When people say "You look familiar"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 06, 2016 5:01 AM GMT
    So does that happen to you a lot?
    Because it happened to me several times, I didn't think anything about it because I thought it was just something normal.
    Until some of my friends said it rarely happened to them or never happened to them at all.
    And then I came to realize that I never saw someone and then thinking "oh he looks familiar!"
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    Jul 06, 2016 5:08 AM GMT
    Ronar2 saidSo does that happen to you a lot?
    Because it happened to me several times, I didn't think anything about it because I thought it was just something normal.
    Until some of my friends said it rarely happened to them or never happened to them at all.
    And then I came to realize that I never saw someone and then thinking "oh he looks familiar!"

    To non-Asians, we all look the same. Hence, the "you look familiar" line. icon_lol.gif

    But on a serious note, I'm guilty of using that as an ice breaker / pickup line. But more along the lines of: have we met somewhere before? icon_biggrin.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Jul 06, 2016 4:05 PM GMT
    It can be a few different things. One is that you really do look a lot like someone else. There is a guy in this (small) town who apparently I look quite a bit like. And he is in a similar job in the sense that he very easily knows a lot of the same people and is in a lot of the same places. I've been told his name but haven't looked him up for fear that he might be just butt ugly. I don't want to know.

    The second is that some people (me) are just rot-gut bad at remembering a face. It is actually a named thing in psychiatry that isn't all that unusual. I don't worry about it because Brad Pitt has it. If you think about it, it isn't surprising. If you show a mother a group of nine photos of similar looking people but only show it upside down, usually she won't recognize that one of the pics is her own child. Facial recognition is pretty complicated.

    Lastly it may be in the mind of the person. I had a butcher at Whole Foods (very straight looking guy) ask me if anyone had ever told me I look like Robert Redford about a week ago. Obviously I don't but apparently his brain made some connection and the other side of his brain went along for the ride. (Or maybe I do- prob the 80 yo RR.)


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    Jul 06, 2016 4:20 PM GMT
    Yeah , it does happen .....
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    Jul 06, 2016 4:24 PM GMT
    Nine times out of ten, they're hitting on you. It's often a last ditch effort to speak to an attractive stranger when you can't think of anything else to say.
  • rf_dal

    Posts: 380

    Jul 06, 2016 7:19 PM GMT
    I've had people almost argue with me over it, and I'm really good with faces so I'd know if I had met them.. it's almost weird sometimes.
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    Jul 06, 2016 7:26 PM GMT
    Well, I happen to be a self-appointed expert on the subject of Doppelgänger (one's "double" in life, or the "lookalike" phenomenon), as I've dealt with the issue somewhat constantly since I was about 20!

    Seriously, to what most people casually react when they say "you look like..." is some single aspect of one's face which does indeed resemble the similar aspect of the other person's face, which prompts the "lookalike" remark, and for some reason (facial recognition circuits in the brain, which are indeed complex and complicated) makes them think you are a "double," when usually one in objective fact is not. For example, one's mouth (lips) and smile might be similar enough to prompt the brain's circuity to signal "recognition." (DestinHarbor's comment about being mistaken for Robert Redford is interesting: I would never have thought that initially, but having been prompted by the possible resemblance, I can also see the aspect which prompts the resemblance comments. However, DH is quite a handsome man in his own right.)

    For people who get continually told that "they look like...," the commenters are usually reacting casually without deep analysis to one particular facial feature, especially if it is a prominent feature, which overrides careful consideration objectively of all aspects of similarity. Personally, that particular prominent feature of mine has been my very prematurely white hair; consequently, I've been told I "look like" a whole series of celebrities, major and minor, based on this single white hair feature. I almost got into a bar fight once because this tipsy dude was insisting I was this at-the-time-quite-famous entertainer and was rudely denying tipsy dude the opportunity of meeting someone famous. Eeech! Particular annoying, especially since I neither thought I looked like the celebrity nor did I particularly like him (although he is talented). Other proffered "lookalikes" have had absolutely NO resemblance except for the white hair bit (among others, think very prominent gay newscaster).

    Looking at pics of guys on social media, I very occasionally see pics of guys who initially my facial recognition circuitry remind me of my younger self, but on closer examination I would not say they were "lookalikes."

    However, most probably, somewhere on earth there does exist one's true Doppelgänger. I do have mine—an European dude of approximately the same age with whom I most probably share little to no close genetic background, who looks enough like me that I myself have mistaken his picture momentarily for being a picture of me, when I haven't seen the picture recently enough to have it in mind. I first learned of the picture when my friends, who otherwise never would kid me on such a subject, started teasing me about being on the cover of an internationally famous magazine. Sure enough, when I finally saw the cover, I was shocked! The guy was about as close a facial double as one could get, and certainly close enough to fool even my own facial recognition circuitry on occasion. We were just a wee bit short of being identical twins facially.

  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Jul 06, 2016 9:06 PM GMT
    This happens to me almost weekly. Apparently, I look like everyone's cousin Herbie.
  • leanandclean

    Posts: 271

    Jul 06, 2016 10:02 PM GMT
    No
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    Jul 07, 2016 12:36 AM GMT
    It's happened to me a few times, but that's also one of my ice-breaker options if I want to start-up a conversation with a stranger.
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    Jul 07, 2016 1:37 AM GMT
    Yeah, its happened to me before especially when I was younger.

    Last week, I was riding the Metro line, in the very last car because I had my bicycle with me. I was standing holding my bike and in front of me a guy sat, with a baseball cap on, tank top, Nike shorts and shoes, I thought either, he looks attractive or he looks familiar. I didn't know who he was but it was this mans hazel colored eyes that caught my attention the most, I had my sun glasses on so he didn't know I was starring. News broke about Jesse Williams at the BET awards. So I looked him up, yeah that was him on the train coming from downtown Santa Monica. Strange, he had his arms folded in the "guarded position", I guess a signal not to enter his space icon_confused.gif

    There are so many actors in this town, I was oblivious to many of them. I suppose Jesse Williams was happy no one else recognized him on the train, you don't see many lighter skinned African men with hazel green eyes around do you

    jesse-williams-per-strada.jpg
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    Jul 07, 2016 3:10 AM GMT
    leanandclean saidNo


    Thanks for your meaningful input, I feel I know you a lot better now... ; )