Talking to Strangers

A few weekends ago, I was tasked with approaching some strangers in a mall to get some answers for a survey. While it may seem like nothing to most people, I didn’t find it very easy to do. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone and had my colleague’s help to carry it out. While I had to work up the nerve the approach strangers to ask them the questions, she went in like a pro, approaching crowds left and right with no hesitation. It was interesting watching the immense skill gap between the both of us.
I’m not physically incapable of talking to strangers, but I’m the kind of guy who dislikes being approached by strangers in public. Be it to sell me shit, talk about religion or beg for donations – I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve thought to myself, “I’m glad they came to me!” whenever it happens. For me to put myself in those shoes was immensely difficult.
I’ve had jobs approaching strangers before – but that was as a promoter in a supermarket. Having a product to push and being in a controlled environment made it much easier. It also helped that people would be curious about the stand I was in front of. All I had with me in the mall was a notebook, pen and company name tag.
Anyway, not much to say about that experience except that it was eye-opening for me. I guess we’re all proficient at different things in life, and I’m the kind of guy who’s more comfortable behind the scenes instead of out talking to people on the streets. But it’s a skill I’ll pick up one day, as it’s more beneficial to have than not.

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