Curiosity is terminal

Friday, 4 January 2013

Talking to Strangers

Opit,  in my comments, said something about a stranger being a friend you haven't met yet, which reminded me of a story.  So, apropo of Opit's comment:

I talk to strangers. Everywhere. All the time.  Oh, I try not to be tiresome, I pay attention and I let people off the hook if they don't want to talk, but I will talk to anyone. The secret is to ask them questions. Lots of people want to talk. (Somewhere kicking around in my life is a bookmark that says, "What most people need is a good listening to." Believe it.) and you learn cool stuff listening to strangers. It can be pretty amazing how much people want off their chests.  (Come to think of it, this is probably why I read blogs, too.) When my Offspring was little, I schlepped her around everywhere, of course, and she watched me talking with servers and cashiers all over town. Finally, when she was 14 or so, she said to me on the way out of the grocery store, "Mom, do you have to make friends with everyone you meet? Cashiers don't want to be asked a thousand times a day how they are!" Well! Didn't they? Really? Had I merely been an annoying intrusion all these years? So I began conducting surveys.  I asked cashiers and servers: "How is your day going?" And then, "do you get asked that a million times a day? Do you hate being asked?"  No one said they don't like it, but most of them said it surprises them when someone asks, because it SELDOM HAPPENS. Ha. Take that, Offspring. And almost all of them said they like talking with the customers. And so I continue talking to strangers.  Because I figure there is no one stranger than me. (ba-dum-ba!)

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