A friendly tip from Tibbons

Tibbons is honing a new trait and it’s one I envy.

Tibbons is honing a new trait and it’s one I envy: the art of going up to a stranger and making a friend of them.

As someone who has commuted regularly alongside the same handful of faces week in, week out for more than four years now, without ever uttering a word to them, I can only marvel at his ability.

If Tibbons were a commuter, then doubtless he’d be on first-name terms with all of his fellow-passengers and happy to meet them for a drink at the weekend. But it doesn’t work like that in the grown-up world, does it?

I’ve said before that I think we can learn a lot from toddlers and I think it bears repeating.

There are limits, of course, I’m not suggesting I should (or want to) approach a stranger at the swimming pool and start a game of splash with them, or to go up to someone in a café and pretend I’m a tiger (though that one might be quite fun). But when does it stop being okay to approach a stranger?

I’m sure not everyone is as buttoned up as I am, but a lot of us seem to be rather restrained with one another. And yet I love it when I have a nice chat with someone new, often after Tibbons has broken the ice.

From playing peek-a-boo with strangers on the bus and giving them his most winning smile to sharing his prized tiger toys with someone he meets out and about, Tibbons’s interactions with others remind me that the world can actually be quite a friendly place and I for one hope that he doesn’t lose his effortless charm and friendship-making abilities any time soon.