CONVERSING WITH STRANGERS - WHY?

Friday, April 17, 2020

There are over seven billion people in the world and yet one person can make a huge impact on your life either for the better or the worst. Crazy, isn't it?

I was just about to drift off to sleep the other night when I had a thought about this and I decided to FaceTime one of my friends and we spoke about it for a good hour before I decided I really wanted to write about it. I did post a tweet at the time too!

it's kinda strange to think about the strangers who have shown me random kindness in the past and don't even know that I still think of them
— Piper Hill ☁️ (@impiperhill)

Unfortunately, I couldn't express my whole thought process in the character count at the time. Essentially, what I was trying to say was that there are so many occasions where people have really touched me and yet we've all continued to carry on with our lives and they probably don't even think about what they did for me. Yet I'm, quite often, reliving those memories in my head. This point really resonated with my friend as he works as an NHS nurse.

"That's why every interaction in the hospital is important. Even the look on your face. That can stay with families. For you, it's one interaction of 100's that day but for them, it might be the only one they remember. You can't think about it too much, but it's definitely important."

Don't underestimate the power of an interaction with a stranger or undermine the difference that you can make to someone's day whether it be in the workplace "just doing your job" or taking a lift with someone you don't know and probably will never see again. It may be the only interaction you have with the person, so make it a  good one! You never know who might need this.

Too often we go about our lives in our own little bubbles and give little notice to those on the outside. The current climate has forced more of us to think about and look out for our neighbors and think about other people in a more general sense. Staying inside, washing our hands etc. We need to continue this openness to speak to and help other people after we're out of this mess.

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't met yet." - William Butler Yeats

Too often The thing is, as children we constantly hear the phrase "stranger danger" and, although of course justified, the benefits of conversing with someone you've never met before isn't really explored- it's seen as more of an interruption or intrusion to our day. Since we live in such a digital world it's easy to get into a routine and fill in the gaps scrolling through your own timeline full of the same people once again. It wasn't until I took a job as a street fundraiser that I really challenged the idea myself. I thought "who's going to talk to me? They don't know me? Why would they trust me?" but I couldn't have been more wrong. People did want to talk to me and they didn't only learn from me, I also learned from them. They would tell me about their lives and their experiences. For some of the older people I talked to, it was the only conversation they'd had all day. It really did change me for the better.

Honestly? I now get a little jitter of excitement when the man sitting next to me on the bus sparks up a conversation with me about the weather, or when the mailman makes a joke. I live for this. In a world full of such hatred and suspicion of anyone vaguely different to who we are and/or surround ourselves with; something as small as a one liner or a smile can make all the difference.

Have you ever had a positive experience with a stranger that you remember as clear as day?

Share your opinion:

  1. It is kind of strange, how people come into your life and really impact upon it... but perhaps that isn't fate, perhaps there are just a lot of potential people that we could really get along with.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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    1. I'm a strong believer in this! It's crazy really. But small interactions with people you may never see again can have just as big of an impact as meeting someone you'll go on to see every day. The world is a strange place haha. Thanks for reading Rosa!

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  2. Hello Lacy, this is a really nice post! I can relate on this so so much. When you write about telling our kids about how dangerous it is to speak with stranger, I think it's just about the protection of kids but after that it's just up to the child how he will handle it in the future. :) (Hope you understand what I try to say here haha) Anyway, thank you for sharing. I have a few experiences with strange people just can't remember them clearly. But I remember some of them had an impact on my day. ;)

    Lucie www.inbluebox.com

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    1. Thanks Lucie! It made complete sense to me, don't worry haha and I completely agree :)

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  3. As bloggers, we meet a lot of strangers online and it's very nice to have interactions with them even only for once especially when they tell you that you've inspired them and at the same time, they inspire you in return. This is what I love about the blogging community. We inspire one another. And I think this is very relatable with your post even though in a virtual world. :)

    Augustin Ra / Indie Spirit

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    1. 100% agree with you, it's kind of the perfect example really of how beneficial interacting with strangers can be. Thanks for your comment Augustin!

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  4. I think about stuff like this a lot! It's crazy the impression that someone can leave on you in one passing moment and how it can stick with you but they'll forget about it two minutes later. Really interesting post and great perspective x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. I'm so glad it's not just me haha. Thanks for reading Sophie!

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  5. I love conversing with people. I love hearing new stories and what people are into. I think it is crazy how we all live on the same planet but everyone is so different and has experienced different things. As a blogger, my favourite things is to talk with new people and make friends. I also LOVE making people smile, brightens my day. This is a lovely post!

    Em x

    https://loveemblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. 100% agree. It's crazy, right? I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thanks for reading Em!

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  6. That is so true! I've had many positive conversations/interactions with strangers that I still think about to this day too!

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    1. Hey Charity, I'm so happy that we're all alike in that sense. I wonder if it's ever crossed their mind to think of us.

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  7. I just had this conversation with my sister yesterday! An old man wanted to pet our dog and had a couple of mins of chat with us on our dog walk - to us, this wasn't much but we suspected for him he doesn't have a lot of interaction in a day, so this wee talk could have had a big impact. I always try to smile as i walk down the street as I know just seeing someone with a smile encourages me to smile too!

    Emily xx
    www.underthescottishrain.com

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