Why You Should Talk To Strangers
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Why You Should Talk To Strangers

Don't tell your mom

Why You Should Talk To Strangers

In today's world, we are painfully accustomed to talking to strangers. We get likes and comments on Instagram from people we don't even know. We get into cars driven by someone we didn't know before opening the door. We swipe left and right on an app of people you have never seen before. However, we often find ourselves too scared to call and make appointments for ourselves or have a crippling fear of a receptionist's voice. We stand in elevators and reread the same texts to avoid awkward conversation. We have classes with people whose names we don't even remember.

I am personally a big fan of talking to strangers. I believe that there are too many people in this world to know so few of them.I believe the best people in life are the ones you never intended to meet. I don't believe in love at first sight but am a strong advocate that you can tell within the first conversation that someone is going to be important in your life. I think conversations flow well with good people. I think the right people will bring up things you can't wait to tell them and will answer questions you love to hear the answers to. I think we build connections quickly but realize it slowly.

I start most conversations with "Hey! Whatsup! I'm Ansley!". I love swivel chairs in classes to talk to people behind me who are probably already tired of my voice. I feel bad for the people in elevators with me who don't want to make small talk on the way to the 5th floor. And I apologize to people who wait in lines behind me because I probably make them feel longer. But I like to be annoying. I like to turn strangers into friendly faces. I like to feel like there is a friend in every situation. I want people to feel like there is always someone around who wants to talk to them. I want people to feel like someone cares how their day is going even if it is the obnoxious girl waiting on the same stoplight to change at the crosswalk.

I am oh so many things- some good, some bad. I'm dramatic and artistic and sarcastic and caring and crazy and thoughtful, and I always am doing the absolute most, but of the assortment of words I use to describe myself- approachable is my favorite one. I want to be the type of person someone can rant about their spilled coffee to while waiting outside a classroom. I think these people in the backgrounds of our lives are valuable, and I want to be one of them.

I think for many people this is scary. But the reality is- no one in your college town is going to kidnap you in the dining hall line or attack you in your 11AM class... they're people like you and people like me who might need someone to ask how they are. I think we forget how easy it is to just introduce ourselves. We put our entire lives online but forget to share it with the people in it. I think if you're struggling to do this, it's really important to have a go-to line you can introduce yourself with so that it will get easier every time. I think being observant and commenting on something they told their friend or something they ordered or something they're wearing is a good way to ease in a conversation without being so aggressive. I see each public space as a place to know more people, and statistically, some will be great. Someone will change your life. Someone will be a friend.

There were times I sat in 200 person lectures and felt so alone with my colored pens- embarrassed to sneeze or drop a highlighter. I remember being absolutely terrified of being called on, overanalyzing what people around me thought, why everyone around me was talking when I didn't know anyone. I think there are people like this in every environment- people who might just need someone to catch up with on Monday mornings. I think we have to stop being bold enough to DM celebrities yet too timid to tell someone our name. I think people are meant to be talked to. I think friendships are meant to come out of random and awkward interactions. I think great relationships come from outside our comfort zone.

We just have to speak outside it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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