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LeBrok
21-07-14, 01:10
According to these scientists, it is good for you, you'll be happier too.


Humans are some of the most social creatures on this planet, but step into an elevator, train or public bus and something strange happens: we fall silent, stare at the wall and ignore the strangers surrounding us. But in doing so, we might be missing out on an easy way to make ourselves happier people.
Through several experiments, behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder demonstrated that we view solitude as a better option than engaging a stranger, not because we like being alone, but because we mistakenly think others don’t want to talk to us. As a result, we miss a chance to make our morning commutes more pleasurable, or even make a new friend.


Epley and Schroeder say we clam up around strangers because we misunderstand the consequences of engaging with someone we don’t know. We mistakenly assume that people are silent on trains because they don’t want to connect, so we find peace in our solitude. But as a result, the scientists say, we are exhibiting what’s called pluralistic ignorance: when most people privately reject a norm but assume everyone else still accepts it. In other words, people privately want to chat with strangers, but incorrectly assume no one else wants to.
The authors say that the best way to break down this communication barrier is through experience. The more people talk to strangers, the less they live in pluralistic ignorance. Cocktail parties, pick-up lines and other icebreakers exist to help alleviate this fear, but the more people speak with strangers the less they fear it.
So next time you’re in the elevator, don’t just stare at your feet; find something to talk about — it’s good for you.


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/files/2014/07/shutterstock_190553639.jpg
Full article:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/07/16/youd-be-happier-if-you-talked-to-strangers-more-often/#.U8xH0vldVa8

Maleth
21-07-14, 10:20
I totally agree, and this behavior seems to be much more readily acceptable and deemed as natural in some cultures then in others.

AgnusDei
21-07-14, 15:58
Aren't we already doing it on the internet ?

Aberdeen
21-07-14, 16:57
I have absolutely no interest in talking to strangers unless I know that we have some shared interest. That's why we talk to strangers on the internet - we've already preselected which strangers we're willing to talk to.

Maleth
21-07-14, 17:13
Aren't we already doing it on the internet ?

What we do on the internet is more like staring at a screen :)

LeBrok
21-07-14, 17:22
What we do on the internet is more like staring at a screen :)
and we talk to people that we already know, even if only by their avatar. We don't log every day to strange websites and start conversation with people we met first time. Likewise people in the picture above talk to their friends on their devices.

Even though I'm the last one to start a conversation with a stranger, it feels really good if I do, or if they do.

hope
21-07-14, 17:23
The piece seems to focus on talking to strangers in transit and then at the very end throws cocktail parties in...the two situations according to the individual may have different "reasons". And I don`t altogether agree with their opinion that people [they seem to imply people in general], "want to chat to strangers"...some may but certainly not all.
It also depends where in the world you are, as Maleth noted.
For instance travel on a tube in London and you will see people who really do not want to interact with fellow passengers, no-one makes any attempt to communicate and if you try a "good morning" to someone they usually ignore you and bury their head in a newspaper or book or phone for the duration of journey.
Travel on a bus in Northern Ireland and you can be sure you will know the travel details and life story of at least one stranger before you arrive at your stop. People here talk very comfortably to any fellow passenger. Of course neither of the above mentioned is a hard set rule, there will always be exceptions.
Whilst there can be different reasons for not wanting to talk to strangers on trains or buses, I think in general the rule of "this is my personal space..do not encroach" still plays a large part.

I was taking a short flight some years ago and travelling alone when a very nice lady and her husband tried to "include" me. I had no wish to be included because I was using the time to go over the things I had to do etc. However, I did join in their conversation and take my coffee at their table because of the act itself. Here were two humans who seeing another, lone human, had made the base action of trying to bring me into the group. Positive group behaviour.
I think what this study really shows is, if people greet others with a smile or few words, this can put them more at ease..thus the journey seems a more pleasant one.

LeBrok
21-07-14, 17:51
There might be an ancient behaviour in play too. "Avoid people from not your tribe, people you don't know". They can kill you for trespassing, infect you with strange disease you not immune to, they can take your land and food. It was wise not to interact with strangers.

ebAmerican
21-07-14, 18:12
LeBrok - It reminds me of the Pashtun saying "Me and my brother against my cousin, me and my cousin against the world." I find most strangers disinterested in people they do not know. I'm an empathetic person, and routinely hold doors for strangers, smile, nodding, say good morning, afternoon, and evening, but rarely receive mutual recognition. I'm from a small town in Colorado, and everybody knew everybody, but as the world gets bigger those manners and pleasantries are a lost manner. People would be happier if they were moe pleasant to each other.

hope
21-07-14, 20:23
There might be an ancient behaviour in play too. "Avoid people from not your tribe, people you don't know". They can kill you for trespassing, infect you with strange disease you not immune to, they can take your land and food. It was wise not to interact with strangers.

