Showing Compassion To Strangers

Many of us who have been abused in some way have learned that other people, even strangers, like talking to us.  I’ve had people in the grocery store or laundromat strike up a conversation & tell me their entire life stories.  (One lady caught me twice in two different stores about six months apart- she apparently didn’t remember me from the first time)  It’s strange to say the least, but I think it’s because some people are so desperate for some compassion, they’ll try to find it in a stranger.

 

Since many of you are also introverts like me, I know this can be uncomfortable.  You probably want to just duck into a place, do what you came to do & leave quickly with minimal human interaction.  (I even use the self-checkout lanes to eliminate interaction with one more person.)   When a person decides to chit-chat, it can be annoying, especially if you’re in a rush.

 

I have begun to think a bit differently about this “annoyance.”  I believe when this sort of thing happens, it is God putting you in a place to be a blessing to someone.  Just listening to someone talk for a little while may make their day better or lighten the burden of the problem they discussed with you.  Why not let the person talk for a while?

 

One evening recently, I saw my parents.  I wasn’t in a good mood after leaving them.  On the way home, I went by the post office to mail something out after hours yesterday using the machine in the lobby rather than dealing with people during regular business hours.  A lady came in & dropped off a package while I was at the machine.  Out of the blue, she told me about her day at work, which sounded very frustrating.  The conversation lasted maybe five minutes, but it seemed to help her mood a bit.  It also helped mine some because I had a distraction from my own situation for a few minutes.  It was a small one, but I think a blessing for both her & I.  And, as I’m writing, I also remembered to pray for her- I may not know her needs, but God does.

 

The next time you are in that somewhat awkward position of listening to a stranger, then why not just go with it for a while?  You may be helping that person more than you know.  You might even help yourself.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

6 responses to “Showing Compassion To Strangers

  1. I truly believe in this. It really does help. I remember when I was at my absolute worst, completely caged by abuse, and the ¨have a nice day¨ from a checker would bring me to tears. Sometimes it was the only nice thing I heard that month. Because of that, I try to voice the positive wherever I see it. Sometimes people don´t know what to make of it, being praised, but I still do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry you went through such abuse! But thank God not only did you get away from it, He sent you people to bless you to help you survive until you could get away! & the fact you now do the same for others? That is wonderful! ❤

      Like

  2. ibikenyc

    This used to happen to me ALL the time! I heard stuff from strangers that they probably had never admitted to anyone else in their entire lives.

    I had forgot about it, though, until I read this post. I’m sure it’s because of the thick lead walls I’ve erected around myself as shelter from all the emotional assaults.

    I, too, use the self-checkout whenever possible; LOL! I started doing it years ago mostly because I prefer to pack my own groceries, but now it’s an INFJ reflex. The lines are usually much shorter, too.

    (Also, at one supermarket I go to, if the item scans for more than the shelf price, you get it free!!!!! It’s much easier to keep track of that when I scan my own stuff. It’s amazing how often / regularly it happens.)

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    • You too?! Seems like INFJs really get this happening, from what I’ve learned in talking to people.

      The self checkout is a gift from God. lol I’ve had people tell me I shouldn’t use it, it eliminates jobs, etc. Well, sorry- I have terrible anxiety & agoraphobia. I have to do anything possible to help minimize the panic & this is one way to do that & also respect my introverted nature.

      Nice bonus at the supermarket! You’ve had a lot of items scan for that much more than the listed price??

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc

        Well, not hundreds of dollars’ worth, but maybe ten to fifteen percent of the time. I’m surprised it happens at all, actually, with everything’s being computerized.

        It doesn’t have to be a lot more, either. The policy is something like “If an item scans for more than the listed price, we will give you one of that item FREE!”

        (It’s ShopRite, by the way; don’t know if there’s one near you. I have found them to be the closest thing to Publix that we have up here, although their store-made food doesn’t hold a candle.)

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        • That seems like an awful lot especially since things are computerized like you said. Wow.

          That’s cool.. at least their mistakes work in your favor!

          Only one we have that I know of offhand is in a really out of the way location, unfortunately. Disappointing! I would give them a shot for that offer!

          Liked by 1 person

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