Talking to strangers is very unusual here in this country. A missed opportunity if you can believe two psychologists from the University of Amsterdam and the University of Copenhagen. Because even a short conversation with strangers increases feelings of happiness, as Paul van Lange and Simon Columbus reported in an overview of the research: “This is evident in interactions with bus drivers, other passengers on a bus or train, with the person behind the counter selling coffee or with other people in the experience.”
A team led by Simon Columbus had recently Relationship with strangers Examine it closely. For this purpose, more than 7,000 people submitted a one-week test of information about encounters with strangers. Conclusion: most of them were positive. Only 13 percent were significantly fraught with conflict. Thus a relationship with strangers was on average more prone to conflict than a relationship with a partner, friends or colleagues. But mostly there was a common interest, people depended on each other, the balance of power seemed to be balanced, and this strengthened cooperation. Van Lang and Columbus summarize: “As a rule, dealing with strangers is very friendly.”
A 2014 Chicago experiment showed that talking to strangers makes you happier than you think. Bus and train passengers should assess how they would feel if they spoke to a stranger. Most of them thought the trip would be less fun than if they stayed on as usual. They also predicted that every second person they addressed would want to talk to them at all. But both turned out to be wrongAs noted by social researchers Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder.
Frustration remedy at hand
“The misunderstanding is particularly unfortunate because the constant commuting has been described as one of the most unpleasant daily experiences,” Epley said in a press release. The cure for passenger frustration is at hand: on the seat next to you.
social psychologist Repeat the experiment After a few years in London, the result was the same: rail passengers felt better talking to strangers on the trip. It doesn’t matter if they think they are extroverted or introverted. It was recently confirmed by a team from Turkey happiness seekers With more than 1000 people testing.
According to Columbus and Van Lang, fleeting exchanges with strangers make you as satisfied as a conversation with friends. And not only those who seek the conversation benefit from it, but also those who address and participate in it. In addition, the exchange between strangers benefits mental fitness because it requires social skills such as empathy and self-control. However, psychologists doubt that there is an optimal level of communication with strangers for most people. More of it does not increase the luxury any more.