Kindness Challenge Day 6: Talk to Someone You Don’t Normally Talk To

This is Day 6 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Hello everyone! :D Welcome to Day 6 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! ;)

Share Your Results for Kindness Tasks from Days 0–5!

Have you reported your progress for your daily acts of kindness? If not, now is the time to do so!

If you haven’t been doing the daily acts, that’s fine. There’s still time to catch up! After all, it’s only Day 6 now. Start working on the tasks at a rate of two to three a day, and you should catch up in a few days or so!

Part of the challenge includes sharing your progress with the other participants. I’ve been having quite a blast reading participants’ responses and interacting with the participants in the comments section. If you have been doing the tasks, please do file in the daily task posts and share your results with the others in the comments section. It’s the interactions that make the the challenge come to live!

My Day 5 Review: Genuine Compliments

Day 5′s task was to Give a Genuine Compliment to at Least 3 People.

Kiss92 Studio

I kicked off my day yesterday bright and early in the Kiss92 studio, where I was in there for my weekly Personal Excellence segment. Yesterday’s topic was on How To Tackle Procrastination. Hope all of you guys who tuned in found it useful! :D Thanks a lot Hendro for your kind words about the segment! :D

I started my Day 5 task by delivering two genuine compliments in the most public manner possible—I complimented my two marvelous co-hosts, Maddy and Arnold (Jason was not feeling well and hence wasn’t in the studio :( ) while on air! Both of them were pleasantly surprised and I think Arnold was especially touched because he responded to my compliment with, “I don’t know what I say. I’m speechless. Thank you.” Their happy smiles and responses really made my day. :D Thanks so much for the great segment yesterday, Maddy and Arnold!

I then continued the day by delivering genuine compliments to each person I was communicating with. Each time I did that, I would ensure I was giving the compliment from an authentic place, versus giving a compliment for the sake of the task itself.

Compliment on Whatsapp

One of the compliments I issued yesterday night, via Whatsapp. Light green represents my speech bubbles. X, you know who you are! ;)

Response to my Compliment on Whatsapp

…and check out the beautiful response I got in return early next morning. :)

I ended up delivering six additional genuine compliments (on top of the two during my radio segment)—five via Whatsapp, and one via Twitter. I actually complimented many more people yesterday than just the six (as complimenting others is something I do as part of my daily routine anyway), but I wanted to include only the people whom I was making a deliberate effort to compliment as a result of Kindness Challenge. I thought that would be a truer count than simply counting instances I would normally compliment anyway as it would just be a cop-out figure in the end.

So all in all, I gave eight people genuine compliments for yesterday’s task. It felt great! :D Doing the task reinforced the merits of complimenting others, as the people I had complimented expressed positivity and they reciprocated with very kind and positive messages too. It also helped me push my comfort zone for complimenting further, in that I know that I can just drop genuine compliments out of the blue, without context at all, vs. delivering compliments reactively only when there is a situation for it.

Without further ado, let’s move to Day 6′s task!!

Day 6: Talking to People

Talk to People

Communicating. Talking. Speaking. Listening. These are things we do on a daily basis.

Yet, within our daily communication, there would always a select group of people we communicate regularly with, be it for work or social purposes, just as there would be people whom we don’t communicate with. These people can be that office geek who sits at the corner of the office, that acquaintance you met at a social party, your manager whom you only speak to for work purposes, and so on. These would be people whom we see, acknowledge their presence, but don’t spend much time talking to or get to know them better.

For some of us, these people might be people we consciously decide not to speak with, because we feel they are not relevant to our lives. While some people ignore others unconsciously, we consciously filter and cut people out based our own self-selection criteria (nothing wrong with this too, as I have shared before in How To Deal With Energy Vampires and 8 Helpful Ways To Deal With Critical People—it’s important to cut certain people away if they have come to be toxic relationships).

However, it’s well possible sometimes that there can be a budding connection waiting to blossom, just that our self-selecting behavior prevents that from happening. It’s possible that that person whom we think is boring might well be an exciting and interesting person at heart. It’s possible that the person is having a bad day and could benefit from us talking to him/her. It’s possible that this person would love for someone to talk to him/her, and that we have been elitist and anti-social in cutting him/her out of our communication.

Today, your task is to speak to these very people!

Your Task: Talk to Someone You Don’t Normally Talk To

Level 1 Task: Talk to One Person You Don’t Normally Talk To

Pick one person whom you normally would not speak to or think of speaking to!! This person can be in your social circle, work place, or even in your family. It can be a stranger, an acquaintance, an associate, or a long-lost friend whom you have lost touch with or decided not to speak to for some reason or another.

