familiar strangers

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Since moving to Reading I’ve found lots of familiar strangers,   I see them on the bus everyday during my commute,   in the local cooperative store when I’m picking up milk for my tea,   behind the counters in Jacksons,   in the local internet cafe.

During my 1986 final year degree course Environmental Psychology classes I  learned that people are more likely to exhibit altruistic behaviours to familiar strangers (than complete strangers)  when meeting those familiar strangers outside of the normal context.   Each will recognise the other easily but have difficulty placing the source of this familiarity.

This means that when I meet someone who normally rides on the  same  bus as me everyday,   in Jacksons,   I will think I know them and be nicer than I would be to someone totally unrecognisable.


More familiar strangers means more oportunities to be squishy.   Given  my natural  curmudgeonist tendencies this can only be a good thang.

familiar strangers
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