Are you still following childhood advice, separating yourself from those who could enrich your life? This week’s coaching video will help you get over the hump of speaking with strangers.
Want to be smarter and more successful? Well then you definitely need to talk to strangers.
“Don’t talk to strangers.” Terrible advice, really. Think about how following it would play out as a long term life strategy. You stay in a small group of people you already know, limited to their experience, beliefs, and personalities. Sounds like a pretty boring, predictable party. “Don’t talk to strangers” and you can’t learn something new or get what you want, even if it’s only a question away.
When you talk to strangers, you open up your world and your mind. Instead of being “a” person or “that” person, or a member of a group, in conversation strangers become someone – a unique individual with a life, hopes, fears, and sense of humor.
The stranger – more different and interesting – the better. Not strange and wicked. We’re looking for strange and wonderful. Outside your normal scope, yet kind, respectful, and generous.
How do you find these people? That’s the great part. They’re everywhere! Instead of averting your gaze, or exuding caution and fear, be open, friendly, and curious. Make eye contact. Comment on their situation, demonstrating you can empathize and relate. Encourage someone, and see how quickly you connect. The more you talk to strangers, the less strange they may become.
Everyone’s threshold is different, and sometimes we need to shut down to protect our energy or privacy. But if you can stretch just a little, you’ll be amazed at who you meet, what you learn, and how you might think differently. So until next week, talk to strangers, at least a little more, and you’ll be Off Balance On Purpose.