Talking to Strangers Without It Being Awkward

Imagine this scenario.

You’re on a park bench reading.

A stranger taps you on the shoulder and says:

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“How are you feeling?”

“Is you’re day going okay?”

“Been to any good restaurants lately?”

Awkward right?


There’s no context.

You secretly think:

“What does this person want?”

“Why are they talking with me?”

The stranger has no idea why you’re talking to them, so they’re Zone of Resistance (ZOR).

The ZOR is a defense mechanism that protects you against awkward encounters with strangers.

To lower the ZOR, you need to provide context.

Like this::

“I’m sorry for interrupting you. I just moved into town and was hoping I could ask you a quick question.”

That’s going to make people more comfortable because they know why you’re talking with them.

It’s the same thing with cold calling.

No context:
“Hi, John, Coach Anna. How are you doing today?”

With context:
“Hi, John. Coach Anna. We’ve never spoken before. And I know you weren’t expecting my call. I’m working with several athletes in the Boca Tri group and came across your name. Are you able to talk for a brief moment?”

The takeaway?

Context lowers the ZOR.