A few years ago I wrote a book called “Always Talk to Strangers.” It was the first book I ever wrote. One thing I always say is that people who don’t talk to strangers never learn anything new about themselves.

Your friends know you, love you and will not challenge you as someone new will. Strangers have the most interesting messages for you.

Some of my best conversations have been with strangers. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received has been from strangers, because it’s advice that comes from someone who doesn’t know you and who can give you a totally unbiased answer.

Strangers are your number one source of finding great people to meet. So why do strangers cause such anxiety when, in reality, they are the people you need to meet and with whom you need to connect. It’s all about changing your mindset.

What is also great about strangers, if you think about it, is that their mindset is also one of wanting to meet people. So why aren’t we open to strangers?

A lot of it has to do with our upbringing. As children, our parents and teachers always told us to “never talk to strangers!” They told us not to smile at strangers, and not to make eye contact with strangers.

So much of our social conditioning happens when we are little kids. We are taught to beware of strangers. Subconsciously (and unconsciously) we learned that strangers are not good.

As adults, though, we move to new neighborhoods — places where there is nothing but total strangers. One of the first things we do when we move to a new neighborhood is wonder if there are people there who are just like us. Those “people” we are wondering about are strangers — strangers that we can actually go meet and with whom we can connect.

Every day you need to talk to strangers. You need to remember what I wrote in that book: ALWAYS talk to strangers.

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