top of page

About Talk to a Stranger Week

Talk To A Stranger Week is a campaign intended to educate, empower, and catalyze Canadians about the many benefits of Talking To Strangers. For decades we have told Canadians and people around the world not to talk to strangers, when the research suggests that it may be a valuable way to increase happiness, feel a greater sense of belonging, build trust and create safer communities.

Why are you launching Talk to a Stranger Week in Canada?

As we exit the global pandemic and enter a world where many of our daily routines and rituals have been disrupted, like going to an office or seeing people out and about at activities, it is important for us to recognize the many opportunities that are around us to build connections and a sense of belonging each and every day. 

Researchers who have been studying the benefits of speaking to strangers have long recognized that there can be benefits to both parties when we strike up a conversation with a stranger.

 

Benefits can include. 

  1. Increased happiness

  2. A strengthened sense of belonging

  3. Increased mental sharpness

  4. Decreased sense of loneliness and isolation

  5. Improved trust

  6. Improved empathy

  7. Greater optimism

  8. Improved mood

Why are you doing this for a week instead of just a single day?

Many people are fearful of speaking to strangers, for many different reasons, fear of rejection or not knowing how to engage in a conversation, being a couple of examples.

Research from Dr. Gillian Sandstrom, suggests that when people create a habit of speaking to others for a week, they are less worried about rejection and are more confident in their ability to carry on a conversation with a stranger.

We wanted to give Canadians an excuse and permission to give it a try and see just how much fun it could be for them and for the people they connect with. Who knows, a stranger today may be a friend tomorrow, a regular chat each day on the way to work, someone to learn from or someone who could support you on a bad day.

Who is behind Talk to a Stranger Week?

The GenWell Project, the Canadian Human Connection Movement, has been working to educate, empower, and catalyze Canadians around the importance of human connection for their health, happiness, longevity, and the betterment of society since 2016.

 

You can find out more about the work they do at www.GenWellProject.org.

Why is Talk to a Stranger Week happening at this time of the year?

Talk To A Stranger Week happens Nov 18-24, 2024; this time of the year makes sesne for several reasons. 

  • The holiday season is a time when many will be out and about, providing more opportunities for people to connect, whether at a store, on the street, in a parking lot, on transportation, or doing an activity. 

  • Many are still recovering from the global pandemic, and providing people with knowledge and understanding about the many benefits that can come from speaking to strangers may inspire some more to give it a try for the first time or do it a little more often. 

  • Creating an occasion that gives Canadians an excuse and permission to Talk To A Stranger, may connect Canadians with new ideas, new cultures, laughter, passions and more. 

  • Building connection and a sense of belonging before we head into the darker, colder days of winter, can provide the supportive relationships that help us through the winter season. 

  • Raising the collective consciousness at any time during the year, about the importance of human connection for our own health and for the health of others, is a great reminder to all Canadians to take action by connecting with strangers or anyone that might benefit from your outreach.

  • By launching Talk to A Stranger Week, we give all Canadians the excuse and permission to speak to strangers this week and every day of the year.

Some Quotes to Consider:

Victor-Hugo.png

Victor Hugo

"Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers."
bottom of page