Thursday, March 5, 2009

Talking to strangers

I was wondering when it became acceptable to talk to strangers. I remember when I was a kid that my parents would say not to do this, but they would always strike up a conversation with who ever happened to be sitting next to them. I always was embarrassed by this as a kid but, now I do the same thing. I tell Bug not to talk to strangers but I will sit and talk to the cashier at Target forever. Is this what is the determining factor between childhood and adulthood? When are you old enough to talk to strangers? Is it when you know not to follow them to find their lost puppy? Is it when you know not to take candy from them? My sister and I had conversations with strangers all weekend. We even made new facebook friends on the trolley on our way to the zoo. One guy started talking to us in what I swear was an attempt to pick up on my sister. I thoroughly enjoy talking to strangers. One thing I have learned is that everyone has a story. If you talk to anyone long enough you will learn the most interesting things. A few years ago I was sitting in the chapel of the Ogden Temple and an older man started talking to me. I sat an listened for a few minutes and all of the sudden he pulled out a picture of his departed wife. You could see that he missed her considerably and that he really needed to talk to someone about her. I just let him talk and kept thinking that if it was me that needed to talk I would hope that the person I was talking to cared enough just to listen. I have decided that most of the time when someone strikes up a conversation with you it is because they have something on their mind. Usually they don't want advice they just want to get it out, good or bad. We have a tendency to talk to people like our story is the most important thing in the world and we don't take the time to hear others stories. I think I am going to try harder to be a better listener and keep this in mind when I am talking to strangers.

3 comments:

Crazy? Who's Crazy? said...

If you didn't talk to strangers, how would we have ever become friends? I'm one of the stranger people you know. j/k. I totally know what you mean.

Sarah said...

Jenn, you are definately not even close to being one of the strangest people I know!

Jill said...

I've always thought you were a great listener!

 
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