Advertising
Advertising

10 Reasons You Should Talk to Strangers

10 Reasons You Should Talk to Strangers

‘Remember, Don’t Talk To Strangers’, my mum would always tell me before I went out to play.

There were never really any strangers on my street though. We played in a cul-de-sac. If someone you didn’t know came wandering through – the whole street would peer out of their windows like an ogre had come for a stroll through.

If I saw a stranger – even the parent of a friend from school – I would put my head down and keep walking. Strangers were the enemy, the unknown and the reason bad things happened.

For many of us, it was a golden rule of childhood. Duck, dive and avoid strangers. Saying a quick ‘Hello Mr Roberts’ before diving in to the back of the car, or turning the corner.

Advertising

Following us in to adulthood, we still don’t take the time to even acknowledge strangers. Sitting silent on train carriages, firmly fixed on our smartphones and tablets – avoiding slight eye contact.

Yet, beyond that smart phone, bestseller and awkward glance – is a world of opportunity. Countless lessons to be learned. The solutions to all of our problems and the next best friend.

Here are the 10 benefits of disobeying that golden rule, and how talking to strangers can make your life a whole lot better:

1. Faster Commutes

Talking to strangers can be the entertainment you need to pass the time on the boring commute to and from work. It’s like real life Facebook updates in front of your face. Start a conversation, about absolutely anything, and watch your commute fly by. Just make sure you don’t miss your stop.

Advertising

2. Improved Networks

Talking to strangers provides endless opportunities to enhance your own personal and professional networks. In today’s world of who you know, not what you know – the person on the bus could be your greatest asset.

3. Better Confidence

Talking to strangers can help you overcome fears and confidence issues you never thought possible. Approaching strangers, or just turning your head and talking to someone sat next you can be extremely liberating. It will take you past the crippling fear of being judged and make it routine. You’ll be amazed at how much carry over this has to other parts of your life.

4. Become More Assertive

That added confidence could also make you more assertive. The more relaxed you feel talking and sharing with someone you don’t know – the easier it is to address problem situations. Instead of saying ‘Just leave it’ when a colleague wrongs you or restaurant over charges you, you have the assertiveness to fix the problem.

5. Be A Better Listener (And Ask Better Questions)

Talking to strangers allows you to perfect two important life skills: asking questions and listening. Talking to strangers isn’t all about you talking. But about asking them questions, learning from them – and listening wholeheartedly to their answers.

Advertising

6. Create Stronger Connections with People

Talking to strangers allows you to practice connecting with people on a personal level. Asking questions, listening and appreciating the time you have with someone. In the world of social media – where we connect with more people, but see them less – this is an important skill to hone.

7. Relatable Advice

Talking to strangers allows you to draw off the experiences of others. Think of your encounters as short, living biographies. There is a lot to learn from the stories of others: their ups, downs, failures and successes. Chances are, their advice is a lot more applicable to your life.

8. Fresh Perspectives

Talking to strangers can be a kick in the backside. It can take your old views on something and completely shatter them. There is always someone out there who knows more about the subject than you, and getting their views can turn yours around in no time – thus expanding your mind, and your own knowledge.

9. Unexpected Ideas

Talking to strangers can provide you with endless inspiration for old problems and generate new ideas. Off the cuff remarks, insane social commentaries, day-to-day problems and general chitchat can be the spark you need to send your creativity in to overdrive.

Advertising

10. Random Acts of Kindness

The greatest aspect of talking to strangers is this: it gives you the power to make someone smile from ear to ear, each and every day. You are able to give out that small compliment, the piece of encouragement or buy someone a coffee – that could turn a strangers day around completely.
And, if you’re lucky – maybe someone will do the same for you one day.

Featured photo credit: Gustavo Gomes via flickr.com

More by this author

The 5 Best Websites To Make Money Online 20 Signs Your Personal Trainer Sucks 3 Reasons It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Doing It Right These 10 Excuses You Make Are Really Fears In Disguise 5 Lessons Rick Rubin Can Teach Us About Leadership

Trending in Communication

1 How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life 2 Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset 3 10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When You’re Feeling Extra Stuck 4 Learn the Different Types of Love (and Better Understand Your Partner) 5 Anxiety Coping Mechanisms That Work When You’re Stressed to the Max

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 15, 2018

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

What do you think it takes to achieve your goals? Hard work? Lots of actions? While these are paramount to becoming successful in reaching our goals, neither of these are possible without a positive mindset.

As humans, we naturally tend to lean towards a negative outlook when it comes to our hopes and dreams. We are prone to believing that we have limitations either from within ourselves or from external forces keeping us from truly getting to where we want to be in life. Our tendency to think that we’ll “believe it when we see it” suggests that our mindsets are focused on our goals not really being attainable until they’ve been achieved. The problem with this is that this common mindset fuels our limiting beliefs and shows a lack of faith in ourselves.

