Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers-2


Notes from my Journey App:

What I learned from Talking to Strangers.

Default to Truth is our natural tendency to see the good in others. It is our tendency to believe that someone is telling the truth.

Coupling is when an event occurs because of the presence of an external factor, say a place, a time, a technology, a scenario which makes an act more likely to occur, possibly a huge factor to the fulfilment of what happened.

Transparency – is the false assumption that how a person portrays himself is equal to how they are feeling inside. We are taught this fact. But more than half of the time this isn’t true.

Case studies presented in the book:

  1. Sandra Blank – Black American arrested by Brian Ensinia.
  2. Ana Montes – Double Agent for Cuba
  3. Amanda Knox – wrongfully accused of the death of her roommate because of the fallacy of transparency.
  4. Jerry Sandusky –
  5. Larry Nassar –
  6. Bernie Madoff – the fallacy of Transparency
  7. Inuit people of Papua New Guinea – also Transparency. Facial expressions aren’t universal. Which is so weird because from the People Studies I’ve read, and from what I learned about Microexpressions, our expressions are universal.

By Nature, we will “default to truth”. And that isn’t a bad thing. We evolved to default to truth in order to have a functioning society. Otherwise, we would have pure chaos, lack of trust.

It is also because of this nature that people like Sandusky, Nassar, Ana Montes and Bernie Madoff were able to perpetuate in their crimes for several years.

Coupling is understanding that there is more to the occurrence of an event than a person in and of itself. This argument was used in Sylvia Plat’s suicide. If she lived in a time when Carbon Monoxide wasn’t used in the kitchens of Europe, she may not have the chance to perform suicide.


CULDESAC. There was an article posted by my new friend Mikael Co which said Malcolm Gladwell led us to a culdesac and it cannot be farther from the truth. After reading (I will call listening to an audible reading, okay) Stranger Things, I felt even more lost and confused and a victim to our human condition of failure in communication—not all the time—but at times during situations where it is a matter of life and death. 

After reading this book, I felt uneasy, disturbed, hindi ko malaman kung saan ko ilalagay yung pwet ko, because I was trying hard to think about what value this book taught me, what tiny wisdom did it impart to help me navigate this life? Sadly, this is where Gladwell disappointed me and many of his readers. What Gladwell did was remind us of our human nature, not a solution or way to change us, but to admit that we will always be at fault. And because of that, you can skip reading this book—you are already familiar with your humanity.

Author: Jo

Hallo! I'm Jo! I write to tell stories that inspire.

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