If you run into someone you know while out in public

What do you do?

99 times out of 100, I’ll act like I don’t see them. Frequently, I take evasive action and pray I’m not spotted.

I know this is abnormal; just wondering if anyone else does this.

I say Hi. Chit the chat for a minute then say have a good day, and go about my business. Why don’t you want them to see you? Don’t you have a minute?
Sounds a little bit abnormal.

I give them at least a nod of recognition. Depends on who they are with, who I am with, and the circumstances of the encounter. But a nod is basic.

It depends upon how I’m feeling. If I’ve dashed out of the house without much attention to my appearance, or if I’m in a ‘no talking’ mood, I may avoid them. OTOH, if I’m out and about during the workday, feeling social, I will at least speak. If I have time and they’re in the mood, we’ll chat a bit.

If I remember their name, I say hi and how ya doin’. Then I leave them to their own devices unless they seem like they want to hang out and I’m not busy.

If I don’t remember their name but needn’t be expected to, a nod and “hi” and if we converse, I say “remind me of your name?”

If I don’t remember their name, but I know them well enough to be expected to remember it, which is unfortunately the majority of times these days, I run away and hide and hope they didn’t spot me.

I talk all the time. I talked to four ex-colleagues this weekend (in separate locations) whom I had not seen in years. My kids think I know everyone!

I suppose if I’m in a hurry, or if I thought the person was a jerk, I might do my best to avoid him or her. Otherwise I like to remain sociable.

Why would you want to avaoid people you know: shyness, awkwardness?

Nothing, because I have prosopagnosia and have trouble recognizing people when I see them in context, let alone randomly in public.

I talk to them. Why would I interact with people only in private and then totally ignore them in public? I like the people I know, and I like them to know that.

Wow. I never knew such a condition existed MIS! I think an “Ask the…” thread is in order."

I got my first good job out of college by randomly running into a friend at the mall on New Year’s Day. I know so few people that if I see an acquaintance, I’m not going to avoid them (unless I don’t like them).

In general, the point of hiding is that you don’t particularly feel like talking to them in the current situation for whatever reason. You hide so they don’t think you dislike them. People in general take things like this personally.

And I would bet money that there are times you didn’t feel like talking to so-and-so.

And I would bet money that I was talking in general terms, just like the OP’s “99 time out of 100” language suggested.

I’d say it’s different depending on where you run into them. For example, at church you might say hello, but then you bump into each other again, after church, at the adult bookstore? Awkward!

Mostly I’ll say hi or chat, depending on how well I know them or when I last saw them. I probably have the opposite of prosopagnosia, I am very good at recognizing people by face or even voice. My trouble is remembering names for them.

Me too! I can generally recognize people based on their build, their hair, and their choice of clothing, so I will sometimes ‘take the risk’ of waving or saying hi, even though on many an occasion it’s been the wrong person.

Having this same problem, I’ve become adept at having lengthy conversations without ever using the name of person I’m speaking to.

I suffer from this to a mild>moderate degree. I’ve stopped pretending to know someone’s name, because most of the time it is obvious to one and all.

Then, it gets really awkward.

The only people I will actively avoid are the ones that I know will talk for more then 7 or 8 minutes upon spotting me.

I don’t have any idea why, but I read that as "Chit the chat for a minute then say have a good day, and go about my testicles. "

I’ll use a subtle ruse in an attempt to get them to reveal their name before it gets to the point where they realize that I don’t know it. After some small talk you can ask,

“By the way, what do they call you at work? I’m just curious.”

To this they’ll usually reply with, “They call me, Mike” or “They call me, Mr. Whoisit.”


I usually dodge someone I haven’t seen in a long time if I see them first. The exception would be people I miss and want to catch up on things with. If I haven’t seen or spoken to someone for a long time it’s likely because neither of us cared enough to stay in touch. A minute of awkward chit-chat won’t change things.