There are over 7 billion people on this planet, but you only get to socialize with a minuscule fraction of that number. In fact, it is estimated that you will interact with an average of 80,000 people in your entire lifetime. In each one of those 80,000 interactions, you have the chance to make an impact.
Do you want to be someone who brushes past an old man trying to board a bus? Or are you the kind soul that smiles and reaches out your hand? Either way, your life goes on, and perhaps it is a forgettable occurrence, but maybe not to the old man who will remember your helping hand. He might smile knowing the world isn’t such a cold place after all.
We live in a world where fast isn’t fast enough, and technology can make human interactions few and far between. People are so consumed with their own lives, that they forget about all the others around them. However, there is tangible value in reaching out and interacting with strangers. In fact, when you feel lonely or down, doing so can be the key to brightening your day.
It Makes You Feel Connected
There’s something about looking into the eyes of a complete stranger and speaking warmly to them. It makes you feel connected to humanity as a whole. Sure, you have friends and family, even acquaintances, but those are your inner circle, you don’t really count them as the outside world. In other words, when you read the phrase, “studies show that people…” it doesn’t apply to you or your immediate friends and family, it applies to the mass of people beyond that. Small interactions with strangers plug you back into the world and reminds you that there are people out there just like you, who share the same ideas and feelings.
It Makes You Feel Powerful
How do you feel knowing you have the power to turn someone’s day around? Tell somebody you like their dress or even to have a good morning, and you never know who will take it to heart. It’s easy to forget that every single person has an inner world spiraling with his or her own personal thoughts and emotions. Maybe that person you just complimented needed it. You can’t change the world, but you have the power to make someone’s personal world better.
It Brightens Your Own Mood
Heading to work, picking up groceries, and running errands—these can all be solitary activities that put you in a somber mood. Starting a conversation with a fellow commuter, asking how a cashier’s day went, or even just smiling at the strangers passing by can be enough to brighten your mood with that warm fuzzy feeling.
We all share the human experience, so why do we feel the need to be utterly isolated and disconnected from those around us? Perhaps if more people weren’t scared to act comfortably with someone they didn’t know, the world would be a better place. If you find yourself feeling under the weather or just want more meaning in your life, there’s no harm in reaching out to the world around you. Greet and talk to someone you don’t know like an old friend; what do you have to loe?