I know that it’s exactly what your mother said you shouldn’t do, but I’m going to play devil’s advocate. You most certainly should talk to strangers. Hear me out.
The other day I was shopping at a local grocery store, minding my own business. I always consider it a dreadful chore and I begrudge doing it (time can really be better spent elsewhere!). I don’t hang around in the aisles longer than absolutely necessary.
So, there I was on my express shopping journey, furiously piling overpriced food items in my basket – a woman on a mission – when a lady stops me.
“Excuse me,” she said. Almost visibly annoyed, (I stifled a sigh), I come to a halt. My first thought? She’s going to ask me where something is (I don’t have time for this!) or, worst-case scenario, she is going to try and involve me in some promotion.
“You have incredibly beautiful eyes,” she said. Wow.
I was completely caught off guard. Surprised and feeling rather sheepish, I stuttered a thank you. Immediately, my day is made, and I’m smiling from ear to ear because of a simple and genuine compliment from a complete stranger.
Often, we are in such a rush to tick off another thing on our list and heaven forbid we get roped into a conversation with others on our way. How about taking it a bit slower next time, making eye contact with others, and maybe even offer a sincere smile?
Most times, a little goes a long way and the nice thing you say to a complete stranger might just be the only bit of joy they experience all day.
– Anita Froneman