Make a donation
Media > News > The simplicity of a better conversation with strangers


Latest posts

Latest tweets

The simplicity of a better conversation with strangers

Published on 11.11.2021 at 15:33

Our desire for strong social contact and deeper connections with our families, friends, and partners is often unfilled, leaving us disappointed, feeling that an unexplainable void remains within us after each conversation and thus shifting the blame to small talk. There is no such thing as small talk; if we want to have meaningful dialogue with a person, whether we like it or not, any conversation starts with a question-asking: from how the day is to how nice the weather is. Through "those lived experiences that shape our lives" project, we have had a series of conversations with strangers in 12 countries; question-asking made a significant outcome to their willingness to stay in, be part of the conversation. 


Though all questions can not be equally engaging, a follow-up seeking further information about previous points is more appealing than a shift question that changes the course of the conversation or turns off the dialogue. We do enjoy talking about ourselves, but we forget the benefits of letting the others do the same which limits our ability to connect with their story, their lived experience. We often refer to our lifestyle and fail to recognise that it is out of the other person’s reach; assuming their knowledge on various topics that are familiar to us, thus failing to explain things properly, assuming what they are thinking.


This gets worse when we are with an acquaintance, rather than a stranger. We often perceive our close friends, family, and partners to be similar to us, so we assume that they know what we know. Those trying to solve this problem are trapped in conscious perspective taking; imagining what our friends might be thinking and feeling, based on our existing knowledge of them. This practice decreases our ability to form deeper connections we seek. But with strangers, we are more cautious about making such assumptions, rather we are tasked to ask questions, to get the conversation going, which indeed opens a space for a stranger to tell us what they think and feel, rather than trying to assume it.

Follow us

Latest News

Menstrual health education campaign

  • Nov 29th, 2021
  • |
  • News

  • Keeping an ageing mind sharp workshop

  • Nov 21st, 2021
  • |
  • News

  • Latest Events

    Addressing invisible racism through youth work

  • Nov 22nd, 2021
  • |
  • Events

  • Menstrual health awareness campaigns innovation lab.

  • Nov 15th, 2021
  • |
  • Events

  • Open Educational Resources

    Training to Teaching Identities

    Training to Teaching Identities Jul 14th, 2021Modules

    Learning to Teaching Identities

    Learning to Teaching Identities Jul 23rd, 2021Publications

    Menstrual knowledge assessment

    Menstrual knowledge assessment Mar 11th, 2021Assessment tools

    How to foster interpersonal skills in adult education

    How to foster interpersonal skills in adult education Oct 8th, 2021Dissemination materials

    Counter gender-based violence narratives

    Counter gender-based violence narratives Jan 4th, 2021Training courses

    Menstruation, a healthy natural biological process

    Menstruation, a healthy natural biological process Oct 11th, 2021Videos

    Learning App

    Digital-based training tool May 24th, 2020Training App

    Learning App

    Project management platform Dec 04th, 2020Management tool

    So many  reasons   to commit.

  • So many   ways   to contribute.







    Org. nr.:  995-456-575  | Oslo - Norway
    * Tel: 0047- 969-51-953 * E-mail: info@terrampacis.org