Talking to strangers

girl wearing new balance sneakers and holding a hydroflask water bottle

Talking to strangers can seem really daunting, BUT recently I went out of my way to talk to someone I didn’t personally know and it actually wasn’t so bad.

I’ve been going to the gym about 4-5 times a week recently (which is really good for me and I’ve been loving the consistency there), and usually going to the gym I don’t want to look at or talk to anyone else besides my friends or my boyfriend if they’re there with me.

Anyways, the gym was super busy the other day and a lot of the equipment was already being used when I got there so I asked someone if they were using part of the squat rack. The guy was using the platform attached to the squat rack and obviously had to approach him while he was resting, not during his set. He was looking down at his phone with his AirPods in, which is EXACTLY what I do because I usually don’t want to talk to anyone during my workout. He ended up being really chill and said I could use the equipment which was great, but I also took it a step further extended the convo by asking him what he was doing at the gym today. He turned out to be really friendly and open to conversation which I didn’t expect going into it.

It’s funny because I think in general, everyone’s really friendly at the gym but everyone kinda tends to keep to themselves. Which I think is understandable, because for me working out is like “me time” and I usually like keeping to myself like others do too.

How can we compare this interaction to talking to a stranger online?

I feel like there’s a lot of anonymity and unsureness when it comes to talking to people you don’t know online, especially if someone’s profile doesn’t share a lot about the person. Talking to someone you don’t know in-person feels a lot more personal than online, because you’re face to face and you’re seeing the person as they are. Versus online there are so many fake accounts and people hiding behind a profile, and just people with malicious intent in general. There’s so much more trust required for talking to someone online versus in-person.

Overall, I think talking to strangers isn’t as daunting as we think it may be. Living in a world surrounded by technology, we’ve become so much more normalized to talking to people online in comments or DM’s, leading us to feel more socially anxious when approaching people in-person we don’t know.

Take this as a sign for you to try talking to a stranger as well like I did!

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