How to Talk to Strangers


Kio Stark enjoys interacting with people she doesn’t know. Not in an “anonymous acts of kindness” sort of way, but in an adventurous way. Author of the book, “When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You,” Stark has always been fascinated and enamored by the experience of interacting with strangers. Most people don’t give these encounters a second thought, but Stark encourages people to take notice of how special they can be. If we reframe them as learning experiences and things to cherish, they become very meaningful and even worth going out of our way to try to have. With mindfulness and reflection, one can discover empathy, moments of connectedness, joy, self-knowledge, humility, or more. In this excerpt from her book, Stark suggests five “expeditions” to take on a quest for an encounter with a stranger, sure to yield unpredictable yet rewarding results.

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