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The surprising benefits of talking to strangers

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200914-the-surprising-benefits-of-talking-to-strangers

bbc.com

The surprising benefits of talking to strangers
For some it’s a habit, while others avoid it at all costs – but talking to strangers has unexpected benefits for our wellbeing.

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A Case Of Missing Strangers

A Case Of Missing Strangers
  • In a decade-old novel written by neuroscientist David Eagleman, called A Circle Of Friends, a life without any strangers was envisioned, where only the people we know inhabit our world.
  • There is a glaring void felt in life without strangers, the people we don’t know but still outline the periphery of our lives.
  • An absence of strangers makes us understand their significance in our lives, as new research shows that engaging with and trusting people whom we don’t know has a significant effect on our wellbeing.

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Engaging With People From Outside Our Circle

Social isolation, as seen in many experiments, can have adverse effects on the mental health of a person, even leading to premature death.

Friendly behaviour with strangers makes us feel good about ourselves, and if strangers inhibit signs of trustworthiness, it leads to better overall health and individual wellbeing.

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The Anti-Social Paradox

Social interactions with strangers with a feeling of compassion, generosity and kindness has powerful and positive effects on the entire society.

In spite of the fact that wearing a mask makes our connections weaker due to less visibility of the face, one still needs the interrelation with others in these uncertain times of death, fear and loss.

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