“Talking to Strangers” is an examination of miscommunication and misunderstanding when it comes to how we relate with others, and it deeply dives into the consequences of this. Looking into the Penn State child abuse scandal, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, and the show “Friends” to name a few, this book is deeply thought provoking, reflective, and will challenge not only the way you view others, but the way you interact with them.
I am deeply grateful to a friend for recommending this book to me, and I would go as far as to say that this is absolutely a must read for any person over the age of fourteen.
“The conviction that we know others better than they know us—and that we may have insights about them they lack (but not vice versa)—leads us to talk when we would do well to listen and to be less patient than we ought to be when others express the conviction that they are the ones who are being misunderstood or judged unfairly. The same convictions can make us reluctant to take advice from others who cannot know our private thoughts, feelings, interpretations of events, or motives, but all too willing to give advice to others based on our views of their past behavior, without adequate attention to their thoughts, feelings, interpretations, and motives. Indeed, the biases documented here may create a barrier to the type of exchanges of information, and especially to the type of careful and respectful listening, that can go a long way to attenuating the feelings of frustration and resentment that accompany interpersonal and intergroup conflict.” - Malcolm Gladwell, “Talking to Strangers”