Start with a statement: “This painting really confuses me” or “I can’t believe how crowded the train is today.” Statements are invitations to share curiosities, Nightingall says.
And whether you’re asking a question, replying, or making a statement, be authentic, she adds. “People want to get the real you so they can express the real them.”
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
It shifts the focus to the other person and should make them feel good, Sandstrom explains.
When it comes to our anxieties about having conversations with people we don’t know, we tend to be in our heads a lot, overthinking what we’re doing wrong or what we could do wrong, she explains.
Focusing the attention on the other person in those moments can help us get past those awkward spots, she says.
At the very least, you’re in the same place and experiencing the same weather. But don’t be afraid to dig deeper and find more interesting commonalities:
People want to get the real you so they can express the real them.
Even if it’s uncomfortable, be brave and just do it, Sandstrom says. The person is probably going to like you more than you think and you’re both probably going to enjoy it more than you think.
Sandstrom says in her experience, she would describe the stages of having a conversation with a stranger as follows:
First, they look at you as if asking, “Do I know you?” Then there’s recognition they don’t know you.
Then it’s, “Wait, are you a weirdo?”
Then they get past all of that and realize you’re just being friendly.
“You have to be OK that it might be awkward for a bit,” Sandstrom says. “But if you keep going, hopefully you’ll get to that stage where you’re having a real conversation.”
The more you have, the more likely that you’re going to have good conversations, Sandstrom says. You get better at asking better questions, and answering with more interesting responses. “There’s some skill, but its as much confidence that come from just doing it more often,” she says.
“We want to be liked, or at least accepted by other people, In order to not break these norms, we sometimes act like we’re treading on eggshells.”
We fear social rejection — that the person won’t respond positively or will ignore us, Research shows the opposite, however, that people nearly always are willing to engage in a conversation when prompted by someone else. (Our fear assumptions fail to take into account the social norms of politeness, Schroeder says.)
“We tend to overestimate how different people are from one another and how different they are from us, in reality, you probably have lots in common, but you just don’t know what that is yet.”
Ask questions. Is the person wearing an article of clothing that’s noteworthy? Why did they decide to come to whatever event you’re both at?
“Both extroverts and introverts are social beings. ”
“When you have to talk with someone different from you, that can be the most enlightening and interesting experience.”
In our pandemic world, casual conversation has been all but eliminated. The closest thing we get these days is saying “thank you” to a delivery person or greeting a grocery store clerk. Even then, we're hesitant to linger — every unnecessary moment with a stranger feels taboo, every breath a hazard. And, now, in the absence of chit-chat, we feel isolated and unenergized. This has led to a potentially controversial revelation: small talk gets an unfairly bad rap.
The idea of tough compassion has been gaining traction because the pastel-colored version of it is proving to be unhelpful at the moment.
The idea has been described by psychologist Dacher Keltner who said that it is in line with the Buddhist tradition of stepping in to guide the person onto a different form of behavior.
The goal of true compassion is to find ways to promote the least suffering for everyone, and so, there must be the willingness to bear but also the capability to inflict some discomfort in the moment to promote longer-term well-being.
According to psychologists, talking to strangers can be taxing on the brain, and even small talk can seem stressful, tiring and cognitively demanding.
On the flip side, talking to strangers is a kind of workout that boosts our mental performance.
❤️ Brainstash Inc.