Quotes from Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Posted on 2/1/2020, 4:34:26 AM

“To assume the best about another is the trait that has created modern society. Those occasions when our trusting nature gets violated are tragic. But the alternative - to abandon trust as a defense against predation and deception - is worse.”

― Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know



“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: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know


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