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Will You Say Hi To A Stranger? #sayhitoastranger

8 Nov


How often do you engage a stranger in conversation? Are you at the ready to offer visitors directions when you see them trying to read a map? I come from a background where small talk was encouraged and as such, have met some amazing people whether in this City or in my travels.

In case you hadn’t heard, and you’d be living under a rock if you didn’t, Vancouver doesn’t always receive the best reviews on being friendly. Particularly, as it relates to singles. One sex blames the other, but really there is no winner in that game.  

Let me ask, do you say hi to that person you don’t know, but pass regularly when say you are out walking your dog or just pass by on the street?  It seems these days, many individuals tend not to see what’s in front of them if it’s not a glowing screen. Unless they accidently bump into you, even then, they often don’t look up. 

I was at times a shy child that came to be less so as a teenager and later became fairly outgoing as an adult.  So I do think confidence and practice are part of talking to people you don’t know and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone just a little.   Having a dog, as I do, puts you face to face and in conversations with people you may not normally interact with.  So we are back to practice.  I have met many wonderful people in this City which are now friends through my pets, much like many parents have done with their children. But for those that are alone, whether young, senior or in between, or new to the City, it might not be that easy to talk to someone they don’t know. There is no shared common ground in many instances to initiate conversation.

We’ve all heard the research about how important social connections are to our well being.  By social connections, I do not mean social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc), but face to face interactions.  Having said this, if social media interactions, bring you face to face, go for it!  But this weekend, it is about saying hi to a stranger face to face.  Even if you only receive a smile, scientific research supports that a smile alone will put you in a better mood states Dr. Michael Lewis, psychologist at Cardiff University. Who doesn’t want to be in a better mood? How great that you could so easily put someone else in a better mood.

After some research, local company, a Cue Creative Consulting, has taken the idea of saying hi to a stranger out of the box.  This weekend they are directing a social media campaign “#sayhitoastranger” from November 8 – 10th.  They would like to see Vancouver break out of its social stigma and encourage Vancouver residents to be friendly, open, have fun and be part of larger movement to create a stronger community in Vancouver.  Some local businesses are participating in this campaign and offering incentives to those that do participate.  You can visit a Cue Creative Consulting’s website for a full rundown. If you would like to meet the team behind the #sayhitoastranger Campaign, they will be at The Portside Pub on Sunday November 10th 6:00 pm. So East Van, are you up for the challenge?    Say Hi To A Stranger, you could make someone’s day!

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