December 16, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MST
Talking to Strangers Conversation
A growing number of studies from Toronto to Turkey have found that when people do make an effort to talk to strangers, it usually goes far better than they anticipated. Study participants report that they are much better at it than they predict, and the strangers they speak to are generally receptive, interesting, and interested.
That said, there are many norms that discourage people from talking to strangers. We worry that we’re not allowed to do it, that we’ll be rejected, that we won’t know what to say, or that the people will dislike us. The prospect of talking to someone from another group–be it racial, gender-based, ideological–can further heighten those anxieties, especially if we don’t have regular contact with members of that group