How to Talk to Strangers Workshops

Humans have a fundamental need to belong, but at the same time, we avoid talking to strangers.  How can we reconcile this contradiction? One day I had a bit of an a-ha moment: Maybe people aren’t talking to each other because they don’t know how?!  To address this possibility, I developed a How to Talk to Strangers workshop that I have now facilitated 6 times, for:

A small part of the data that I collected at these workshops has now been published here:

Sandstrom, G.M., & Boothby, E.J. (2021). Why do people avoid talking to strangers? A mini meta-analysis of predicted fears and actual experiences talking to a stranger. Self and Identity, 20(1), 47-71.

Boothby, E.J., Cooney, G., Sandstrom, G.M., & Clark, M.S. (2018). The liking gap in conversations: Do people like us more than we think? Psychological Science, 29(11), 1742–1756.

In the workshop, we talk (and brainstorm) about:

  • The benefits of talking to strangers
  • The fears people have about talking to strangers
  • How to start conversations
  • How to end conversations
  • How to deal with uncomfortable situations (e.g., the conversation is not going smoothly, you feel uncomfortable/unsafe, you discover they are hitting on you)
  • Rejection – what does it look like, and what does it mean

If you are interested in inviting me to facilitate a workshop, please contact me for more information. If you’d like to facilitate your own workshop, I’d be happy to have a chat, and tell you how I’ve organized mine.