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Chapter 46 - Talking to Strangers

I know this may be hard to believe if you've seen me in the store working with customers or in front of a group of people giving a talk but...I am an introvert. Yes it is true, one on one or even speaking in front of a group I am comfortable. But, get me into a party where I don't know anyone and I am tongue tied and miserable. Make it a party where everyone knows everyone else but me and I am catatonic.

I don't go out of my way to talk to strangers nor do I have mass quantities of friends on Facebook or otherwise. Instead my friend list consists of a small group of well chosen persons with whom I interact on a regular basis. Unlike others in my family, I cannot work a room!

I read a lot of books about personalities, tendencies, and why we are the way we are, as well as books about how to live better. Some I have found useful, some not so much, but many of them help me understand the world and the people in it and identify what I want from my life. For that, I am grateful.

Here are a few of the best I have read which help me realize there are more people out there like me than I originally might have thought.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell - This is a mouthful of a title for a small yet powerful book! In Gladwell's most recent book he details how something is wrong in the way we use tools and strategies to figure out people we don't know. This has a profound effect on our lives and world. He also makes suggestions on how we can understand people better.

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin - I first met Rubin in her book, The Happiness Project, and have been a fan since then. In her observation there are four tendencies in how people react to internal and external expectations. Using a short quiz she helps the reader identify their own tendencies and to be able to understand tendencies in others.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - Statistics show that at least one-third of the people we know are introverts yet they are easily dismissed by those who aren't. Cain tracks the rise of the extrovert ideal through the 20th century and examines just what is missed by ignoring the quieter ones among us.

Reading People: How Seeing The World Through The Lens Of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel - Anne Bogel has put together a lot of information about personalities in this small book and gives an overview of various personality frameworks to help us understand one another. Her book serves as a primer to encourage further reading and research.

Die With Zero: Getting All You Can From Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins - I'll be up front here, I was sent this book to review. At this point in my life, however, it was a very well-timed present. Perkins believes that instead of dying rich, we should attempt to live rich and cautions against over-saving and under-living. While some of his advice goes against what we have been taught by our parents and society, he does make sense in encouraging the reader to evaluate the experience against the delay.

Are there any books about understanding people or living better that you'd recommend? Please let me know.


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