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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 others for both our own and others' wellbeing.

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The positive impact even seems to spread to the person you talk to. In fact, our research suggests we may often underestimate the positive impact of connecting with others for both our own and others' wellbeing.

We’re social beings. Even uncomfortable conversations are good for our wellbeing.

A question can either kick off a conversation or keep it going, Sandstrom says. Essentially, your personality may shape your expectations more than your experiences do.

Thinking others aren't interested in talking, or won't like you, are the very things that will keep you from making contact. Feeling isolated and lonely, in contrast, is a stress factor that poses a health risk comparable to smoking and obesity.

Malcolm Gladwell's 'Talking to Strangers' Doesn't Say Much - The Atlantic

Our fear assumptions fail to take into the social norms of politeness, Schroeder says. Yet hwo of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you both feel uncomfortable.

In fact, several experiments indicate both extroverts and introverts are happier when they are asked to behave in an extroverted manner. We found that commuters tend to be happier when they talk to a stranger, regardless of how extroverted they perceived themselves to be. Of course, nobody appreciates unwanted attention. Yet every participant in our experiment who actually tried to talk to a stranger found the person sitting next to them was happy to chat.

Most thought that talking would lead to the least pleasant commute. Focusing the attention on the other person in those moments can help us get past those awkward spots, she says.

Although personality may not have a big effect on your experience of connecting with others, it may how your expectations, with introverts underestimating the positive consequences of interaction. 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. In another experiment conducted in a waiting room, we found that not only did the people we encouraged to talk have a more pleasant experience, but so did the person they were asked to stranger to.

We asked bus and train commuters in Chicago how they would feel about striking up a conversation on their morning commute, compared to sitting in solitude or doing whatever they normally do. These beliefs may be unwarranted.

Talking to new people is hard because there are so many unknowns

Research shows the opposite, however, that people nearly always are willing to engage in a conversation when prompted by someone else. Strangers sit next to each other on park benches staring at their phones, walk down city streets without smiling or saying "hello" to anyone. Research actually suggests that people who ask more questions are better liked by their conversation partners than people who ask fewer questions.

In fact, research suggests that we consistently underestimate how much a new person likes us following an initial conversation.

How to Start a Conversation With a Stranger

Humans are inherently social animals, who are made happier and healthier when connected to others. Strangrr inner go of strangers Separate experiments on buses and how taxis yielded similar ; individuals found connecting with strangers was surprisingly pleasant. This may help to explain why cities seem so crowded with highly social people who are actively trying to ignore each other.

These brief connections with strangers are not likely to turn a life of misery into one of bliss. He will talk early impressions 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.

Be curious Ask questions. You get better at asking better questions, and answering with more interesting responses. Having positive social relationships has been put forward as a ro ingredient for happinessmore ificant even than how much we earn. For example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think. Few start a conversation with a stranger, but most seem happy to talk if you reach out with good intentions.

Don't be embarrassed if you're visibly nervous.

How to talk to strangers

Be friendly, not pushy or aggressive. However, they can change unpleasant moments - like ho grind of a daily commute - into something more pleasant. Give someone a compliment It shifts the focus to the other person and should make them feel how, Sandstrom explains. Initiatives include: Virgin Trains deating all stranger 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 Ireland's Glider stanger connecting East and West Belfast Self-fulfilling talks You might imagine that only outgoing people would benefit more from connecting with others.

Big Brains podcast: Why Talking to Strangers Will Make You Happier with Nicholas Epley | University of Chicago News

But simply reaching out to a fellow human being to say hello may be better received than people realise. This can keep us mistakenly isolated and disconnected from others. She researches how people navigate their social worldsincluding how language and mental capacity influences interactions. Find and discuss common interests.