The Success Mindset

Success in achieving our goals comes down to a ‘success mindset’. Successful mindsets are those focused on victory, based on positive mental attitudes, empowering inclinations and good habits. Acquiring a success mindset is the sure-fire way to dramatically increase your chance to achieve your goals.

Advertising

The idea that achieving our goals comes down to our habits and actions is actually a typical type of mindset that misses a crucial point; that our mindset is, in fact, the determiner of our energy and what actions we take. A negative mindset will tend to create negative actions and similarly if we have a mindset that will only set into action once we see ‘proof’ that our goals are achievable, then the road will be much longer and arduous. This is why, instead of thinking “I’ll believe it when I see it”, a success mindset will think “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

The Placebo Effect and What It Shows Us About The Power of Mindset

The placebo effect is a perfect example of how mindset really can be powerful. In scientific trials, a group of participants were told they received medication that will heal an ailment but were actually given a sugar pill that does nothing (the placebo). Yet after the trial the participants believed it’s had a positive effect – sometimes even cured their ailment even though nothing has changed. This is the power of mindset.

How do we apply this to our goals? Well, when we set goals and dreams how often do we really believe they’ll come to fruition? Have absolute faith that they can be achieved? Have a complete unwavering expectation? Most of us don’t because we hold on to negative mindsets and limiting beliefs about ourselves that stop us from fully believing we are capable or that it’s at all possible. We tend to listen to the opinions of others despite them misaligning with our own or bow to societal pressures that make us believe we should think and act a certain way. There are many reasons why we possess these types of mindsets but a success mindset can be achieved.

Advertising

How To Create a Success Mindset

People with success mindsets have a particular way of perceiving things. They have positive outlooks and are able to put faith fully in their ability to succeed. With that in mind, here are a few ways that can turn a negative mindset into a successful one.

1. A Success Mindset Comes From a Growth Mindset

How does a mindset even manifest itself? It comes from the way you talk to yourself in the privacy of your own head. Realising this will go a long way towards noticing how you speak to yourself and others around you. If it’s mainly negative language you use when you talk about your goals and aspirations then this is an example of a fixed mindset.

A negative mindset brings with it a huge number of limiting beliefs. It creates a fixed mindset – one that can’t see beyond it’s own limitations. A growth mindset sees these limitations and looks beyond them – it finds ways to overcome obstacles and believes that this will result in success. When you think of your goal, a fixed mindset may think “what if I fail?” A growth mindset would look at the same goal and think “failures happen but that doesn’t mean I won’t be successful.”

Advertising

There’s a lot of power in changing your perspective.

2. Look For The Successes

It’s really important to get your mind focused on positive aspects of your goal. Finding inspiration through others can be really uplifting and keep you on track with developing your success mindset; reinforcing your belief that your dreams can be achieved. Find people that you can talk with about how they achieved their goals and seek out and surround yourself with positive people. This is crucial if you’re learning to develop a positive mindset.

3. Eliminate Negativity

You can come up against a lot of negativity sometimes either through other people or within yourself. Understanding that other people’s negative opinions are created through their own fears and limiting beliefs will go a long way in sustaining your success mindset. But for a lot of us, negative chatter can come from within and these usually manifest as negative words such as can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Sometimes, when we think of how we’re going to achieve our goals, statements in our minds come out as negative absolutes: ‘It never works out for me’ or ‘I always fail.’

Advertising

When you notice these coming up you need to turn them around with ‘It always works out for me!’ and ‘I never fail!’ The trick is to believe it no matter what’s happened in the past. Remember that every new day is a clean slate and for you to adjust your mindset.

4. Create a Vision

Envisioning your end goal and seeing it in your mind is an important trait of a success mindset. Allowing ourselves to imagine our success creates a powerful excitement that shouldn’t be underestimated. When our brain becomes excited at the thought of achieving our goals, we become more committed, work harder towards achieving it and more likely to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If this involves creating a vision board that you can look at to remind yourself every day then go for it. Small techniques like this go a long way in sustaining your success mindset and shouldn’t be dismissed.

An Inspirational Story…

For centuries experts said that running a mile in under 4 minutes was humanly impossible. On the 6th May 1954, Rodger Bannister did just that. As part of his training, Bannister relentlessly visualised the achievement, believing he could accomplish what everyone said wasn’t possible…and he did it.

What’s more amazing is that, as soon as Bannister achieved the 4-minute mile, more and more people also achieved it. How was this possible after so many years of no one achieving it? Because in people’s minds it was suddenly possible – once people knew that it was achievable it created a mindset of success and now, after over fifty years since Bannister did the ‘impossible’, his record has been lowered by 17 seconds – the power of the success mindset!

Read Next