Heather Smith
In my brother's latest blog post (Travelling With Gershom), he ponders our interactions with strangers - when people we don't know strike up a conversation with us how do we react? Do we engage them or do we nod and make a quick escape? Maybe the stranger shared way too much information - do we recoil?

My reaction is usually a negative one, especially if there was a bit TMI involved. In general, I tend to walk around thinking people are idiots. Maybe this is something I should work on ... I don't think it's conducive to my crunchy granola aspirations.

My brother's wife suggested that when strangers talk to us we have an opportunity to brighten their day. Hmmm, interesting. She's right. Why not spend an extra two minutes at the corner store and respond to the shopkeeper ... why not add something to the conversation instead of trying to think of a way to politely end it?

I think I'll try this. And maybe if I approach it genuinely, without the sense that I am humouring the stranger or sacrificing my time, I might just get something out of it ... the good feeling of making a connection with a fellow human being. Reaching out and engaging with a stranger could prove to be a very positive and uplifting experience ... as long as the stranger doesn't act like a bloody idiot.
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7 Responses
  1. CLB Says:

    It is really easy to talk to someone when you are walking a dog. When I walk Freshie he brings out smiles in everyone and then they may stop and ask me his name and talk about the weather. I feel like he has brightened many poeple's day. He certainly has brightned mine.

  2. Nancy Barnes Says:

    My family is starting to freak me out!! Can't we be selfish and make fun of people like we did before ???!!!! I talk to who ever talks to me. Because I am nice. I don't care if I make them happy, or if they make me happy. It's a snippet of my day and then I move on.

  3. Well that's great that you talk to everyone who talks to you - the above discussion doesn't apply to you then.

    I, on the other hand, am antisocial and do not take the time. I actually avoid it all cost - bringing books to waiting room so that no one will strike up a conversation. But Trudy's comment on Don's post made me think - maybe the little old biddy sitting next to me waiting to see the doc would love a little exchange with a younger biddy and maybe I should get my nose out of the book and oblige.


  4. PS As much as I meditate I don't think I'll ever stop making fun of people.

  5. Nancy Barnes Says:

    Oh, Dot, I don't think your problem is being antisocial. Your problem is that YOU ARE JUST LIKE MOM!!!

  6. francine Says:

    when I still worked at the airport I heard and saw more of peoples tmi than I ever wanted to know about, lol. But I find now I still have that look on my face that invites anyonne and everyone to share ther life with me, and mostly it really amuses me. Oh I'm still bitter down to my little toes and mock everything but I kinda like that I look like the type of person the old lady at shoppers asks to help find her vitamins at the same time.

  7. That sounds like a great balance, Francine ... open to interacting with strangers but not losing a sense of humour about it!

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