Process Post #1: Talking to a Stranger
As someone who finds myself on the introverted side of the scale, I find the place where I most often converse with strangers is at work.
Given the global circumstances and it being the second week back to school, my opportunity to strike up decent conversation with a stranger was at work. This interaction had something that ultimately benefitted my introverted self. That is the commonality. I feel, with most people, that I am able to connect over such simple things like questions about the menu such as my favourite item or what’s most popular. While the introduction to the conversation was essentially ‘forced’ by the circumstances, sparking conversation when my job was over while they were paying was new territory.
While the conversation was generally brief, I realized several things by the end of it. One, that I was cracking jokes fairly quickly. Two, that I was already more comfortable with the strangers despite the length of the conversation and relationship with the stranger. Three, that I felt rejuvenated, energized almost, despite being in the second half of a full eight hour and exhausting shift.
My online interactions with strangers often always begin with a common ground, whether that is someone commenting on the same post or adding to the thread under the same tweet. Although my experience with strangers at the restaurant start on the common ground of me serving them, otherwise, I have no idea what the strangers beliefs, likes, opinions, or backgrounds are. Besides that they like brunch.
Once we consider a person known, our behaviour toward them changes entirely.
I completely agree with this statement from Hamblin. I find it actually takes me quite awhile before I am comfortable with a new person, which means that my behaviour goes through stages the more I get to know someone. This means it also takes awhile for me to consider a person known and thus be comfortable with them.
There are certain jokes I will crack or comments I will make with a stranger I met within the hour and this differ vastly from how I act when I’m comfortable and around friends or family. However, given the immediate positive effects I felt after instigating an ‘unnecessary’ conversation with a stranger, I definitely agree with this week’s readings and the discourse on how doing so much as saying hi to strangers can fuel happiness.