Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July 28, 2020

Thoughts on Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers

Malcolm Gladwell Talking to Strangers (Hachette: Little, Brown, and Co, 2019)
When we interact with strangers, we tend to apply preset scripts to our interactions. Each of us seems to have a large personal collection of scripts ready to play whenever we encounter an unfamiliar person or group of people. 
Upon meeting someone such as a small child, we speak and act a certain way and have a pre-packaged set of beliefs about that little person. Likewise, when we meet a senior citizen, a person of a different race, a person who appears to be similar to ourselves, or a very different person, we are prepared for that interaction with our preconceptions of who they are, what they will do, and how we should behave with them. Such preconceptions are often maligned but they can be helpful. Our preconceptions are shortcuts that smooth social interactions that might otherwise be unpredictable. We consider the person who is unable to do this as lacking in social skills. Someone who is perpetually su…