It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
Because I have some pretty severe anxiety disorders, I tend to be that “Chatty Neighbor.” So, you know what they say… “Birds of a feather…” Not only that… I LOVE to meet new people. Everyone has a story to tell. I love listening. I’m intrigued as to what makes people tick. What do they think about? What’s bothering them. What’s on their mind? What makes us different? What makes us similar? I have to admit though, if you’re talking about a 3+ hour ride, this might turn out to be a bit annoying, but I’d suffer in silence. I don’t want to make someone feel bad for who they are. And maybe this chatty neighbor has anxiety issues like me. By asking him or her to be quiet, maybe I’d add to their stress. So, chat away neighbor. It gives me something to focus on, it’ll distract me. And maybe it’ll calm him or her down to have someone to listen. We all march to the beat of our own drum. Who am I to say this person is wrong, bad, annoying, etc.? There are ways of pausing the conversation (excusing myself to use the bathroom, making a quick “Oh my goodness, I forgot to tell my boyfriend something… for relief, should it be too overwhelming, so as not to hurt their feelings.
The world needs kindness. If this person needs someone to listen, I’ll gladly take the assignment. I’d rather it be me who listens than someone who might be rude and snap, hurting the chatter box. So yes, I would befriend this person and wish them well as we parted ways.