Communicate with him/her today, be it in person, online chat, Facebook, e-mail, phone call, or otherwise.

My challenge to you is to stretch out the communication as long as you can—ideally at least 15 minutes of talk time in person, or 30–40 messages if it’s chat. The objective of Kindness Challenge is to bust your boundaries, so it’s quite a cop-out if you just text someone for a message and declare yourself done.

Get to know the person! Ask how he/she is doing! Share about yourself with him/her! Know what he/she has been up to! And see if you can make plans to do something together in the near future. Now, that would truly be getting to know the person better and trying to bring the connection forward!

Level 2 Task: Talk to at Least Three People You Don’t Normally Talk To

Same as level one, but do that to at least three people! Stretch your comfort zone and see how far you can go! :D

Share Your Results!

Who did you speak to today? How many people did you eventually speak to (whom you normally would not have thought of speaking to)?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done with Day 6, proceed to Day 7: Make a Donation.

Image: Bumi

  • Desiree Garcia

    I am behind on these :(

    Well, I met a man at an event I volunteer for every year, Donor Family Gathering. It’s a place where individuals or families go for grief counseling and their loved ones who have passed away are honored for donating their organs. This man was there alone and I could instantly tell he did not want to talk with anyone. So at the end of the day we make conversation and gave him my business card to work on a fundraising project together. I called him and we spoke for almost two hours and I just let him talk. I let hi, express his emotions and it was nice being there for someone else.

  • Ngee Key

    Called up one of my very old time friend which we have not talked for many years.
    And I am surprised she is getting married… what a surprise that she received my call.
    It’s always exciting to get some updates on what your friends are doing :)

  • Michael

    I chatted with 4 new people that day. The one who surprised me most was a security guard at a venue! I was helping out at an event, and he seemed a nice person so I just said hi when I first pass by. Later we bumped into each other again and I asked him a question about the venue.

    It happens that both of us were not busy, so we started chatting. He’s actually fairly young in his early 60′s. He’s got a good attitude, in good shape and was friendly. Before I knew it, he started telling me about his days as an engineer for carrier ships and buses. How he use to take apart and refit the whole engine within a day. He also taught me the old-school ways like how one can use a hammer to hit a nut to see if the nut has a crack.

    This experience was a complete surprise to me! I never knew I can learn so much from someone by striking up a conversation! On top of me getting the learn something new, I also felt that he was really happy to share his proud achievements! Absolutely a win-win!

  • ugi

    Hi everyone!
    I chatted with a girl who sat next to me on the bus, I opened the conversation by asking about the route of bus we are in and reminding myself about the challange, I continued chatting. She was quite warm and chatty as well so we talked about the city we are living in, our daily routine and why we love this city and why we sometimes find it hard to live in it. Conversation went on till she took off, and we wished each other a good evening. Normally I would not chat a person I do not know but in this way I took the challange and benefited the nice and warm talk..

    Have a good day&night!

  • Cary

    I randomly spoke to the person who sits next to me in one of my lectures, with whom I had previously never even made eye contact. It was a short conversation because class started, but then next class he said good morning to me and we had another short chat and introduced ourselves.

    It was really neat, when I thought about how he probably never would have said a word to me if I hadn’t said something first, not because he’s rude or anything, but just because here everybody just minds their own business unless someone else invites a discussion. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the Kindness Challenge, I probably wouldn’t have said anything to him either. Looking forward to see if a friendship can come out of this! :D

  • Angela Brent-Harris

    I randomly spoke and had conversations with people at my gym, in the supermarket, in my neighborhood, and at the cinema last night. I am a people person so this comes very naturallly for me. :dance:

  • Daria

    At last I did this task!

    I talked to three people I don’t normally talk to. Two of them were old friends who live outside the country now and the third is a new acquaintance and hopefully a friend soon :)

    I tried to have a meaningful talk with a fourth person but I didn’t feel that it reached the right level. It’s ok though because I can easily re-try another time.

    It was such a nice talk with the three people, especially with my old friends. I felt closer to both of them or as if we were just as close as the good ol’ times :)

  • May

    I know this is quite late, I read the tasks on what to do each day but didn’t have time to post a blog till now

    But I talked to one of the nicest guy in my class and he turned out to be such a gentleman. It was definitely a pleasant experience. :)