I should preface this by saying I rarely talk to strangers and I try to keep spoken exchanges with friends and family to a minimum. But I’m willing to learn from The Atlantic’s Joe Keohane who describes the upside of verbal interactions with unknown others, and explains why many of us still avoid them. “If talking with strangers is so pleasant—and so good for us—why don’t people do it more often? That’s a big question, informed by issues of race, class and gender, culture, population density, and decades of (sometimes valid) ‘stranger danger’ messaging. But the core answer seems to be twofold: We don’t expect strangers to like us, and we don’t expect to like them either.” The Surprising Benefits of Talking to Strangers. (So far the only benefits I’ve seen from talking to strangers is that it embarrasses the hell out of my kids.)