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!***