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  • Writer's pictureBethany Crystal

Collecting Stories on Your Travels

  1. Break the script.

  2. Shift your viewpoint.

  3. Look for their inner nerd. The third rule is the one I come back to most regularly in my head. That is to say, I believe everybody on this planet has something they care deeply about. Whether it's a unique story or perspective to share, an expertise in a particular area, or a fascination with a topic that never crosses your own brain space, it's my #1 objective in any conversation to get new people to that -- their "passion point." You can't get there if you keep interrupting. You won't get there if you make it an unsafe place to speak. And you'll never find that moment if you fail to genuinely listen. Sometimes good listening means keeping your mouth shut, even if you do have another story to tell. Sometimes it means holding back judgment, even if they say something that completely contradicts your own personal worldview. I challenge you: The next time you come across a person with a completely different perspective than you do, don't try to change their mind. Just try to understand why they feel that way. Lots of people travel to add new stories to their own memory books. I like to collect stories from the people I meet along the way, too. Trust me: The best ones will stick with you even more than your own.

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