Crossing divides. We found that commuters tend to be happier when they talk to a stranger, regardless of how extroverted they perceived themselves to be.
The positive impact even seems to spread to the person you talk to. This may help to explain why cities seem so crowded with highly social people who are actively trying to ignore each other. In another experiment conducted in a waiting room, we found that not only did the people we encouraged to talk have a more pleasant experience, but so did the person they were asked to talk to.
Self-fulfilling expectations. See details.
But simply reaching out to a fellow human being to say hello may be better received than people realise. You might imagine that only outgoing people would benefit more from connecting with others.
Strangers sit next to each other on park benches staring at their phones, walk down city streets without smiling or saying "hello" to anyone. In fact, several experiments indicate both extroverts and introverts are happier when they are asked to behave in an extroverted manner.
About this piece. Most thought that talking would lead to the least pleasant commute.
Although personality may not have a chag effect on your experience of connecting with others, it may affect your expectations, with introverts underestimating the positive consequences of interaction. Few start a conversation with a stranger, but most seem happy to talk if you reach out with good intentions. Feeling isolated and lonely, in contrast, is a stress factor that poses a health risk comparable to smoking and obesity.
Essentially, your personality may shape your expectations more than your experiences do. Random acts of kindness. For example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think. This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from experts working for an outside organisation.
However, they can change unpleasant moments - like the grind of a daily commute - into something more pleasant. These brief connections with strangers are not likely to turn a life of misery into one of bliss.
This information is shared with social media, sponsorship, analytics, and other vendors or service providers. In fact, our research suggests we may often underestimate the positive impact stfangers connecting with others for both our own and others' wellbeing. Yet many of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you both feel uncomfortable.
These misunderstandings extend beyond interaction on public transport to many areas of our lives, where we consistently underestimate the positive impact of reaching out to others in general. In fact, several experiments indicate both extroverts and introverts are happier stranters they are asked to behave in an extroverted manner. Most people spend part of every day surrounded by strangers, whether on their daily commute, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket. Initiatives include:.
Of course, nobody appreciates unwanted attention. About this piece. Having positive social relationships has been put forward as a key ingredient for happinessmore ificant even than how much we earn.
This may help to explain why cities seem so crowded with highly social people who are actively trying to ignore each other. Chaf who write a thank-you letterdo random acts of kindness, or express compliments consistently, believe their recipient will be less happy than they actually are.
We asked bus and train commuters in Chicago how they would feel about striking up a conversation on their morning commute, compared to sitting in solitude or doing whatever they normally do. Expert Network Loneliness Transport.
For example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think. But simply reaching out to a fellow human being to say hello may be better received than people realise.
Thinking others aren't interested in talking, or won't like you, are the very things that will keep you from witj contact. The inner lives of strangers. Self-fulfilling expectations. Crossing divides.
More like this. Separate experiments on buses and in taxis yielded similar ; individuals found connecting with strangers was surprisingly pleasant.
Yet many of us remain in self-imposed isolation, believing that reaching out to a stranger would make you both feel uncomfortable.