Being open and kind to strangers

by onlykindwords

Today a man I didn’t know approached me and just started asking me questions. The same thing happened to me yesterday.

I really don’t like it when strange men approach me, even in broad daylight. I find it creepy, especially when they ask me personal questions, even if the questions are fairly benign.

I live in a foreign country where English isn’t an official language, and I stand out as a foreigner, so a lot of locals ask me what I’m doing in their country.

Because I have made a commitment to speaking only kind words, I couldn’t tell these guys to bugger off.

When strange men start talking to me randomly, I usually assume that they are trying to pick me up or otherwise do something creepy. Especially when they immediately start asking me personal questions (“do you live here? Are you studying? What do you for work? How long are you going to stay here?”).

Since I had to make an effort to be nice to these men I patiently answered their questions for a couple minutes. I reminded myself that I wasn’t in a rush to be anywhere, and I could spare three minutes to exchange some kind words before politely excusing myself. The longer that I spoke to these men, the more I got the sense that they just wanted to practice their English. Even though their methods seemed strange and awkward to me, they both seemed totally harmless.

In the end, I was glad that I was nice to them. I try to remind myself that while I’m abroad I represent my country, and that kindness is always a good representation.

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