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Browse all Get Style. Browse all Get Strong. Browse all Get Social. Browse all Get Skilled. Talking to new people can lead to making new connections and learning interesting things, and simply makes both you and the person you talk with happier. Yet many of us have a very difficult time striking up a conversation with strangers.
Why is this? My guest today has done studies to find out. Show Highlights Why are people uncomfortable talking with strangers? Why to keep giving random conversations a try, even if most are merely okay The benefits of small talk So how do you get started in this endeavor of talking with strangers?
Listen to the episode on a separate. Download this episode. Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice. Recorded on ClearCast. Learn the music that matters to you The art of talking to strangers the Yousician app. Become the musician you always wanted to be.
Visit yousician. The Great Courses Plus. Better yourself this year by learning new things. Get a free trial by visiting thegreatcoursesplus. The Jordan Harbinger Show. Episode with behavior profiler Chase Hughes is especially impactful. Talking to new people can lead to making new connections and learning interesting things and simply makes both you and the person you talk with happier, yet many of us have a very difficult time striking up conversation with strangers.
Today, we dig into common barriers to talking to new people, including the liking gap where we believe people find us less interesting than they really do. All right, Gillian Sandstrom, welcome to the show.
Sandstrom : Thanks for having me. How did that happen? And I thought, okay, is this just me or is this actually a thing? My mom too, but especially my dad. He seems to have a compulsion and he just loves it. He just loves talking to people and learning about them and it seems so easy to him. And so that was sort of an inspiration as well. Brett McKay : Research. Brett McKay : Yeah, I know. Sandstrom : Yeah, I think people are uncomfortable with a lot of different things.
And so part of it might just be sort of The art of talking to strangers speaking, people had to worry about other people and worrying are other people gonna hurt me. We also have this sort of fundamental need to belong. It really mattered if we were sort of kicked out of our group thousands of years ago.
That basically meant you were gonna die. So, you cannot … You need to belong. And so I think we still fear rejection from other people. I think the next thought is, are you a weirdo? Brett McKay : Right. Sandstrom : And, yeah. People endorse all sorts of reasons that I present to them.
So, people are worried about what they might do during a conversation. People are worried about what the other person might do. So, worried about being bored or uncomfortable or just not being understood. Might just be kind of awkward small talk, which a lot of us really hate. So, we have all these thoughts going through our head that just sort of turn it into this giant buzz of confusion.
And you also talked about in your research too that, you mentioned right there the whole stranger danger, right? Sandstrom : Yeah. I mean different cultures have different norms and even within the same culture, different places or situations have different norms, right? The art of talking to strangers, apparently everybody in Ireland talks to each other. So, yeah. That would not, yeah. Some people might not wanna do that. And are more introverted people less likely to talk to strangers? Sandstrom : Good question. I always find that one hard because extroversion is tricky.
The art of talking to strangers enjoy talking to strangers. So, am I extroverted? But I think a lot of people are afraid of talking to strangers, even some extroverts. Brett McKay : Gotcha. You sound like an ambivert? Sandstrom : I guess. That sounds about right.
Brett McKay : So, what does the research say? Sandstrom : It is not. But I stop them nevertheless and then I ask them again sort of how did it go? How interesting did your partner turn out to be? And my collaborators and I have found that this effect lasts a really long time. So, in my case with this workshop, it was a quick conversation before and after, but The art of talking to strangers also measured it in longer conversations and even with roommates getting to know each other over the course of several months. So even after several months have elapsed, people still tend to underestimate how interesting their partner thinks they are.
And this is probably because we just have a really negative voice in our head. Maybe they took that wrong. I want this to be a good time. I think everybody would benefit if they thought of it that way. Sandstrom : I think we have to get out of that negative … Get out of our own he and think about the other person and that would make things go a lot more smoothly. Brett McKay : Yeah.
Sandstrom : Yes. Brett McKay : They done that study where they made people wear dumb shirts and they … Sandstrom : Oh yeah, the spotlight effect. Brett McKay : The spotlight effect. Brett McKay : It seems like this is the spotlight effect going on a little bit. But one thing I just wanna point out is going poo … The conversation going poorly is sort of relative, right? Do you like movies? Brett McKay : I love movies.The art of talking to strangers
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Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know