How Chatting with Strangers Helps for Travel and Life
People skills and communication skills are two of the most important things that you can develop to help you succeed in life. Nobody is born a great communicator, it takes practice and effort. However chatting with strangers is something that we can all do and will have a profound effect on your life, let me explain why.
Communication and Chatting with Strangers
We all start with no words and learn how to say Mama or Mum and then progress from there.
Nobody is born a great communicator, it takes practice.
How do you get to practice? You have to talk to other people, lots of other people.
The first lesson I learned from chatting with strangers is that people want to talk about their lives.
Everyone’s favourite conversation is about themselves!
To start a conversation, you just give the other person an opportunity to talk about their life.
The secret is getting to the topic that the other person want’s to talk about the most and then just listening.
You can read a person’s body language and the shortness of their answers to find which topics that they aren’t interested in.
How can you tell if someone does CrossFit?
They’ll tell you!
How to Start Chatting with Strangers
A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.
Some of the most interesting conversations where I learn new things come from chatting with strangers.
Sitting next to a stranger on an aeroplane, a train or a bus. Talking to someone sat down is a good opportunity as you are not trying to stop someone in motion like when they are walking. A park bench is another good option. If you start to seek out these opportunities you will soon notice them all over the place.
A few that I like are asking someone for directions, the time, or helping someone who looks lost.
As a traveller, I am often an outsider just visiting a place for a short period. Now this has its advantages as people see you differently when you are travelling.
Unlike London and big cities where people have a sense of anonymity, as the chances of bumping into someone again are very low, people from small villages can get this freedom from travel. However, if I visit a small village for a few days, as the outsider I can offer a local an opportunity to tell me anything, I’m like a safe haven.
Chatting with Strangers as Therapy
You can chat anything, your deepest fears, your darkest secrets that you haven’t told anyone. You can unburden yourself much the same way that people go and see a psychologist and pay for therapy to talk about all their problems. Now although this doesn’t happen every day, it is something beautiful when it does. I have had a few talks on park benches, trains and aeroplanes.
Strangers also have no bias or agenda, so you can talk about your drama or problems and get honest feedback.
I have listened to people in bad situations and helped them get it all off their chest. We often do not realise the impact that we have on other people’s lives.
Communication and Feelings
People can remember useful points we made long after we forget the conversation and these can have a lasting effect on their life. I hope I have that kind of impact on people’s lives and am a force for good in the world.
People will often forget what you said and what you did, but they rarely forget how you made them feel.
People open up if you give them the opportunity and the right environment, especially if they are having a rough time and need someone to listen to them.
Everybody loves attention, many people crave it, after all, I think attention is the most addictive of drugs.
If you stop to listen to someone and show a genuine interest instead of just waiting for your turn to speak you will see a huge difference in your relationships. Put someone in the spotlight, and turn them into a rock star by asking questions and showing an interest in their life.
This works very well for interviews or any situation where you are meeting someone for the first time.
Try get the other person talking about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. It means they will ask you fewer questions, and at the end they are more likely to feel good about you simply because they enjoyed talking about themselves although they don’t realise why!
Use questions such as:
How did you start working for this company?
How do you like it here?
What did you do before this?
Generally showing an interest in the other person really helps.
This works better if you are interviewed by the hiring manager and not someone from HR or a recruitment agency.