Why is it that a person can be so comfortable speaking to a stranger about things that they can't even mention to a best friend?

There are zillions of stories, made-up and true, in which people spill their deepest secrets, beliefs, and feelings to a complete stranger or an acquaintance whom they barely know.


Because if one spills one's darkest moments to a stranger, and the stranger denounces them as disgusting/horrible/unworthy/etc, one does not feel so betrayed or rejected as one would if a best friend felt this way.

Being cast out by a total stranger does not hurt as much as being cast out by one you love. The stranger does not know you, the stranger can only judge you from what you tell them, how you act while you are telling them. They will not care if you have some sort of mental illness or incapacity, they may not even know if you do not tell them. They (usually) do not know the people that you know, and cannot judge your story based on the people you have interacted with in the story. If they call you names or simply leave you (if your story was a guilt-ridden one, and you had to tell someone), you do not feel so bad that you will never see that person again, perhaps for the sole reason that you may never have seen them again in the first place. It does not weigh heavily on you. Often it feels much better for having told someone, even if that someone denounced you. You may feel that that someone would have felt differently if they had known you, or if you had told the story differently. It does not matter, usually.

However, there is always a worry at the back of the mind that says that this one particular story may change the way your friends/family see you as a person. Perhaps they'll view you as a disappointment, or a failure, or just a rotten stinking person. To have your best friend hear your tale and declare that they never want to speak to you again, or just have that blank expression on their face that shows that you have changed before their eyes and they're not sure they like it. It's hard to be rejected like that from someone you love.

Sometimes there are other motives, rather than simply telling a tale to get it off your chest, to see a reaction. The stranger is the uninvolved third party, the judge, who must take your situation as you describe it and offer a solution. Often psychiatrists/therapists serve in this role, offering advice as far as they can give it.

Sometimes all a person wants is for someone to listen, someone who won't say, "But that's who you are. I've known you for x years and that's how you've always been.." so on and so forth. A stranger will take your story as you choose to tell it, and judge it as they see fit, with no prior bias (good or bad).

The same happens in a courtroom (usually). A guilty man may walk free because his story was told in such a manner that the jury believes him to be innocent. Yet an innocent man with previous account(s) of misdemeanor may be charged because the jury has a bias: they have known him to be a bad person, so why should this time be different?

People think like this so frequently and don't even notice. Racist, sexist, stereotypes.. all on this principle. It is a biased world we live in, and will always be this way.

That is not so much a pessimistic remark as a realistic one. True, people are getting better. But no one can ever truly change the entire world's thinking. There are too many of us, too many uncontrollable variables: prejudiced parents raising their children with their beliefs, organizations, at times, teaching these same beliefs (knowingly or not)... It will always go on.

Perhaps I should be worried about that. But so often lately I have been focused on the world as if I were not a part of it, using my own experiences as a sort of test sample, and the experiences of those I know as another part of this, that I am confused when suddenly I am thrust into the world on a personal level, and must deal with those around me. Being detached can make one useless in a crisis. I realized that again yesterday morning when my beloved was sick and I couldn't think of a thing to do other than sit beside him in the bathroom and pet him wordlessly, silently wishing all his pain away. I hate being useless, yet I am unable to push myself into being useful. Why is this? It cannot be due to simple shyness. Yet this question has not been considered enough to have an explanation posted just yet. I am still debating it.

Being detached can be a good thing, for some. Doctors, who can make educated opinions without anxiety for how they will feel about performing a certain procedure on a person -- doctors would not be comfortable performing an operation on someone they were close to.. too many "what ifs". What if she dies? What if I can't cure him? What if I fail? What if? What if? What if?

Because of these worries, a doctor may hesitate in a moment where every second counts. On the other hand, a doctor may refuse to stop and think in a time where they need to, because they feel that every second counts. It is a difficult situation for all involved.

I believe I will end there. I have made explanation to myself, and I hope you as the reader have discovered something new, or thought of things you could debate with my choice of opinion. I live to explain.

I believe that by confiding things online that I would never utter to anyone I knew proves my point (at least for myself) that I would rather be rejected by someone whom I did not know than the person whom I love most in the world.