As children, we’re told by our parents not to talk to strangers. While I completely understand this sentiment when we’re children, as adults…… there has to be a point where this ‘rule’ breaks. Why? Because everyone is a stranger until they aren’t. Until you give them a chance, make a connection. Everyone is a stranger until you form a bond, create something, and go on to develop a relationship – platonic, work, romantic, or whatever – from there.
If you’re never willing to give anyone a chance, you will never meet anyone new. You’ll never make any friends or acquaintances, you’ll never find a romance or anything like that. You have to be willing to bend a little, trust people until they prove themselves not trustworthy, and take the leap into the unknown with someone who is, at the time, a stranger to you.
It’s incredible how, once you give someone that chance, the relationship can develop. My friend and I were talking about this the other day; how you can go from barely knowing anyone except in passing, to telling them all of your secrets. How you can go from speaking once to eventually reaching a comfort level where you’re willing to travel with them, stay at their house, let them into YOUR home, etc. It might take days to become a little less than strangers; it might only take hours, or it might take weeks, or months, or even years. But gradually, we find ourselves no longer strangers, but something more, and I think that’s just incredible to think about.
If you think about it, everyone begins as strangers until SOMETHING brings us together. It might be a common interest – hockey, reading, knitting, whatever. It might be a place – a chance meeting at a cafe, or a run-in in the supermarket. It might be from work, or through friends or family, or some other way. But there’s something that brings you together, that takes away the first layer of “stranger”-ness, that opens things to a whole new world of possibilities.
A year ago, I’d barely ever spoken to the person I now consider one of my very good friends. We’d spoken a handful of times via the Internet, but had never met in person. Less than a year later, we have this connection, this sense of trust and honesty and so many memories we’ve formed in this short span of time. We’ve gone from strangers to something completely different and it’s pretty amazing to think about the development of this relationship; the character development, the relationship development……. it’s amazing how people can go from being strangers to something else, and all it requires is giving it a chance.