In our contemporary culture，the prospect of communicating with-or even looking at-a stranger is virtually unbearable Everyone around us seems to agree by the way they fiddle with their phones，even without a ___1___ underground It's a sad reality-our desire to avoid interacting with other human beings-because there's ___2___ to be gained from talking to the strange r standing by you.
But you wouldn't know it， ___3___ into your phone. This universal armor sends the ___4___ ："Please don't approach me." What is it that makes us feel we need to hide ___5___ our screens? One answer is fear, according to Jon Wortmann, executive mental coach We fear rejection，or that our innocent social advances will be ___6___ as"creep,"We fear we'II be ___7___ We fear we'II be disruptive Strangers are inherently ___8___ to us，so we are more likely to feel ___9___ when communicating with them compared with our friends and acquaintances To avoid this anxiety, we ___10___ to our phones."Phones become our security blanket，"Wortmann says."They are our happy glasses that protect us from what we perceive is going to be more ___11___ ." But once we rip off the bandaid，tuck our smartphones in our pockets and look up，it doesn't ___12___ so bad.
In one 2011 experiment，behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder asked commuters to do the unthinkable: Start a ___13___ . They had Chicago train commuters talk to their fellow ___14___ . "When Dr.Epley and Ms. Schroeder asked other people in the same train station to ___15___ how they would feel after talking to a stranger, the commuters thought their ___16___ would be more pleasant if they sat on their own," the New York Times summarizes. Though the participants didn't expect a positive experience, after they ___17___ with the experiment, "not a single person reported having been snubbed." ___18___ , these commutes were reportedly more enjoyable compared with those sans communication, which makes absolute sense, ___19 ___human beings thrive off of social connections. It's that ___20___ : Talking to strangers can make you feel connected.