“I hate talking to strangers – why would I want to?”

Most of us grow up with an inbuilt negativity towards speaking to strangers. During your formative years, your parents may have warned you to stay away from strangers, for instance. Maybe those messages still affect how you feel and act in certain situations today.

I remember a number of years ago talking with a friend about this exact thing. He told me that to go and sit in a coffee shop on his own, surrounded by people he didn't know was one of the worst situations he could imagine. Going to a pub or bar where he didn't know anyone, on the other hand, was not an issue at all. His beliefs told him that a coffee shop is somewhere people go to meet with friends whereas a bar is where conversation ...

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