Study Says Small Talk With a Stranger Will Make You Happier
Better start a mental list of easy topics to talk about.
My father is a major people person. My dad could spend hours chatting with every single person in the congregation after a Sunday church service, even if it meant the rest of his family was waiting in the car in the parking lot. This happened often. He's just so good at making conversation and I think it's because he has a genuine love of people.
He also found joy in it.
My dad is a prime example of what this recent study out of the University of British Columbia found. Making small talk with strangers can lift your mood. Researchers placed people together in pairs for a period of time, both with their phones and without. As it turns out, people smiled much more when they didn't have their phone and we're forced to interact with the other person than when they were glued to their phones. They measured the number of smiles as well as the duration of each smile.
For some, the very thought of striking up a conversation with a stranger is enough to make them hyperventilate. However, if you could go into it knowing that you will make your day better and theirs, does that change things? I'm someone who definitely buys into this study as I've felt similar feelings after chatting with someone in the elevator or at grocery store cash register. And if we can change someone's mood for the better then that can create quite a powerful chain reaction, don't you think?