I had an interesting insight this morning about something that facilitates interpersonal curiosity. As I came downstairs in my apartment building to take my trash to bins, I saw a woman walking in front of me. When she heard my footsteps she turned around and frowned at me, then turned back and carried on. I closed down a little when I saw that frown. I didn’t recognize her, and I wondered what she was doing in my building in a rather territorial fashion.
Now, to get to the bins I need to go through four doors. This woman got to the first door several yards ahead of me, opened it, and then held it for me with a smile. I felt myself relax and give her a smile and “thank you” in return. A completely different feeling, much more open.
It occurred to me that if I want other people to engage with me in the spirit of interpersonal curiosity I may be able to help the process along with a small act of kindness and a smile.