1. Break down what we think we know.
It’s no surprise that we make snap decisions. We see people and we get that “first impression.” According to scientists, it takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression, but how many of our first impressions end up being correct? People are so much more than the box or category we naturally put them in give them a chance to broaden your horizons and show you.
2. Elevate your mental fit game.
According to Psychology Today, we NEED human interaction. They’re calling it the “Loneliness Crisis” and it has a greater negative impact on our health than smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. Connecting with other people can result in a longer lifespan, lower anxiety and depression and help in faster disease recovery.
3. Boost your confidence.
A lot of us are a lil socially awkward and that’s ok. We fumble over our words, we get embarrassed easily, and some of us are just genuinely terrified to talk to someone - especially someone we’ve never met. But that’s the beauty of talking with a stranger… practice. Practice starting a conversation, listening, engaging and effectively ending it. Practice with someone who, chances are, you will never see again. So, if you stumble a little it’s all good you never have to see them again!
4. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
There’s a possibility that you could make a genuine connection. It could be a friendship, a romantic relationship, a business connection so leave yourself open! Every stranger you pass over is a missed opportunity for real, genuine connection.
We’re all guilty of this one crime and if we’re not careful this minor offense can turn into a full on underground operation. Here’s how it starts…
*opens app (clock or instafuck)
*little green monster inside you wakes up… and it’s hungry
*You start feeding it…
“I wish I had that body.” “Why am I not an athletic?” “I’d love to be on that beach.” “I wish I was in that relationship.” And the next thing you know, you’ve been highjacked and you’re running a Ponzi scheme of comparison. If you’re not careful you’ll end up locked into it and locked up because of it. When I say this I mean, you’ll end up continuing to compare yourself and you’ll start hating yourself because you’re not what you think you should be.
It is normal to have moments of jealousy and envy but start checking yourself. When those thoughts start popping up remind yourself of two things: One, you’re a badass mfer who’s unique and has talents and abilities you don’t even know about yet. And two, You’re only witnessing a snapshot of reality. There is no one who’s “better” than you and you’re not “better” than anyone else. It really is a level playing field of a bunch of dope people and celebrating some else in no way diminishes you and your uniqueness.
We’ve all heard the sayings, “Trust the process,” and “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” What TF does that mean?! We’re all told to set and reach goals but there’s this middle part where we spend the majority of our time that offers a plethora of information and experiences. If we over look this part we miss everything. We miss out on important lessons, new connections, growth, opportunities we weren’t expecting, redirections we didn’t plan for and all of this leads us to our final destinations. If we only stress about getting to that end game we miss the tools that we pick up that we might need to reach the next goal. The process is what prepares us and pushes us to be ready for the end goal and it’s what sets us up for the next one.
Has anyone ever asked you “who are you?” We usually reply with things like student, son or daughter, friend, entrepreneur, activist, athlete, musician, etc. But then they say the annoying, “not what are you, WHO are you?” And we’re dumbfounded. Who we are is the most difficult question to answer. Which if you think about it, we spend 100% of our time with our selves, it shouldn’t be that complicated… but it is. Figuring out who we are is a lifelong journey and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, spoiler alert, something changes. We grow, we learn, we make mistakes, we repeat. It’s a revolving door of new information that we are constantly sifting through and that’s NORMAL. It’s ok to change, or feel confused, or not have all the answers. That’s part of life and growing. Rest assured that self discovery is a challenge. Learn to enjoy the process, you’re an explorer on the quest of a lifetime!
We all talk to ourselves. We have a constant inner dialogue that if left unchecked can run us into dangerous territory or over the finish line. If you really sit and have an honest moment with yourself what are you saying to you? Are you hyping yourself up or are you tearing yourself down? Do you look at yourself and tell that sexy thaanng that shit’s looking 🔥 or do you get hung up on the things you don’t like? If you’re trying to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, you have to start with how you talk to yourself. You’ll never get your shit together if you keep telling yourself you’re a fuck up. You’ll never get in shape if you keep telling yourself you’re fat, and you’ll never have money if you keep saying you’re broke. The list goes on and on. That doesn’t mean we’re not self aware or ignoring areas that need improvement, it means that we treat ourselves with respect and allow ourselves to be human. When we speak so harshly to ourselves we stay on the hamster wheel, running as fast as we can with no real progress. Get off the wheel and start taking real steps. Step number one, repeat “I’m DOPE as fuck.” And believe it.
1. They won’t tell anyone you know.
And, just to be sure, maybe change a few details like names and dates to ensure anonymity.
2. They don’t have a pre-biased opinion about you.
They don't know you. So they don't know your history, your habits, your relationships, etc. So you can get a fresh opinion from them.
3. There is less pressure.
Sometime telling your friends or family things like our plans, our thoughts or what we feel in a specific moment can put an involuntary pressure on us. We may feel like we have to follow through or commit to something that we actually just need to talk through in the moment. Telling someone who doesn't know you maybe just the thing you need to work through a thought with out the follow up conversations.
