Just say hello. Why is it really ‘good to talk’ | Tracey Smith
I never stop talking. I was brought up to be a confident and talkative person and was often in the midst of a company of adults with my parents involved in local opera companies.
I love meeting new people and saying ‘hello’ to passers-by, patients or staff at work or anyone who will listen.
Social interaction is fantastic and good for the soul. I couldn’t live in a better place than Burnley because I think we northerners are the friendliest people in the country.
However, sometimes I have the feeling that we have lost the art of conversation. When did we all stop talking? Do we blame the busy supermarkets and cash machines rather than your little local store where we would stop and chat? Busy lives? Mobile phones? Do you feel in danger?
I love seeing strangers strike up a conversation. You can see the smile on people’s faces as they walk away. I often wonder when was the last time this person spoke to someone? Days? Weeks? Some people are lonely regardless of their age.
I totally understand that some people are private and want to be left alone, but I can guess chatting at the bus stop, in the store or in a cafe would make a day.
Just say hello! It’s that simple.
I love the saying “Smile and the whole world smiles with you”. It is very true!! Give it a try! Smile at someone and I bet they smile back. Maybe they continue to smile at three other people and make someone else’s day and so on. Pay it up front.
The definition of Pay it forward: to repay a kindness received with a good deed to someone else. The positive side of this little action is how good it makes you feel.
In May 2019, I set up a small program called the Nattershack in Burnley, Pendle and the surrounding areas. Before the pandemic, the program had reached Morecambe, Lancaster and Northumberland. I put this in place to allow people of all ages to get together once a week at a local cafe or bar to sit and chat over a cup of tea and cake.
These meetings proved to be very fruitful, and it was nice to see friendships forming and long lost friendships rekindled. The motto is “Come and sit down, see who you meet”.
These friendships have been a lifeline during Covid as some have kept in touch via Zoom or WhatsApp.
It’s a safe and easy way for our lovely community to chat. I have met the most amazing people across the Nattershack, whether they are the room owners or the attendees. I have a feeling that once we’re cleared out again, we’ll all be ready to go out and meet new people.
If you see me going your way, have no fear, I just want to say hello to you. I hope I have inspired you to do the same.