Just Say Hello. Why it really is 'good to talk'| Tracey Smith

You may not know this, but I can talk for England! I even talk in my sleep.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Tracey Smith is a firm believer that social interaction and talking is good for the soul

I never stop talking. I was brought up to be a confident, chatty person and was often in the midst of adult company with my parents being involved in the local operatic societies.

I love meeting new people and saying 'hello' to passersby, patients or staff at work or anyone that will listen.

Social interaction is fantastic and good for the soul. I could not live in a better place than Burnley as I think us northerners are the friendliest people in the country.It is amazing how interesting some people are once you get chatting to them.

However, I do feel sometimes that we have lost the art of conversation. When did we all stop talking? Do we blame busy supermarkets and self checkouts rather than your little local shop where we would stop and chat? Busy lives? Mobile phones? Feeling unsafe?

I love to see total strangers spark up a conversation. You can see the smile on people’s faces as they walk away. I often wonder when was the last time that person actually spoke to someone? Days? Weeks? Some people are lonely no matter what their age is.

I totally understand some people are private and want to be left alone, but I can guess that having a chat at the bus stop, in the shop or in a café would make a person’s day.

Just say hello! It really is that simple.

I love the saying 'Smile and the whole world smiles with you.' This is very true!! Try it! Smile at someone and I bet they smile back. Perhaps they go on to smile at three other people and make someone else's day and on it goes. Pay it forward.

The definition of Pay it forward: to repay a kindness received with a good deed to someone else. The plus side to this small action is how good it makes you feel.

In May, 2019, I set up a little scheme called the Nattershack in Burnley, Pendle and surrounding areas. Prior to the pandemic the scheme had reached as far as Morecambe, Lancaster and Northumberland. I set this up to enable people of all ages to come together once a week in a local café or bar to sit and chat over a cuppa and cake.

These meet ups proved to be really successful, and it was lovely to see friendships being formed and long lost friendships rekindled. The motto is “Come Take a Seat, See Who you Meet.”

These friendships have been a life-line during covid as some have stayed in touch via Zoom or WhatsApp.

It is a safe and easy way for our lovely community to get chatting. I have met the most fantastic people through the Nattershack, whether it is the venue owners or the attendees. I have a feeling, once we are allowed out again, we will all be ready for getting out there to meet new people.

If you see me heading your way, don’t be afraid, I just want to say hello. I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same.

Happy chatting.