12 Real Stories of Strangers Who Made a Lasting Impression on People

Curiosities
month ago

Even the briefest interactions with strangers can have a big impact on us. For better or worst, these moments with people we have no connection with make life exciting. But, every once in a while, an unusual encounter happens that people are simply unable to forget, even after years have passed.

  • Took a train to NYC by myself for the first time. I was 18. Second time to NYC, first time ever on a train. I told the kiosk lady that I’d never been on a train before and asked if she might give me a quick run down of what to do.
    Another train station employee was nearby and was very interested and amused that I was taking a train for the first time and was alone. He walked me through what to do, down to the smallest detail. No judgement, no meanness. He was just a guy with a silly disposition, delighting in a young person’s naivety breaking up the doldrums of his week.
    I aspire to be that way when people ask me for help. Thanks, Frank P. You were a peach. © Acceptable_Medicine2 / Reddit
  • When I was super overweight, I was just starting to work out somewhat regularly. Being morbidly obese at the gym is terrible — I have never felt more eyes on me before in my life.
    I was on a treadmill, grinding out some inclined walk/light jogging, and a super fit girl got on the machine next to me. She did a short warm-up, and before she got off the treadmill she turned to me and gave me a high five and told me to keep it up.
    It was so encouraging to have that support, when I was used to getting stared at by everyone else in the gym. Her small, kind gesture went a long way! © FishNchips72 / Reddit
  • The lady who told me I looked great in blue, and that it was clearly my color. To this day if I’m deciding between shirts to buy, or wear, I’ll go with blue. That compliment was about fifteen years ago at least. © T***sforN***les / Reddit
  • I was on a solo trip to Amsterdam last year, partying it up as one does. I was at a bar and a gorgeous British woman a seat or two over from me (mid-20s) grabs my arm (I’m a very gay looking man by the way) and starts going on about how good it is to see me.
    I got the hint and noticed an older guy bothering her and her friend, played along with them as their long-lost BFF until he left. We ended up spending the rest of the night bar crawling and having the best time. I’ll never forget you, B! © -dula-peep- / Reddit
  • When I was in elementary school, I fell through ice. A man who was walking his dog saw me fall and rushed to the shore. I frantically swam back to the shore, I was only about 5 meters in to the pond so it wasn’t a long way, but it took some with soaked winter clothes.
    When I reached the shore, the man pulled me up by my jacket. It would’ve been difficult to get up, as there was a steep incline. I didn’t thank him, because I was in shock, but I bet he knows I was grateful, and 20 years later I still hope I would have thanked him. © Omenaa / Reddit
  • I was driving down south with my girlfriend, we have a blowout, so I put on the donut. The donut blows out while we’re exiting the very next exit. So there we are, maybe 19 and at least a hundred miles from anyone we know at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I’m thinking on what to do next, and probably looked like there was something wrong, so this older man offered to help.
    He drives me 20 or so minutes to a junkyard to get a cheap tire. Then he puts the tires on the rim with no more than a pry bar and some soapy water. Had a compressor on his truck so he aired it up, and I put it on. And we went on our way. © fla_man / Reddit
  • Once when I was homeless I asked a lady for the time. She told me and then asked if I wanted to share her sandwich and the paper.
    She was the first person to treat me like a person, like I was worth something in years. I never got her name, but I will remember her fondly for the rest of my life. I know that she’ll never, ever know what a difference she made in my life. Just that one simple thing she did and the humanity she showed me changed my life.
    I completely turned my life around just a few days later. One person, one smile, one kindness that you may never think of again in your life can change someone else’s life beyond measure. © Just-STFU / Reddit
  • The gentleman in a business suit who handed me his umbrella in the middle of a downpour. We just were passing each other on the sidewalk, our eyes met, and he just handed over the umbrella with a «Hear ya go.» Never saw him again. © Jenmeme / Reddit
  • My son was a week old, and had to go to the doctor. I had severe early onset postpartum depression, and I hadn’t slept more than an hour at a time since his birth. I ended up locking my keys, phone, and son in the car.
    This incredibly wonderful older couple calmed me down, called for help, parked beside my car and sat with me until the tow truck came and unlocked the car. The tow driver refused payment. I will never forget those three people. © alwaysiamdead / Reddit
  • A fine young man on the bus I took to Orlando. So handsome, and we started talking as we waited for the last long leg to Orlando. We talked in line as we got on the bus, and sat next to each other the whole time, just talking and even flirting a bit. He was funny and thoughtful, but we knew we were just passing the time. Still, we talked so candidly during those last few hours that it made a real impression on me.
    We didn’t exchange numbers or anything, but we both wished each other the best as he got off the stop before mine. I don’t even remember his name and probably wouldn’t know him if I saw him, but I remember the feeling of talking with him and, weirdly enough, even miss him. Hope he’s alright. © bastabastacosi / Reddit
  • I’m a small lady and was at a thrift shop once and a homeless man was following me and was asking to touch my hair. A stranger man came out of nowhere and said, «Ready babe? Let’s go check out.» He walked me to the door and we went our separate ways. Real hero right there. © plasmin / Reddit
  • I skidded out on black ice like 15 years ago, my car spun several times and then slammed into a guardrail/snowbank facing traffic in the opposite way. A man who was walking to the train ran over, pushed me out of the snow embankment and then pushed my car into a parking lot. He got me out of the car and made sure I didn’t have a horrible concussion and waited for me to call my dad.
    I lived close so he listened to me confirm my dad was like 3 minutes away and then took off running to catch his train. There was so much black ice and cars were sliding all over. He very easily could’ve saved my life. I wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a line-up today, but I will never ever forget his kindness. © shastamama / Reddit

Occasionally, life presents us with perplexing situations that defy explanation, and even lead some to question their beliefs. Seeking answers, many share their shocking stories on social media.

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