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Don’t talk to strangers?

By on September 13, 2014
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We are taught as children to, “Never speak to strangers”. This is particularly true on the mean streets of New York where we tend to assume anyone who speaks to us is going to ask us for money (with or without the treat of physical violence!).

As a result we miss out on countless opportunities for happiness as we will see below. It is common for some hypnosis clients to suffer loneliness, even clients in New York who appear to have convivial personalities. Finding ways for these clients to connect with others can provide a real benefit.

Speaking to strangers makes us happy. You heard that right, recent research carried out at the Chicago Booth School of Business, commuters were asked to either go about their commute as they normally did, speak to one on their commute, or to go out of their way to speak to a  stranger.

The subjects who were ‘forced’ to speak to a stranger reported a greater level pleasure than the either the ‘solitude’ group or the control group, in spite of the fact that everyone expected the ‘journey in solitude’ to be most pleasant. It seems that we are by nature social creatures who take pleasure in human contact.

Here is the research by Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder:

Mistakenly Seeking Solitude.

This begs the question, how do we actually go about connecting with others? For answers to this far more practical question we turn to our favorite charisma coach, Marcus O of London:

This week  I’m going to be showing you the best way to start a conversation on the street with a stranger! I personally feel that a lot of people stop themselves from talking to strangers and making conversations because they think they’re going to mess up. But really these are the best opportunities we have for improving our social skills and developing our charisma. Via

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