“Stranger Danger” Can we really trust people we don’t know?

Let’s get real for a minute–I have major stranger danger issues. If I don’t know you I definitely won’t strike up a random conversation with you, ask you to watch my things while I go somewhere, or stand uncomfortably close to you.

It’s not you stranger, it’s me, and I am okay with that. Well, at least I thought I was.

I encountered all three of these situations a couple of weekends ago and it got me thinking, can we really trust people we don’t know?

Picture this–you are sitting in a cafe drinking coffee with a friend when a stranger asks you to watch her things while she goes across the street. What is your first thought? “Really, you don’t even know me, I would never, but okay.” What do you actually say? “Sure, no problem.” Then off she goes leaving behind her laptop and luggage under the watchful eye of a stranger, and that stranger is you.

Bottom line–you know you are trustworthy and you know you would guard her stuff with your life because you said you would, but you also know that you would never ask a stranger to do the same for you…why?

Why can’t we see in others what others see in us? This woman obviously believed that I was a trustworthy person and therefore felt very comfortable leaving her belongings in my care. She chose to trust me even though I am a stranger to her.

Could you choose to do the same?

Getting over stranger danger isn’t easy. We all have past experiences that may block our ability to trust people we don’t know. Perhaps the woman I encountered is working on building trust, or maybe she desperately had to go across the street and didn’t want to take all of her stuff with her.

Sometimes we learn to trust out of necessity.

Whatever the case, I have some great tips to help you step outside your stranger danger box. Use your intuition and approach people that feel trustworthy to you. We have an internal gage for these sorts of things, so trust that feeling.

  1. Start Slow.
    You probably don’t want to expose yourself to highest level of trust with a stranger right away. You have to build up to these kinds of things. Ask someone for the time or maybe ask for an opinion or advice on a product. This is the easiest way to start working on building trust with strangers.
  2. Don’t take it personal.
    So here’s the deal. You might ask a stranger for the time and they could possibly blow you off because they have stranger danger too. They aren’t rejecting you; they are rejecting the idea of a stranger talking to them. It’s okay. They don’t have to interact with you for this to be successful. Your goal is the approach.
  3. Seriously, what is the worse thing that could happen?
    Think about it. You approach a stranger, you ask for the time, and they say, “Sorry, I don’t have the time,” and it’s over. That is probably the worse case scenario.

I can honestly say that I will be working through these tips as well.

Try it out and let me know your experiences!

Peace, Love and Wellness

Gina

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