In theory, I’m a prime candidate for being a total loner.
I’m an introvert. I work from home and I love to read. I have strong, controversial opinions that often challenge people. And sometimes, I feel like my AirPods are an extension of my body.
Despite all this, I’ve learned to love meeting new people.
I like to assume every stranger has good intentions (until proven otherwise). I like to hear their stories, uncover commonalities, and learn from our differences.
My wife likes to tease me that I’m like our dog — I greet, compliment, or joke with complete strangers in public. (It’s also one of the things she loves most about my personality.)
And lately I’ve been thinking, why do I do this?
I’ve realized: it makes me incredibly happy to brighten other people’s days.
When I go out, I want to put a smile on someone’s face. I know how amazing it feels when someone shows me warmth or compassion, and I want to pay it forward.
In turn, this encourages people to reciprocate that kind of behavior back to me. I get to see the most generous side of people and walk away with a true appreciation for the kindness of strangers.
I believe those experiences play a CRUCIAL role in my day-to-day fulfillment.