can enhance our everyday relationships.
4. We can learn something new.
A popular quote from Author H. Jackson Brown Jr. says, “Every person that you meet knows something you don't; learn from them.” This is absolutely true with strangers. As shown in the case of weak ties, strangers run in different circles and have a pool of information that may be outside our bucket of knowledge. We shouldn’t be surprised that we can learn so much from the person sitting next to us on the bus or the stranger waiting with us in the doctor’s office.
5. We can teach someone else something new.
And it is not just about learning from strangers. They too can learn from us. We all possess skills that others would love to learn. No better person to share those with than someone we just met.
Adam Baker likes pretzel bread, sleepwalking, and lists that include three examples. He first wrote a published story at age 3. The story was titled Batman & Ghostbusters and by “published” we mean that his mom stapled a few pages together and called it a book. This helped create a love for writing, which inspired him to create the Maury C. Moose Children's Book Series.