Does talking to strangers help your mood?

23 Jan 2021

I read an article recently about how talking to strangers can make you feel better.

Some of the Moodscopers reading this blog post will feel they’d do anything to start a conversation or even have eye contact with a stranger. For others perhaps not. Smart phones make it easier to have an excuse for not talking to people we don’t know.

Research has shown that we might just be able to improve our moods if we do not ignore opportunities to make contact with the people around us.

A few years ago researchers at a University decided to test whether a short chat with a stranger could  lift moods. Participants were asked to walk into a busy cafe and buy a drink and a snack. Half of the people were asked to walk in and leave and half were asked to talk to the person serving them.

They discovered that people who were assigned to turn this quick transaction into a quick social exchange left the cafe feeling better.

A journalist once spoke to at least 15 people she didn’t know a day. She was surprised how well this made her feel. At first it was a chore then over a week she looked forward to chatting to her new friends, 

How do you feel? Does a quick chat to someone waiting in a  queue or someone serving you, or the post man or someone you meet on a walk help improve your mood even slightly. Please share your thoughts and experiences.

I admit I do like to chat sometimes when I am in a good mood. When I am not, small chat can annoy me but I smile and reply.

Maybe you are someone who gets anxious if strangers talk to you or you prefer to avoid random conversation. Please explain why you feel not talking to people you don’t know. 



A Moodscope member 

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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