There may subconsciously be something of that going on.
I think sometimes we [right or wrong] do a snap scan of people and speak to those whom we determine are like "us" or seem "approachable". You know it might make a good study to send a group onto a bus with the instruction to choose someone to speak to, be interesting to see what made them choose a particular individual.
I do agree with one part of the study..we should try to talk more to others, especially those from different cultures and backgrounds..we could perhaps learn something.

hope
21-07-14, 21:05
I'm an empathetic person, and routinely hold doors for strangers, smile, nodding, say good morning, afternoon, and evening, but rarely receive mutual recognition.
I agree ebAmerican, it`s rotten when that happens. Whether we admit it or not, we do like some recognition when we do something nice for others...even a nod can be enough. Another one is when you`re driving and you see someone trying to come out from a side street, you stop to let them drive out and they don`t give you the customary wave or nod of thanks..that one can annoy me..
So as someone who thinks holding doors and greeting with a smile are good things..I say thanks ebAmerican, for those who haven`t :)

Maleth
21-07-14, 21:45
and we talk to people that we already know, even if only by their avatar. We don't log every day to strange websites and start conversation with people we met first time. Likewise people in the picture above talk to their friends on their devices.

Even though I'm the last one to start a conversation with a stranger, it feels really good if I do, or if they do.

Agree, Personally I can easily talk to someone I don't know (stranger/s) and I respond easy to someone that start chatting, asking something and so on. It has happened on planes, trains, buses, in Restaurants / coffee shops and so on. It has always been a nice feeling and a positive experience exchanging a few words, helping out with instructions or getting some help or information myself (especially on holidays). I never had any negative experiences in this regards. I believe it can also have a therapeutic value and gives a feel good factor, more an more in relaxed environments. I am not excluding the negative experiences that one might encounter, but those seem (to me at least) more of an exception then the rule.


was taking a short flight some years ago and travelling alone when a very nice lady and her husband tried to "include" me. I had no wish to be included because I was using the time to go over the things I had to do etc. However, I did join in their conversation and take my coffee at their table because of the act itself. Here were two humans who seeing another, lone human, had made the base action of trying to bring me into the group. Positive group behaviour.
I think what this study really shows is, if people greet others with a smile or few words, this can put them more at ease..thus the journey seems a more pleasant one.

Precisely


but as the world gets bigger those manners and pleasantries are a lost manner. People would be happier if they were moe pleasant to each other.

I believe this is very true, and it seems that it has to do with some kind of mistrust living in big to huge cities visa vi to smaller towns and villages. Hopes example of the London Tube is so real. I lived it for 5 years, but I found the smaller towns much 'friendlier' so to speak. Another example, on a visit to an Austrian Alpine village everyone greeted 'Grus Got' or something like that, even if they didn't know you which I found heart warming, but surely did not happen in Vienna.

Aberdeen
23-07-14, 03:27
There might be an ancient behaviour in play too. "Avoid people from not your tribe, people you don't know". They can kill you for trespassing, infect you with strange disease you not immune to, they can take your land and food. It was wise not to interact with strangers.

I think that's exactly what's going on. We're showing an old pattern of behaviour that had evolutionary advantages back in the days when people were few in number and lived in small, isolated tribes, and people were usually better off sticking with their own kind most of the time, and those who were wary of strangers had a better chance of surviving. Unfortunately, that's one of the many behaviour patterns that are no longer advantageous, because the world is now full of people who need to get along with one another. And the old pattern is what creates fear of "the other". It creates racism, hyper-nationalism and a willingness to make war on "foreigners", "strangers", in a world where war could doom all of us. So we need to get over our fear of strangers and treat everyone we meet as a member of our own tribe. And if most people feel as little inclination to make friends with strangers as I do, our race is probably doomed.

