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I Want To Talk to a Stranger...

Thank you!

Hey, thank you for your intention to be part of the Talk To Strangers campaign and try talking to strangers. We believe that your actions will have a positive impact on you and the people that you connect with, but we can’t wait to hear about your experience. Check out some the FAQs below for some insight on talking to strangers.

Who benefits the most from Talk to a Stranger Week?

Really, we all do. 

It might be the person who is struggling due to divorce, financial pressure, illness, death of a loved one or the strained relationships of the pandemic and recognizes the importance of staying connected to combat feelings of social isolation, disconnection and loneliness and reaches out. 

It might be the person who becomes aware of the importance of their daily greetings to the people they walk by every day and begins to offer greetings as part of their daily connection to purpose in their lives.

Maybe it is the person who finds themself socially anxious, introverted, or shy on the other side of the global pandemic and leverages talking to strangers as a great starting point to start reconnecting with others. 

Whoever you are, wherever you are, Talk To A Stranger Week is intended for you. Use it to start creating some of the social interactions that were removed from our lives due to the pandemic, many of which have not returned, and that research shows us how important they are. 

What are some simple tips to start a conversation with a stranger?

Say hello

Compliment someone 

Make eye contact and smile 

Celebrate or complain about the weather

Speak about a current event.

Strike up a conversation in a line-up

Ask for directions 

As for advice

Tell a joke or make light of a situation

Introduce yourself

Ask them about them, their day, why they have come here

What should I NOT do when trying to talk to a stranger?

Don’t be creepy

Don’t harass (if someone doesn’t want to talk, respect their wishes)

Don’t do it out of pity

Don’t hit on people

Don’t make it personal by asking people where are you going or where do you live? 

How can I participate?

  • Any Canadian can participate, and there are a few things we would like you to do.

  • Give it a try. 

  • Make eye contact with someone

  • Smile at someone

  • Nod at someone

  • Connect with a brief word of greeting

  • Start a conversation with someone

  • Take a picture with the person you connect with and share it on the GenWell social platforms. 

  • ​Tell us what you did to be part of the solution to building a more connected Canada for your health and happiness and the health and happiness of the person you connect with. 

Where might you start a conversation with a stranger?

  • In a line at grocery, at coffee, retail

  • Sitting in a bar or restaurant (to staff or strangers!)

  • In a classroom, workplace or high density building

  • In a waiting room or waiting for an elevator

  • At a concert, conference or event

  • Walking along the street

  • On a hike or walk 

  • In your neighbourhood

  • At a party or gathering

  • On, or while waiting for, a plane, in a train or on a bus

Some Quotes to Consider:


Shirley MacLaine

"Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends."
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