Most of us have some reticence about chatting up the person next to us on the bus, or sharing something meaningful about ourselves with someone we don't know very well. But according to Chicago Booth's Nicholas Epley, that kind of social interaction tends to be less awkward and more enjoyable—both for the person initiating the exchange and the person on the other side of it—than most people expect it will be. And overcoming the barriers to social interaction could make you a significantly happier, and healthier, person.

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