At the risk of sounding like I’m advocating that you become one of those unaware old folks who try to engage strangers – inappropriately, in extended conversations – I’m going to say this anyway: “DO talk to strangers.”
Research is clear that if we want to stay healthy and to thrive we need to develop and maintain strong relationships. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults with strong relationships live longer than their peers who have less vital relationships.
I love the power of words and how you can re-arrange them in such a way to create impact. But how do you do that when meeting people?
I like to chat. I chat first thing in the morning about any problems I faced in the night. Then I chat at lunch about events of the morning, and I chat in the evening about the rest of the day.
One enchanted evening, 37 years ago, I met Ann at an industry dinner party. Sitting next to one another at a large round table in a noisy restaurant, conversation soon revealed we’d both grown up in Brooklyn, attended – at different times – the same high school and college, and later lived one block from each another on the same street in Manhattan.
I was leaning back in my chair laughing so hard that I nearly fell over. My belly hurt. The six of us at our table were nearly in hysterics. It took us several minutes to get under control before the conversation continued. All of us wiped laughter tears from our cheeks. We couldn’t wait for the next story.
In the book about downsizing called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it’s suggested that you discard items in your home that don’t bring you joy. The same could be said about friends, I suppose.