Interacting with a Stranger !


Everyday we see n number of people at work, around us in cafe', while traveling by train, plane or bus. How many of us try to interact with the stranger sitting next to you, I am sure few. What I have experienced sometimes just by saying hello to a stranger makes that person feel good and strikes a conversation which can lead to a healthy discussion. We are social animals and like to be surrounded by people with whom we can talk and share things. There are times while talking to a complete stranger, an unknown person we end up learning something valuable, maybe a statement which we carry with us for life and remember where I learnt about this and feel good. The interaction with strangers is sometimes good and one do feel positivity and cheers up the mood.
So, what is your story, and do you agree with me, and yes I do say this always "what have you discovered today"?

Human Factors
Social Networking
Human Interest Stories
Human Interaction
Positive Can-do Attitude
Positive Personality
Masarrat A Shah
18 months ago

6 answers


I recently shared a train journey with a stranger. The train was badly delayed and very full. I was in my suit and he had just come from the building site. We chatted about all subjects for two hours. Shook hands at the end of the line and went our separate ways. That was the most pleasant train ride I've had for years.

Please see the link below on a similar subject.

David Cottrell
18 months ago
Thanks for sharing your experience David, oh cool BBC also has covered this topic. - Masarrat A 18 months ago

During a recent vacation in Dublin, Ireland, my husband and I visited the Guinness Storehouse for the tour. After getting our "stouties" (your photo on top of the foam), we were seated at a table and a young couple came up looking for a power plug. We invited them to join us and had a lovely conversation. As we were headed to London next and that's where they were from, we got some great suggestions for dining and tours. We chatted about a variety of topics and enjoyed the visit. I'm a big believer in introducing myself, you never know who you will meet and what you might learn!

Lynnette McMahon
18 months ago
Great Lynnette, thanks for sharing your experience. And me lived in Dublin is close to me. :) - Masarrat A 18 months ago

Talking to a stranger is always a high point of my day. First I like to see if I can develop the interaction as culture seems to be taking us away from this. Once developed though I've learned a great deal from people I would have never known unless I went out of my way to create the conversation

Matthew Kessler
18 months ago
Agree with Cultrure part Matthew, we need to understand how the stranger will take the approach. But mostly people do interact. - Masarrat A 18 months ago

I don't interact unless I see something which catches my eye. I mean it is not an agenda I keep in perspective. I have had really good experiences if/when conversations take an intellectual turn. Once I met a lady who works for an NGO in eastern UP and was on a plane with me. We spoke for good 30 minutes.

Khalid Raza
17 months ago
Thanks Khalid for sharing your experience. - Masarrat A 17 months ago
Khalid, thank you for your thoughts. - Matthew 17 months ago

I like to ask people quick open ended questions about something that's obviously meaningful to them - often it's jewelry or some style element because this means that I won't be trying to sell anything to them or convince them to do something. I listen to them without judgment or preconceived notions.

I have met some kind and interesting people through a 30 second chat in the line at the grocery store or an elevator; my view of the world becomes just a little wider.

Troy Vera
17 months ago
Troy thanks for sharing your thoghts, it's good to ask open question and that will give an idea if the person is interested in interacting. - Masarrat A 17 months ago

“Don’t talk to strangers, it’s dangerous.” It was not the intention of baby boomer parents to their children into introverts by speaking this wisdom. I understand the concept, albeit rooted in fear and security, but this prohibits the opportunity to develop social skills and to learn. Talking to strangers is a great opportunity to:

  • Receive new information about topics unknown to you
  • Learn about the passions and hobbies of others, giving you a deeper lens as to personalities and the broader world
  • Challenge your paradigms and belief systems

I make it a point to introduce myself to at least one stranger each day. Whether that's working in a coffee shop, at a social event or while traveling. The conversation is always enriching!

Vic Clesceri
17 months ago
Vic Clesceri you are right, it opens up ones horizon, we learn from others or vice versa. And my mantra is "What did you discovered today" - Masarrat A 17 months ago

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