Book Review | Talking to Strangers

I have always enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s writing (David and Goliath, Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, etc.). He mixes a lot of research and data with things that you can actually apply to daily life. Talking to Strangers was no different. As a Christ follower, my hope is to find ways to build relationships of trust and compassion with people with the ultimate goal of being able to share Christ with them. No matter how they feel about Christ, they should feel valued when I am having a conversation or other interaction with them. Once they feel valued, then you have the opportunity to engage eternal conversations.

I highlighted several things while reading and pasted those notes below…

  • Puzzle Number One: Why can’t we tell when the stranger in front of us is lying to our face? Page: 27
  • Puzzle Number Two: How is it that meeting a stranger can sometimes make us worse at making sense of that person than not meeting them?  Page: 43
  • We think we can easily see into the hearts of others based on the flimsiest of clues. We jump at the chance to judge strangers. We would never do that to ourselves, of course. We are nuanced and complex and enigmatic. But the stranger is easy. If I can convince you of one thing in this book, let it be this: Strangers are not easy. Page: 50
  • We have a default to truth: our operating assumption is that the people we are dealing with are honest. Page: 73
  • You believe someone not because you have no doubts about them. Belief is not the absence of doubt. You believe someone because you don’t have enough doubts about them. Page: 78
  • Transparency is the idea that people’s behavior and demeanor—the way they represent themselves on the outside—provides an authentic and reliable window into the way they feel on the inside. Page: 152

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