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Are you a stranger-aphobe?

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 15 June 2016

We're all so busy and scared of how weird people can be, confrontation, language barriers or squeezing anyone else into our busy lives. Not to mention how easy it is to just converse on Facebook, browse Twitter, Instagram and whatever on Snapchat (Whatsapp, et al). Or catch up with your emails, do another level on whatever annoying game you're addicted to now, text, read your kindle. Blah blah blah.

Are you a stranger-aphobe?

We're also lazy and I'm guilty of this too at times. How do we keep up otherwise? I get that. But when it gets to a stage that you don't even know your neighbours' name, aren't we going in the wrong direction? In city centres I get it a bit more, but there's opportunities in any situation to stray from your comfort bubble.

Try this Quick Fire Test:

- Do you know the name of 10 or more people on your street?

- On a sunny morning, do you say hello to random strangers?

- Do you make sure the *parent (can't say mum, it may be deemed sexist) with a pram can definitely make it up/down the steps at the station before you go on your way?

- Would you recognise the person who runs your local shop, if they weren't in it?

- Have you ever asked your neighbour for a cup of sugar, just for an excuse to say hello?


More than 5 yes's mean you are struggling with maths.
4-5 means you're quite a social butterfly.
2-3, well you like to make a token effort.
1 or less, I suspect you may be a stranger-aphobe.





Being friendly can be quite 'uplifting', so give it a go. Obviously stay clear of the weirdos. Tip - If you're not sure if they are a tad potty and a potential stalker, then maybe just try the next person.

I read somewhere that taking 5 seconds to compliment a complete stranger can not only make their day and boost their mood, but it won't make you feel too shabby either. We all like a quick boost right?

I'm obviously a talker, that's why I like being on the radio, but challenge yourself. You never know, you might enjoy it.

My apologies if you don't, but kudos for trying.