You’re an adult now, so it is OK—good even—to talk to strangers. Humans are a social species, yet some people are dispositionally more social than others; think of the introversion-extraversion dimension. Dr. John Zelenski and colleagues have found that asking people—even introverted people—to act like extraverts for a few minutes consistently boosts their moods. Although dispositional introverts often anticipate anxiety, it rarely materializes in the moment. Other researchers have taken this idea to subway cars and coffee shops, and the result is the same: connecting with others produces good moods, and better than many people anticipate beforehand. If you are still not sold on socializing, there are other ways to exercise your inner extravert via more active, novel, and adventurous activities even while alone, and this seems to work too. For links to the studies, see: