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Why Talking To Strangers Boosts Your Mood

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 24:  Two young women chat over coffee at Bonanza Coffee Roasters on January 24, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Bonanza founder Kiduk Reus is among a growing number of so-called third wave artisinal coffee bean roasters who are finding a niche market in Europe and the USA for their carefully-crafted and expensive coffee. Reus insists that the cast iron parts, the slow-roasting abilities and hands-on controls of his flame-roasting, refurbished 1918 Probat machine allow him to develop the most flavour from his carefully selected beans.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Two young women chat over coffee.

Often, parents encourage their children not to talk to strangers – but as you get older, talking to people you don’t know can actually make you happier.

Often, parents encourage their children not to talk to strangers – but as you get older, talking to people you don’t know can actually make you happier.

It may feel strange or nerve-racking to strike up a conversation with a stranger, but often that person will like you more than you think and you’ll both be in a better mood afterwards. There’s science to prove it. A recent Wall Street Journal article cited studies that showed people’s mood improved after talking with a Starbucks barista, or interacting with acquaintances in class.

Do you often chat up strangers? How do you feel after the conversation is over? Have you ever kept in contact with a stranger you connected with? Call us at 866-893-5722 to share your story.

Guest:

Gillian Sandstrom, senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex, in Colchester, England, where she studies interactions between strangers; she tweets

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