4. You won’t stress about what they think.
You don't know this person and chances are you may never see them again, so you really don't care about what they think or feel about what you're telling them. When you remain in the same friend group or are always going to the same people to talk, we can often anticipate how they're going to think or feel about our situations or conversations and the advice they're going to give. Talking to a fresh pair of ears with our history, that stress of the "I know what's coming" is nonexistent.
5. You can say what you are really thinking and feeling.
You ever have conversation or tell a story and censor it to your audience? You know your mom is going to feel a specific way about what you're doing so you leave out a few details and maybe a few words and give half a story.. With a stranger you can tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth if that's what you want. You don't know them, so say what ya feel!
6. Talking about it freely could help you work through it.
We've all been there... "should I break off this relationship because he took the last of the coffee?" "should I quit this job to start my own thing?" "should I confront that a**hole at work?" ok maybe not allll of us BUT talking to a stranger might just be the conversation we need to work through it.
7. You could get great advice.
Because you don't know this person and they don't know you, the chances of them giving you honest, real advice are pretty good. Our friends and family are often trying to protect our feelings and, more often than not, they're just telling us what they think we want to hear not what we NEED to hear. A stranger doesn't care they'll just tell you what they think.
8. You’ll feel better getting it off your chest.
Sometimes we keep things so tight to us that we don't realize our shoulders are tense, our jaw clenched, and we forget to just take a breath. Get. it. out! Tell a stranger and then relax!
9. There are no strings attached.
Think about it like this, you just swiped right. There's no expectation but, of course there's a possibility... But generally it's just a chat, or maybe a date, and if you're both down, maybe a hook up but there are no strings attached. It's the same for talking with a stranger there's no before and no after just the moment and no one's expecting it to go further than that conversation.
10. You can walk away anytime.
If you don't like what you're hearing, you can exit the conversation at any time! "Thanks, it was nice meeting you. I have to go." and you're out! ✌️
11. They will usually listen with their undivided attention.
Often when we're talking to our inner circle, they're adding their opinion, their interrupting you to tell a different story, or their all together disengaged. If they don't know you, they'll usually give you their attention. They put their phone away. They listen and don't interrupt.
12. You could end up gaining a new friend who gets you.
You may actually make a connection! Talk to that stranger and see what happens!
Yes, there is such a thing as “stranger danger.” Don’t ignore what you learned as a child. Pay attention to your gut because there is danger within some strangers. But the truth is, not every stranger is a danger. In this digital era, believe it or not, people are starving for human to human contact. That’s right. I said it! Wherever we are, we at DOPE make it a point to randomly strike up conversations and more often than not the stories you hear are fascinating. It is amazing how much people open about their personal lives in the most random places.
At the post office I began talking to a lady whose sister was trying to make amends while on her death bed. It turns out that they haven’t spoken for years since her husband had an affair with that same sister. That conversation evolved into one of trust, loyalty, and consequence. Another time I was in a hospital waiting room. Somehow, a random conversation about the FBI led to a story about how one of the other visitors was surveilled by the FBI. It turns out he was a relative of a dangerous criminal they were investigating at the time. As the conversation evolved it became one of test and triumph and in the end a pretty unique story of success.
It’s interesting how sometimes, I’ve found, that a stranger can offer more support for your ideas and ambitions than even some of your close family or friends. My guess is, it’s because there’s no strings attached. Strangers will usually stop to listen and that is sometimes all we need. In my experience, they aren’t afraid to give you real feedback. Stranger’s aren’t competing with you, they aren’t worried about your failures, and they don’t really care about your end result. So, I’ve found they don’t try and hold you back. They too might be looking for someone to share their dreams with because they’re not supported. You might learn that the stranger is connected to an opportunity you didn’t even know you were seeking, a lesson you didn’t know you needed to learn, a friendship outside your normal clique, or NOT and that’s ok too.
In an era where there seems to be more divide, we at DOPE want to bring people together and help people see that we’re not as different as we think. And those differences that are there can be learned from. So, on Sept 16th we will be celebrating a new National Holiday, Sit With a Stranger Day. DOPE is the official founder of this new National Holiday! Now that’s DOPE!
Join us on SEPT 16th and use #sitwithastranger #swas to tell us about your experience on our DOPE A$$ DREAM WALL #bdope !!!
***Disclaimer: This is NOT to tell you to follow someone down a dark alley or insinuate that you should get inside a stranger's white windowless van. Be smart and be safe! Talk on!***
Cure? Ok, we recognize that's probably a bit of a stretch BUT it has been shown that random acts of kindness is more beneficial for the giver than the receiver. Doing something kind for someone else releases dopamine - we’ve all heard about that. It’s the chemical our brain releases and gives us that euphoric feeling. It also releases the hormone, oxytocin, which is linked to our feelings of love and intimacy and has ties to optimism and self-esteem. The key is repetition. You can’t just do one good deed and expect to feel amazing forever, just like you can’t eat one salad and have lose the extra insulation. So pass that kindness out like Oprah passes out cars! Make it a habit and see those results!