How making an effort to get to know a stranger can help you find your muse
While talking to stranger when you were little was a bad idea, now that you are grown up, getting to know someone new can help you find creative inspiration. Not getting out of your close knit circle and meeting new people can stifle creative growth. Sometimes strangers have the inspiration you need to finally find your muse.
Talking to Strangers
When we are kids, we are encouraged to never talk to strangers or to take candy from them lest we be thrown into a windowless van and never heard from again. While this is great advice to give to a seven year old, many of us then end up taking this distrust with us into adulthood. We wind up refusing to get to know anybody outside of our close knit circle of friends and family, sometimes not even knowing who our next door neighbors are. This type of mindset may keep us safe from the creepy guys driving around in windowless vans, but it is also extremely detrimental to our creative growth.
If you never let yourself open up to someone new, and allow other to share their lives with you, your opportunities for creative inspiration can become severely limited. Sometimes having a conversation with a complete stranger on a plane, train or bus whom you will probably never see again, will open up new insights that you could never experience in the everyday discourse with someone you are close to. You might find yourself really opening up, letting out things that you keep bottled up. You may also learn new things from this stranger’s story, opening up new avenues of creative insight that you may have never stumbled upon if had not opened your mouth and said “hello”.
Let the creative juices flow…
This brings to mind of my favorite SNL skits in which two guys with shy bladders are standing next to each other at urinals in a public restroom. After a few moments of standing there with nothing happening, one guy decides to introduce himself to the other guy explaining that he has trouble going in front of strangers. The other guy admits to the same problem and they both start talking and getting to know each other, soon enough, their shy bladders then turn bold and the waterworks start up to ensuing hilarity that SNL was once famous for.
Our muse can be a lot like the shy bladder, refusing to flow when we are in the company of strangers. Do me a favor, next time you find yourself spending some time next to a complete stranger, do your best not to come across as some creepy guy who owns a candy filled windowless van and try to engage a conversation with them. You might find yourself being put off by a person who still listens to their scared inner child, but many times, you might yourself inspired.