You get better at asking better questions, and answering with more interesting responses.
However, they can change unpleasant moments - like the grind of a daily commute - into something more pleasant. A question yow either kick off a conversation or keep it going, Sandstrom says. Having positive social relationships has been put forward as a key ingredient for happinessmore ificant even than how much we earn.
Thinking others aren't interested in talking, or won't like you, are the very things that will keep you from making contact. Yet many of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you both feel uncomfortable.
Our fear assumptions fail to take into the social norms of politeness, Schroeder says. The inner lives of strangers Separate experiments on buses and in taxis yielded similar ; individuals found connecting with strangers was surprisingly pleasant.
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Most thought that talking would lead to the least pleasant commute. About sharing image copyrightGetty Images Most people spend part of every day surrounded by strangers, whether fhat their daily commute, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket. She researches how people navigate their social worldsincluding how language and mental capacity influences interactions.
Yet every participant in our experiment who actually tried to talk to a stranger found the person sitting next to chaf was happy to chat. Feeling isolated and lonely, in contrast, is a stress factor that poses a health risk comparable to smoking and obesity.
If you think that talking to a stranger is likely to be unpleasant, you'll never try and so never discover that your expectations might be wrong. Research actually suggests that people who ask more questions are better liked by their conversation partners than people who ask fewer questions.
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In fact, several experiments indicate both extroverts and introverts are happier when they are asked to behave in an extroverted manner. This can keep us mistakenly isolated and disconnected from others. These brief connections with strangers are not likely to turn a life of misery into one of bliss. The positive impact even vhat to spread to the person you talk to.
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But simply reaching out to a fellow human being to say hello may be better received than people realise. Strangers sit next to each other on park benches staring at their wiht, walk down city streets without smiling or saying "hello" qith anyone. In another experiment conducted in a waiting room, we found that not only did the people we encouraged to talk have a more pleasant experience, but so did the person they were asked to talk to.
Give someone a compliment It shifts the focus to the other person and should make them feel good, Sandstrom explains.
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Of course, nobody appreciates unwanted attention. Essentially, your personality may shape your expectations more than your experiences do.
For example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think. These beliefs may be unwarranted.
In fact, our research suggests we may often underestimate the positive impact of connecting with others for both our own and others' wellbeing. We found that commuters tend to be happier when they talk to a stranger, regardless of how extroverted they perceived themselves to be.
Be curious Ask questions. Although personality may not have a big effect on your experience of connecting with others, it may affect your expectations, with introverts underestimating the positive consequences of interaction.
Initiatives include: Virgin Trains deating all coach Cs on its west coast services as the "chat coach" Arriva distributing "conversation starter" cards via its national bus network, and encouraging passengers to "share a smile" Encouraging people from different backgrounds to oeople on Translink Northern Ireland's Glider service connecting East and West Belfast Self-fulfilling expectations You might imagine that only outgoing people would benefit more from connecting with others. Humans are inherently social animals, who are made peeople and healthier when connected to others.
In fact, research suggests that we consistently underestimate how much a new person likes us following an initial conversation.
He will offer early impressions of the on Friday as part of Crossing Divides On the Move, a day when the BBC - working with transport companies - is encouraging adults to chat to fellow passengers. Research shows the opposite, however, that people nearly always are willing to engage in a conversation when prompted by someone else. This may help to explain why ppeople seem so crowded with highly social people who are actively trying to ignore each other.
Few start a conversation with a stranger, but most seem happy to talk if you reach out with good intentions.
We asked bus and train commuters in Chicago how they would feel about striking up wlth conversation on their morning commute, compared to sitting in solitude or doing whatever they normally do. Focusing the attention on the other person in those moments can help us get past those awkward spots, she says.