(Safely) Making Small Talk Has Unexpected but Important Benefits

During the pandemic, many people miss the short interactions with strangers and friends, such as pleasant conversations with bus drivers, salespeople, other commuters, neighbors, teachers, and other parents. According to research, these connections contribute to a positive mood, life satisfaction, and a stronger sense of belonging.

Even during a health crisis, what can we do? Try these five strategies recommended by psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic to improve your day and others’:

 

1.Engage a store employee in conversation. Discover how they are coping with the pandemic. Make sure to commend them if they do something well, and congratulate them on their continued health.

 

2.Find out how you can help your neighbor. Altruism and kindness are proven to lower depression levels and increase happiness, according to studies.

 

3.Discuss how the staff’s jobs have changed at your dentist or doctor’s office. Share your empathy for front-line employees.

 

4.Be sure to give your co-workers space to vent about their difficulties and pleasures if you’re an essential employee. We sometimes forget that other people might be hurting as much as we are.

 

5.It has been shown that most people will be nice to us in return, however, not everyone will reciprocate. In any case, at least you tried.