It's easier to connect with friends than it is to connect with strangers for most people. However, there could be a benefit to opening yourself up to connecting with a broader circle of people. People we view as part of our inner circle are what scientists call our "in group". When someone is in our "in group", we perceive them differently and generally treat them better than people we think of as outside of our circle. This bias is completely unconscious, but we can learn to widen our circle to extend greater compassion to people we don't know - and in return, strengthen our feeling of connection with others.
In this practice, we work on extending the same level of compassion to strangers as we do our dearest friends in order to help foster connection. Listen to this practice tip from Cortland Dahl.