How many have heard from their mother growing up say, “Don’t talk to strangers?” To most mothers, they felt that strangers were perverts that would harm their children. When in fact, most sexual abuse happened by someone the child knows. This blog isn’t about that though; as you can tell by this book that I’m holding.
This book tells us what we should know about the people we don’t know. It gives insight on how to talk to strangers and how to get to know them better. Some people can be hard to get to know. It’s even harder now days than it was years ago. We’re more apt to stay in our own little world than get to know strangers. We can chat with them on Facebook but in person, it’s like leave me alone.
It was easy for my mother to talked to strangers than me. She had this policy when it came to picking up hitchhikers. If they were an elderly person or saw the person as somewhat normal, she would pick them up. If she happened to have known them, then she’ll pick them up also.
One time, when Barb was younger, she picked up someone thinking that Barb knew that person, the way she was talking up a storm with. She found out that Barb didn’t know that person as well.
You would think that since I’m an extrovert like my mother, it would be easy for me to talk to strangers as well. Well I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t come that easy for me. I have to get know someone before I can let down my guard and open up. Maybe this is one of the reason, I’m single and haven’t been married at my age. It’s hard for me to become intimate with someone and open up to them. Maybe there’s something in my past that keeps me from letting my guard down.
Once I get to know someone, I’m very outgoing and talkative.
Today we are now thrown into contact all the time with people whose assumptions, perspective, and backgrounds are different from our own. Talking to strangers is about why we are so bad at the act of translation.
People can take what we say the wrong way and be offended so easily now than ever before.
If we were more thoughtful as a society-if we were willing to engage in some soul-searching about how we approach and make sense of strangers-we could come to better understanding.
Why can’t we tell when the stranger in front of us is lying to our face?
We believe that the information gathered from a personal interaction is uniquely valuable.
How is it that meeting a stranger can sometimes make us worse at making sense of that person than not meeting them?
We have people struggling with their first impressions of a stranger. We have people struggling when they have months to understand a stranger. We have people struggling when they meet with someone only once, and people struggling when they return to the stranger again and again. They struggle with assessing a stranger’s honesty, character, and intent.
We jump at the chance to judge strangers.
We tend to judge people’s honesty based on their demeanor. Well-spoken, confident people with firm handshake who are friendly and engaging are seen as believable. Nervous, shifty, stammering, uncomfortable people who give windy; convoluted explanations aren’t.
Some people needs alcohol to be able to open up to strangers they meet.
The older I get the more I preferred the cabin in the woods than a big city. Even though, I may be extroverted, I prefer to be left alone than to be around people, especially strangers. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I worked at Kmart for 12 years or that people seems to have gotten crazier. If I don’t know you or doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you, I would try to avoid you the best I can. You could see that I’m becoming more introverted than extroverted.
Are you this way? Do you just want to avoid people in person? If they’re on Facebook, that’s a whole different story. Am I becoming like the younger generation, addicted to Social Media? That way I can actually avoid face-to-face conversation with strangers and letting my guard down.
If that’s the case, how can we be a witness to someone? How we can we do the Great Commission?
The Great Commission from Matthew 28:19-20, ” Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
If you have a hard time talking to strangers, you may have a hard time obeying the Great Commission. If you feel that you cannot talk to strangers or cannot trust them enough to open up to them, maybe you should read this book and pray about it. Most importantly looks deep inside of you to find out why you have such a hard time in letting down your guard and trusting others to open up.
Believe me, I have learned things about myself from reading this book and even as I get older.
Can we be friends?