Influence of Familiarity

If I could telepathically transmit all my would-be blog posts from my brain directly to WordPress, I would have so many posts. But, alas, I have to try to remember my weird musings and then find the energy to write them up later. I am really not fancy enough for that.

I’ve been thinking lately about how familiarity influences our perception. Getting beyond the point where you’re judging that book cover. The better you get to know someone, the better you can love or hate them. I’ve started to see circumstances where familiarity forces something to grow on you. It’s like some sort of voluntary Stockholm syndrome.

Whenever I commute, I kick off my mornings with the Z Morning Zoo. It’s tradition. I’ve been waking up with the crew since middle school when I’d jam out to LinkinPark at 6am via my super cool shower radio. I can’t do pure music in the morning. I tune out way too easily and hearing peopledebating the merits of facial hair gives me that much needed buzz.

So anyway, my dial is tuned to Z100 when I get in the car to head home. I’m too lazy to set up a playlist, I have no space on my phone for music, and honestly it’s just easier to become a slave to Top 40 pop for an hour while I tune out. So I keep it on. Even for the crappy songs. I can pretend to be a music snob all I want, but I still jam out to Katy Perry.

I’ve started to find myself enjoying songs I used to completely hate. Like all I want to do when Timber comes on is belt along. Is it just that I know the words and melody and I like singing along, even though I am literally singing about a falling tree? Does that familiarity increase the positive connections I have with the song? Is my first instinct being trampled on by radio replay?

This can ring true in so many other situations. Like when people find themselves stuck in the same monotonous life they wanted to avoid all along. Or you get stuck in a bad relationship. Maybe you just get used to it. It becomes easy and familiar and you don’t have to try.

I don’t ever want to stop trying.


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