Mini-Fasting Guide
Current Post:

Making Connections…Who’s Sitting Next to You?

Simply saying “hi” to someone on a plane or at a conference can be life-changing. Today, I’ll talk about how you can “create happy” in your life by making connections and turning strangers into friends.

← Return to Personal Growth page Related Resources:


I know that being slim is at the top of your wish list, and it’s a big deal for me…

One of the first things I tell my patients is to eliminate dairy foods from their diets. And I won’t…

No doubt about it—summer can be cruel to your skin. You’re probably defending yourself already, with floppy hats and sunscreen.…

Is someone you love suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? If so, you know how devastating this tragic disease is—not only for…

Remember the last time you had hours to relax, read a novel, go for a swim, get your nails done,…

Every time I walk into a gym, I’m always shocked to see just how crowded the treadmills and ellipticals are.…

I’m all about being healthy, but hey… I also believe in living it up a little! So if you run…

When you stagger out of bed in the morning, does that first cup of coffee bring you back to life?…

When it comes to organs, your heart gets all the love. Heck, we even exchange heart-shaped cards on Valentine’s Day.…

Making Connections…Who’s Sitting Next to You?

Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

People tell me all the time that it’s hard to make connections. When I hear this, I always ask: When’s the last time you talked to a stranger?

One thing I’ve learned from experience is that the person sitting next to you on a plane or at a conference, or waiting alongside you in a ticket line, just might change your life. Maybe that person will wind up offering you a job, help you get your kid into a good college, connect you with a publisher, or even become your best friend. But you know what? You’ll never find out, unless you’re willing to take a chance and say “hello.” So as part of my “Create Happy” Month, I’m challenging you to try turning a stranger into an ally who’ll make your life happier.

The next time you find yourself next to a stranger, here’s what I want you to do:

Make the first move. Simply say “hi”—it’s not that hard!

Add a conversation starter. For instance, if you’re heading for Los Angeles, you can ask, “Do you live in L.A., or are you just visiting?”
Don’t be too pushy. Some people simply aren’t interested in striking up a conversation. If you make one or two attempts and the other person doesn’t respond (or pointedly buries his or her nose in a book) then give up gracefully.

Center your conversation around the other person—not yourself. It’s tempting to tell another person all about yourself—your job, your family, your accomplishments. But your best strategy is not to be interesting, but to be interested. So focus your attention on the other person, and really listen to what he or she is saying.

Be helpful. If you discover that the other person has a need you can fill, be generous with your assistance. For instance, I’ve been able to refer several airplane seatmates to doctors who could help them heal their medical problems.

If you strike it off, leave your contact information. Offer a business card, or jot down your name, phone number, and email address.

I’ll tell you up front that making acquaintances this way is like fishing: You need to throw your line in lots of times before you get a hit! Typically, you’ll just make small talk with another person and then part ways. But every so often, you can form a real bond in the course of a plane flight or a conference—and that bond can make your life, and the other person’s, richer. 

So just say “hi,” and see what happens. You’ll never know until you try!

Keep Thinking Big & Living Bold!

Dr Kellyann

Click here to subscribe