LeBrok
23-07-14, 05:58
I think that's exactly what's going on. We're showing an old pattern of behaviour that had evolutionary advantages back in the days when people were few in number and lived in small, isolated tribes, and people were usually better off sticking with their own kind most of the time, and those who were wary of strangers had a better chance of surviving. Unfortunately, that's one of the many behaviour patterns that are no longer advantageous, because the world is now full of people who need to get along with one another. And the old pattern is what creates fear of "the other". It creates racism, hyper-nationalism and a willingness to make war on "foreigners", "strangers", in a world where war could doom all of us. So we need to get over our fear of strangers and treat everyone we meet as a member of our own tribe. This is exactly the recipe for world peace. If we teach our children that everyone belongs to the same tribe, there will be no other tribe to hate and fight against.


And if most people feel as little inclination to make friends with strangers as I do, our race is probably doomed. Supposedly it gets easier with practice, at least for me.

Fire Haired14
23-07-14, 07:02
This is exactly the recipe for world peace. If we teach our children that everyone belongs to the same tribe, there will be no other tribe to hate and fight against.

The reason why there is unjustful fighting is much more complicated than this. I think this explains alot though, like alot of the nonsense killers in the muslim world. Pride is a big reason too. We all have self esteem, and if we are dis respected or want to be respected, it is almost impossible for us not to fall into the temptation of wrongly attaching another person(who usually retaliate) or defending ourselves over little issues which cause fights. Oftenly though not retaliating to dis respect is the worst option, and retaliating is the best thing to do because it may be the best way for the person attaching you to respect you and or learn not to do it to others. Sometimes the best move is to be the more mature than the person attaching you, and not care so much about little pride issues.

Conflicting interests is another big reason there is nonsense fighting. Culture is another one, and kind of works with the pride one.

Past discrimination, broken homes, lack of fathers, etc. are bull shit excuses for why there is so much nonsense violence, crime, and economic failure in racial minority groups in America. Culture and pride are the main reasons. Immigrants from the middle east, south Asia, and east Asia, are pretty successful in America, despite being minorities in a totally differnt culture, because they are hard workers and don't give excuses. In some nations of the world, serious crime is almost unheard of, and so it is not impossible for America to be like this. The way to stop the assholes in the inner cities of America who make life miserable for their own kind is changing the culture, not worshiping it and treating them like victims.

LeBrok
23-07-14, 08:03
The reason why there is unjustful fighting is much more complicated than this. I think this explains alot though, like alot of the nonsense killers in the muslim world. Pride is a big reason too. We all have self esteem, and if we are dis respected or want to be respected, it is almost impossible for us not to fall into the temptation of wrongly attaching another person(who usually retaliate) or defending ourselves over little issues which cause fights. Oftenly though not retaliating to dis respect is the worst option, and retaliating is the best thing to do because it may be the best way for the person attaching you to respect you and or learn not to do it to others. Sometimes the best move is to be the more mature than the person attaching you, and not care so much about little pride issues.

Conflicting interests is another big reason there is nonsense fighting. Culture is another one, and kind of works with the pride one.

Past discrimination, broken homes, lack of fathers, etc. are bull shit excuses for why there is so much nonsense violence, crime, and economic failure in racial minority groups in America. Culture and pride are the main reasons. Immigrants from the middle east, south Asia, and east Asia, are pretty successful in America, despite being minorities in a totally differnt culture, because they are hard workers and don't give excuses. In some nations of the world, serious crime is almost unheard of, and so it is not impossible for America to be like this. The way to stop the assholes in the inner cities of America who make life miserable for their own kind is changing the culture, not worshiping it and treating them like victims.
Of course there are many more reasons to kill people. I was just talking about wars between nations and ethnicities in general, and it boils down to hatred of "different" others, being divisive and not inclusive, the typical narrow tribal thinking of our Paleolithic past. Neolithic brought population growth and made our tribes huge, and we started to see unions of many tribes into one ethnicity, the first inter tribal and multi tribal entities, later the creation of first countries and first empires. Now we have to make the last step to see final unification of the whole world as one entity, the one tribe.

Maleth
23-07-14, 12:52
Now we have to make the last step to see final unification of the whole world as one entity, the one tribe.

I also believe in this, but I feel there is still a very long way to go. Technology is playing an important part to achieve this goal (easier travel, internet/TV, more food production and so on). However unfortunately we seem to be decades away for everyone on this globe having access to the basic education, work that pays enough to live a decent life, travel, food and basics comforts. When people are desperate, ignorant (as in lack of education), hungry and lack the basic needs (as they compare them to others) it will generate resent, hate and religious (tied up with politics) fervor and fanaticism. The gaps are too wide and it seems so painful to narrow them down.