Talking with strangers has its health benefits

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – From a very young age our parents warned us about stranger danger. However, a new study suggests engaging with people we don’t know as adults has its benefits. 

Researchers at Harvard Business School looked at approximately 50,000 participants from multiple databases. The goal was to assess the type of relationships and number of interactions they had with family, friends, kids and strangers each day. 

They found regular, daily interactions with a variety of people was linked to a person’s greater overall sense of happiness and positive well-being.  

“People’s time is scarce, such that increasing the number or frequency of social interactions can prove challenging,” authors write in the paper. “Our results suggest that a more relationally diverse social portfolio may offer a time-neutral means of shaping well-being.”

The study was published in the journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.