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Resources

Below is a list of videos, podcasts and articles we found online that help us understand the opportunity and benefits of talking to strangers. If you have additional content that you think others would benefit from, please send it to us at info@GenWellProject.org, and we will endeavour to add it to this list.

Videos

Why You Should Talk to Strangers, with Gillian Sandstrom, PhD, and Jon Levy

Why Talking to Strangers Will Make You Happier With Nicholas Epley

Why you should talk to strangers | Kio Stark

Joe Keohane on the Benefits of Connecting with Strangers

Techniques for Talking to Strangers | The Atlantic

Talk To Strangers. It Will Change Your Life.

Podcasts

Why talking to strangers is good for your mental health

Not everyone enjoys making small talk with strangers, but research shows it can be good for your health. We talk to Gillian Sandstrom, a psychologist and senior lecturer in the psychology of kindness at the University of Sussex; and Pete Bombaci, founder of The GenWell Project in Toronto.

Why Talking to Strangers Will Make You Happier With Nicholas Epley

Joe Keohane on the Benefits of Connecting with Strangers

Techniques for Talking to Strangers | The Atlantic

Articles

Teaching Kids to Be Smart About Strangers

“Don’t talk to strangers” has been the rule for many parents for generations. But sometimes it’s a good idea for kids to talk to strangers. Who else will they turn to if they’re lost and need help?

So, instead of making a rule, it’s better to teach kids when it’s OK to talk to strangers and when it’s not. When your kids are out with you, it’s fine to let them say hello and talk to new people. You are watching the situation and will protect them.

The Surprising Benefits of Talking to Strangers

So many of us have been raised to see strangers as dangerous and scary. What would happen if we instead saw them as potential sources of comfort and belonging?

Talking with strangers is surprisingly informative

Conversation can be a useful source of learning about practically any topic. Information exchanged through conversation is central to culture and society, as talking with others communicates norms, creates shared understanding, conveys morality, shares knowledge, provides different perspectives, and more. Yet we find that people systematically undervalue what they might learn in conversation, anticipating that they will learn less than they actually do.

Why talking to strangers can make us smarter

In a suspicious world, many of us are reluctant to interact with strangers. But talking to people we’ve never met before, even in passing interactions, can make us wiser and happier.

Nervous about talking to strangers? It’s not as hard as you think, and you’re probably already better at it than you know!

To mark Loneliness Awareness Week, Sussex Psychologist Gillian Sandstrom shares her research findings on the importance of connecting with strangers for our happiness and well-being.

To come up with creative ideas, try talking to a stranger

When psychology lecturer Gillian Sandstrom began her master’s degree at Ryerson University, she’d walk from the research lab to her supervisor’s office in downtown Toronto. Gillian usually passed the same hot dog stand along the way. Day after day, she’d walk by the stand. And eventually, without meaning to, she struck up a relationship with the woman who worked there.