Day 17 Talk to 3 Strangers Ever since many of us were little kids, we were told to never talk to strangers. While this was done out of a concern for our safety, many men have carried this mantra over into adulthood. In the United States, we’ve even mythologized the idea of the strong, silent man that keeps to himself. The reality, though, is that history’s greatest men were some of its most social. They were comfortable with anyone, in any situation, and understood the importance of reaching out to others and expanding their circle of influence. We are more and more isolated these days. We live in a neighborhood for decades and never get to know our neighbors. We sit in a pew at church for years and still know absolutely nothing about the people sitting in front of us. We don’t know the guys at work who are in a different department than we are, even though they’re just a few floors up or down. This lack of social trust is not only bad for our communities, it’s bad for ourselves as well. So today we’re going to throw off our inner Jeffrey Dahmer and start up a conversation with people we don’t know…yet. Why Talk to Strangers 1. Make new friends. We’ve previously discussed the importance of male friendships. Men who have more friends tend to be happier and live longer than men who don’t have any good buddies. Many men, myself included, find making new friends to be a difficult task. But there are potential friends all around us if we would just get out of our comfort zone and start talking to some strangers. The dude who comes into the gym at the same time as you every day? Potential workout partner. The guy who has an office down the hall from you?
30 Days to a better man A golf buddy. All it takes to make a potentially lasting connection is for us to open our mouth. 2. Meet a potential mate. A man’s fear of talking to strangers can potentially prevent him from finding the love of his life. If you’ve been lamenting the fact that you can’t find any good women, then you’re not looking hard enough. Look around you. The woman in the produce aisle squeezing cantaloupes could be your future wife. That girl sitting next to you in Economics 101 could be your soulmate. There are women everywhere. You just need to go out there and meet them. No need to use creepy pickup lines, just be friendly and approachable, and you’re bound to meet someone with whom you’ll feel some sparks. I’m living proof of this benefit of talking to strangers. Because I was able to man up and strike up a conversation with a stranger, I met my wonderful and beautiful wife Kate. 3. Expand your business network. You can’t network like a man if the only people you ever talk to are your mom and your cat, Mr. Peepers. While the prospect of talking to someone you don’t know from Adam might seem daunting, getting over this fear can be the difference between staying in a dead-end 9-5 job or landing your dream gig. If you can get in the habit of talking to strangers on a daily basis, you’ll be surprised where you might meet someone who can help you advance your career. 4. Increase your social skills. If you wish to go far in life, you need to hone your social skills. This doesn’t mean you have to be the man that works the room like an insurance salesman. You’ll probably just annoy people if you do that. But let’s face it, most success in life, whether it’s in business or love, depends on our ability to interact with other people. Just like any other skill, our ability to interact with others improves the more we practice. Talking with strangers on a daily basis, provides you ample opportunity to fine tune and hone your social skills. 104