Remember when you were a kid, and your parents told you not to talk to strangers? After all, the world is a big, scary, and dangerous place, right?
These protective, well intended rules become ingrained habits that limit our happiness and success as an adult.
In the past few months, I’ve made it a point to talk to anyone I come across whether it’s in an elevator, waiting in line, or even on the street.
Two weeks ago, I started chatting with a beautiful woman who recently arrived to Washington DC for the summer. I actually stopped her on the street and began a conversation. This past weekend, I had brunch with her and was happy to show her around the town. It’s tragic how many foreigners come to America hoping to get the “American experience” but end up never befriending any Americans.
Yesterday, I struck up a conversation with a Turkish lady in the Psychology section of a bookstore. It turned out we had read all the same books and had the same worldview. The interaction only lasted a few minutes, but I got some valuable insights into where to travel in Turkey and always enjoy meeting a kindred spirit.
Last year, when I first moved to Washington DC, I often felt lonely and socially isolated. Mostly because I had just come out of college and was used to 24/7 social interaction. But, these days, I usually meet at least one unique and interesting person every time I step outside my home. Now, I never feel like I must see friends now because my social needs are satisfied.
So, go out and talk to a stranger today.