Stranger things have happened
Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Did you know that interacting with strangers can leave you happier? Research shows that even short conversations with strangers can lift your mood. Behavioural Scientists Nicholas Epley & Juliana Schroeder suggest that we underestimate the positive impact, for both our own and others' wellbeing, of connecting with others.
Sunday I had lunch with a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for over a year. We caught up, told stories, reminisced and laughed. By the time I got on the train to head home I was already in a great mood.
I was in standing in the middle of this group and had nothing to hold onto. I managed to position myself in a way that I could at least touch a part of the carriage. I felt that in the event of a sudden stop I would have some balance.
I was in standing in the middle of this group and had nothing to hold onto. I managed to position myself in a way that I could at least touch a part of the carriage. I felt that in the event of a sudden stop I would at least have some balance.
The guy standing in front of me, who was leaning against the end of the carriage, started a conversation. He was trying to work out what would happen if the train did stop suddenly and how we might protect our heads from colliding. He went on to talk about the design of our skulls. Others joined in. Laughter followed.
We spent 30 minutes together in this confined space. There were some periods of silence and not everyone joined the conversation. But for those of us who took part, we were rewarded with laughter – feel-good laughter or out loud belly laughs.
As I left the train I wished my fellow passengers a safe onward journey. Walking home I definitely had an extra spring in my step and a really big smile on my face.
See what happens if you start a conversation with a stranger. Who knows you might even feel happier…?