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Summary of Talking to Strangers 

What’s inside

Take an intellectual adventure through scandal and controversial cases and start analyzing your interactions with strangers to see what kind of people they are and what they have in mind.

Key points

1

Interaction with strangers requires introspection as well as consideration of certain parameters for our own safety and theirs

The strategies we employ in our interactions with strangers are heavily flawed. As humans, we have a tendency to judge others based on standards to which we would not subject ourselves. We also rely on facial expressions to evaluate the personality or temperament of a stranger without giving due regard to context.
We must accurately determine the background of a stranger, aggressive or friendly, in order to have a successful relationship with them.
While we may not have answers to some questions within the short time of meeting a stranger, it helps to know that there is so much about them we do not know. This prevents us from jumping to conclusions.

We tend to express a default to truth and ignore all the signs that show that someone is lying to us. Until we have indisputable evidence staring back at us, we do not trust our instincts enough to act or verify what someone has said to us. What’s more interesting is that even those who are trained in the art of detecting lies e.g. policemen, CIA agents etc. are not better at detecting it than the rest of us.

Keep reading to understand context and other factors that make talking to strangers easier and more beneficial.
Because we do not know how to talk to strangers, what do we do when things go wrong with strangers? We blame the stranger. ~ Malcolm Gladwell
2

Sometimes, the best conversations between strangers allow the stranger to remain themselves

In July 2015, an unfortunate scenario played out between a young African American woman named Sandra Bland, and Brian Encinia, a 30–year–old police officer. Sandra was pulled over by Encinia as she made a right turn onto the highway that rings the Prairie View campus in Houston, Texas. She was from Chicago. Encinia was courteous — initially. He told her that she did not signal a lane change. He asked her a few questions, and she answered them. Bland then lit a cigarette, which Encinia asked her to put out. An altercation that led to her forceful removal and arrest followed her refusal to put out the cigarette. Bland committed suicide 3 days after being jailed. It is important to analyze, critique, and figure out what really happened by the side of the highway that day in rural Texas. The traffic stop incident happened in the middle of a time when several reports of African Americans dying at the hands of white police officers had become common.
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3

Throughout the majority of human history, encounters — hostile or otherwise — were rarely between strangers

4

Most times, we are convinced that we know others better than they know us and that we have insights about them that they lack

5

To many of us, information gathered from personal interaction with others is quite important

6

Over the course of evolution, humans never developed accurate skills to detect deception

7

If human beings know when they are being deceived, it would be quite useful

8

Understanding how idiosyncratic someone's emotional gestures can be is a part of getting to know them

9

Alcohol can greatly influence our ability to make decisions

10

Conflicts are a crucial part of how we form our character

11

The right way to talk to strangers is with caution and humility because they might be fragile

12

Conclusion

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You’ll learn

How to leave misjudgments behind
About reading someone’s facial expressions
How to detect when somebody’s lying
Why conflicts bring value
How to grow patience toward others

What is Talking to Strangers about?

Who should read Talking to Strangers

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