Proving the old adage that to give is to receive, it turns out that greeting strangers with a simple ‘Good morning’ and chatting to those we don’t know can boost our own happiness.
Following a study of 60,000 people, including 40,000 Britons, researchers said: ‘Momentary interactions, greeting and thanking, can increase wellbeing.’ They suggest it works by increasing a sense of belonging.
The team analysed data from two groups who had been asked about their interactions with people they didn’t know.
A study of 60,000 people, including 40,000 Britons, showed that those who had more conversations with strangers enjoyed greater life satisfaction
The results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, showed that those who had more conversations with strangers enjoyed greater life satisfaction.
Study leader Dr Esra Ascigil, of Sabanci University in Turkey, said: ‘Having a sense of belonging involves feeling like you are accepted and valued by other people – it is often considered a fundamental human need.’
Kate Jopling, an adviser to the Campaign To End Loneliness, said: ‘These things help to make us feel like we belong. They cost so little, but are worth a lot.’