A heart-to-heart conversation with a stranger helps people relieve stress, feel less lonely and happier, a new study has shown.
Psychologists conducted a series of experiments involving more than 1.8 thousand people. They were asked to have both superficial and serious conversations with strangers. The participants expected that they would feel awkward during a confidential conversation on a serious topic, and the benefits of such conversations would be small, but they were mistaken.
As it turned out, strangers were attentive listeners, interested in the problems of the interlocutor and showed empathy.
Scientists remind that people have a deeply social nature — it is important for them to build and maintain social ties for peace of mind and happiness. At the same time, they usually choose relatives and relatives for sincere conversations, believing that strangers will not be able to share their feelings and will be indifferent. They “underestimate the social nature of others,” the study authors say.
Now scientists intend to find out whether this effect works the same way in different cultures.
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