When was the last time you had a real-life conversation?

I don’t mean a Zoom call – or even a phone call.

And definitely not an email exchange or a chat on social media…

I mean a real conversation with an actual person, where you’re both in the same place, at the same time, talking to each other.

That sounds very retro, doesn’t it – especially after the last 18 months or so!

The thing is, I think we’ve all struggled throughout the pandemic.

Human beings are social creatures and we need that real human interaction with each other.

Emails, video calls and social media have been great when we’ve not been able to be near each other – but they are a poor imitation of genuine human connection.

I know a lot of people say they can’t stand small talk – but small talk is actually vital for us to figure out our common interests with each other.

Here in the UK, we inevitably start to chat about the weather, but that can soon lead on to much more.

They may have a dog the same breed as yours. They may be training for a sponsored event.

Or they may simply be lonely and only too pleased to have a natter with someone to help cheer them up.

It’s easy to dismiss these sorts of conversations as pointless or a waste of our time – but without the surface level chat, we never get to the deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Leave the technology and let some real conversations blossom…

Finding that sense of connection with a fellow human can work wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Even just sharing a smile with a stranger or starting a conversation with the cashier in your local supermarket can make a difference to both of your days.

I hereby challenge you to try your hand at sparking a conversation with a stranger this week.

Perhaps someone sitting alone in the coffee shop or the person serving you in the supermarket.

A great way to start is to give them a compliment or ask their opinion on something.

People love to be asked their opinion almost as much as we love to be complimented so it’s a surefire way of ensuring a positive response.I’d love to know what your conversation starter is…