PROCESS POST: Talking to a Stranger

Week 1: September 12 - 18


The articles “How to Talk to Strangers” and “Want To Feel Happier Today? Try Talking To A Stranger” argue that talking to strangers improves people’s moods generally. So this week, I decided to speak to multiple strangers in my university classes. I used the triangulation tactic Hamblin mentioned in the article, which made the conversations much more effortless. That being said, I do not think I would be as comfortable talking to strangers on the street if I did not have something in common with them. Paul (2019) mentioned, “It is fear that the person sitting next to us will not enjoy talking to us that makes us keep to ourselves”. I would have agreed with that in the past, as I used to be very shy and did not usually talk to classmates unless I was in a group project. However, I have become much more extroverted throughout the years and regularly talk to strangers now.

Two women sitting at a table and speaking to one another.

When Do I Consider a Person Known? 

I would not yet consider the people I met this week friends, but I guess I would consider them known but label them as acquaintances. Now that I know these people, I am probably more likely to say “Hi” to them if I see them outside class. I am also more likely to attend classes every week now that I have talked to some classmates. However, I do not think my behaviour patterns are too different between strangers and people who are just acquaintances. I would have to hang out with someone a few times before my behaviour towards them would change substantially. In other words, I make friends slowly and only really open up to people I have known for a long time.


Online vs In Real Life

However, when it comes to online interactions, I have always been a lot less shy. I am relatively active on social media and regularly follow, like, and comment on strangers’ posts online. I usually only interact with people who post about topics or hobbies I am passionate about, which makes the process a lot easier. I would not consider these people my friends or acquaintances but strangers online that I enjoy interacting with. 


Hamblin, J. (2016, August 25). How to Talk to Strangers.The Atlantic. 


Nicolas, P. (2019, July 26). Want To Feel Happier Today? Try Talking To A Stranger. NPR. 

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