After years of ruining my good clothes with paint splashes I stopped trying to compete with the general dress codes, and use old jeans and a faded tee shirt or jogging top or old man's shirt overtop of leggings.
I notice that people are often reluctant to make eye contact with me or talk, even shopkeepers. Only after I smile and ask them how they are or mention something about the weather do they start to warm up. Or if I say I am a painter and that is why I look like this, they look relieved having assumed possibly that I am a street person at first glance. Only then we can chat a bit in a relaxed manner. I feel I give people who are not like me an opportunity to break out of their stereotypic mentality of judgmental attitudes about who is worthwhile to relate with.
When you interact with people you don’t know, who aren’t like you, you get the chance to break out of your comfort zone and change your view of reality altogether. This can spark creative ideas, give you new ideas to think about, and more.
I have had sometimes lengthy conversations with street people on occasion, with an open mind and realized how much I have learned from them afterwards.
We tend to surround ourselves with people like ourselves and we get a pretty narrow view of the world. Of course it’s always important to remember boundaries. Don’t spark up a conversation with someone who’s not interested and don’t push it if people don’t reciprocate. Be respectful and if you’re lucky, you might find someone else interested in sparking up a random little conversation s well.
Apparently there are health benefits to these kinds of interactions and if nothing else they can alleviate a bad mood in yourself or get you to stop thinking about a pressing problem for a moment, which could give you the space to actually solve it.