What do hosts mean to Tea With Strangers?
Short answer: Everything. Tea With Strangers is hosts. So it’s very important that we have good hosts.
Technically, when we invite a person to host with Tea With Strangers, we welcome them to post times and places on our website.
But to us, we’re not just inviting them to post tea times. We’re inviting them to take a proactive role in creating this nuanced, optimistic vision of the world we have by creating a space that is welcoming, vulnerable, accepting, curious and full of listening.
At Tea With Strangers, we imagine a world where people take time in their lives to practice opening their minds, growing their perspectives, and welcome serendipity.
Conversations with strangers are a fun way to “meet new people” and “learn about other people,” yes, but the way we choose to enable these conversations is no mistake.
Hosts make Tea With Strangers Tea With Strangers
Hosts take a very proactive role in this slightly awkward social convention of directing a conversation and holding space for 5 grown adults who—in all likelihood—haven’t fully considered how this conversation is so distinct from most social interactions and probably rarely experience such prolonged conversation with anybody (let alone five anybodies) outside of the pursuit for love or a job.
For the most part, strangers (especially first-time attendees) coming to tea time are joining for this random thing they found on the Internet.
Being a host at tea time is creating a space that is welcoming, vulnerable, accepting, curious and full of listening. Having even a tiny bit of arbitrary social authority in a conversation amongst strangers gives you a great position to make that happen.
We think literally anybody can do this well, but we also know that not everybody does. A lot of how we design Tea With Strangers tries to keep that understanding in mind while we try making as many great tea times happen as possible.
Making great tea times happen means finding great hosts.
And finding great hosts means making hosting worthwhile.
So we made Being a Host.
Being a Host is place where we’ll put food for thought, practical resources for Hosts, and anything else that we want to archive for all Hosts—present, past and future.
Over time, we hope this online space can make the practice of being a host something that benefits our relationship to the world around us in ways that exceed tea time itself.
Whether you host tea time once ever, once a month forever, or at an entirely random and/or mood-dependent interval, we want every tea time you host to be an opportunity—to feel surprisingly connected to the humans around you, grateful towards the power of questions and stories, and, most importantly, like your favorite version of yourself.
We hope this place helps. Thanks for being here.
— Ankit, June 2018