Talking to Strangers Quotes

11 of the best book quotes from Talking to Strangers
“The issue with spies is not that there is something brilliant with them. It is that there is something wrong with us.”
“Today we are now thrown into contact all the time with people whose assumptions, perspectives, and backgrounds are different from our own. The modern world is not two brothers feuding for control of the Ottoman Empire. It is Cortés and Montezuma struggling to understanding each other through multiple layers of translators.”
“Why can’t we tell when the stranger in front of us is lying to our face?”
“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.”
“We default to truth—even when that decision carries terrible risks—because we have no choice.”
“I feel satisfied now that each of us fully understands what is in the mind of the other.”
“We think we can easily see into the hearts of others based on the flimsiest of clues. We jump at the chance to judge strangers. We would never do that to ourselves, of course. We are nuanced and complex and enigmatic. But the stranger is easy.”
“How is it that meeting a stranger can sometimes make us worse at making sense of that person than not meeting them?”
“We start by believing. And we stop believing only when our doubts and misgivings rise to the point where we can no longer explain them away.”
“The right question is: were there enough red flags to push you over the threshold of belief? If there weren’t, then by defaulting to truth you were only being human.”
“When we don’t know someone, or can’t communicate with them, or don’t have the time to understand them properly, we believe we can make sense of them through their behavior and demeanor.”
View All Quotes