Unless you tend to be more of a “homebody”, you are frequently in groups of people. They are in the grocery lines, at the athletic events, at church, in your professional organizations and clubs, etc. What if you saw these times that you “rub shoulders” with these folks (strangers and acquaintances) as opportunities to develop deeper relationships or to make someone’s day a little cheerier–instead of people to ignore or look-through.
Yes, I know it’s a little risky, especially if you are an introvert and prefer to mind your own business. But, just like the Chinese symbol for crisis means both danger AND opportunity, leaving your comfort zone and striking up a new conversation can be a tad scary but more likely invigorating to you and them. Your circle of influence is on the verge of expanding.
So, might I suggest an action item? Simply go into your day and make an encouraging comment or joke or friendly gesture to someone in every “forum” you enter. Watch the response, and go with it. Find a way to leave them in a better state than you greeted them. Make their day! And if you get the courage and have the time, expand the conversation or even ask out for coffee an acquaintance that you run into often (and would like to get to know better). You can do it!