I’m a typical Seattleite—polite, but in a distancy-kind-of-way. Definitely not chatty. Socially cocooned.
Whenever I read about the Seattle Freeze, I get it… I mean I really get it. But maybe we should talk to strangers.
Here are my favorite lines from Why You Should Talk to Strangers:
“There are… huge benefits to using our senses instead of our fears. The first one is that it liberates us. When you think about it, using perception instead of categories is much easier said than done. Categories are something our brains use.”
When it comes to people, it’s sort of a shortcut for learning about them.
“We see male, female, young, old, black, brown, white, stranger, friend, and we use the information in that box. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s a road to bias. And it means we’re not thinking about people as individuals.”
Also—that description she used, “civil inattention,” um, wow. And ouch.
Her line about how “a dog or baby is social conduit” is funny and true.
I especially loved the part about how “we tend to meet disclosure with disclosure, even with strangers.”
Basically, I’m thinking the Seattle Freeze could use some Kio Stark!
Maybe we should talk to strangers.
Check it out for yourself…
And here’s a shorter video produced by Atlantic about Techniques for Talking to Strangers: