Sunday, January 25, 2009

Familiarity Factor

Don't I know you from somewhere before

Do you ever notice that there are some people that you recognize and never bother to learn what their name is. These embarrassing situations are not entirely your fault. Sometimes you get to know someone and never ask their name. Other times you may recognize someone but never talked to them. In either case— the term "Familiarity Factor" comes into play.

So often I find myself seeing people in other locals and wonder… "where do I know them from"? The sense of recognition is so strong that we must tell ourselves that we know them well— but then are perplexed when we can't think of either their name or where we know them from. What is even more embarrassing is when you have to introduce someone— but have forgotten what their name is as well as where you know that person from. Sometimes our pride gets in the way and we neglect to pull the person aside and ask… which makes it even more embarrassing.

I have taken public transportation for many years now. Because of this I tend to see people standing on the platform or riding on the train— but never speak to them. One would think that you would know the difference between someone you have spoken to and someone you haven't— but I think that the more you see someone the stronger the familiarity becomes. This gets you into trouble when you "think" you know someone and are forced to introduce them. You are then convinced that you do know them and then realize that they don't know you at all… (or never bothered to notice).

I wish that I could have some "personal-assistant" by my side whispering in my ear… "That's Jane Doe— you never ever spoke to her and don't know her real name because you only saw her on the train platform twenty years ago when you were in college".

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