How To!

How To Talk to Strangers

A professional introvert’s guide to turning shyness into a superpower.


Episode Notes

Every other Friday, Amy’s calendar reminds her to make the rounds of her office and say “hello” to her colleagues. As an introvert, Amy deeply struggles with small talk, but as a manager of 55 people she’s been told she needs to be more approachable. In this episode of How To!, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, helps Amy learn how to use her reserved nature to her advantage. Whether you’re anxious about networking at conferences or wondering how to talk to your neighbors—from six feet away—Susan has some tips for how all of us can have better conversations. It takes practice, Susan says, so don’t be afraid to have a few opening lines in your back pocket.

What are your toughest challenges during the pandemic? And what have you found is working for you? Leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. We’re collecting your problems and solutions for our recurring Quarantine Q&A.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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