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Why is it easier to "come out" to someone I just met than to my friends of years?

39 Answers
Last Updated: 12/10/2018 at 12:24am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Catherine Demirdogucu, Level 4 Diploma with Merit. CBT and Mindfulness Practitioner.


It takes courage and strength to seek help. My desire is to help my clients express themselves and grow in confidence, my support is offered in a nonjudgmental manner.

Top Rated Answers
April 12th, 2015 6:07pm
That's actually quite simple. People you've known for years have had a big impact on your life, and still have. If someone you just met will hate you for being gay, you'll easily get over it. If your friends/family that you've known for years decide to end things over your sexuality, you'd be sad for a far longer period if time. So, simply said, the opinion of those you've known longer is far more important to you.
March 19th, 2015 5:50pm
It may seem easier to come out to someone you have just met rather than friends you have known for years because you may have had memories or something really happen with your friends, or you don't want to lose the friends you already have. It is easier to tell someone you just met because you haven't made a true impression on them yet and you don't have much to lose.
April 10th, 2015 7:07am
I have one theory. When it is someone you've just met, they don't know much about you and their perception of who you are as a person is still not fully formed. You know that what you say to them will not shake their idea of 'you' and in turn you won't be judged so heavily. And when it comes to people you've known for a longer time, they already know you and are well acquainted with you. It's a bit scary to come out to them because you feel that they will start thinking differently of you. Take care. :)
November 16th, 2015 9:53pm
They don't have the years of history behind u & a friend. Anonymity. Decrease in possible judgement.
February 16th, 2016 3:01pm
Because you had all those years to with the friends and they became something very special.... It's harder to say news that aren't that usual to someone very close..
May 10th, 2015 8:30pm
Because we can be afraid to lose our friends and when we meet someone we have the opportunity to be who we are no matter what they can say or think.
May 22nd, 2015 1:01am
When you come out to someone you just met you are not worried that you will judge you. Coming out to someone you have known for many years is harder because you are emotionally attached to them.
May 27th, 2015 6:02am
You have a history with people you have met for years. And coming out to them may feel like you are "rewriting that history" or that your past "means something else." With someone new, you are able to be authentic before they have too large of an idea of who you are.
June 6th, 2015 8:18pm
I've done this before specifically online. I came out to my first person on tumblr actually, it was terrifying but easier because this new person is not connected to my life at all, they don't know anyone I know so there was no risk or anyone close to me knowing. (In fact it took a year for me to come out to the people closest to me). New people are easy because I either never talk to them again or they live a completely separate life to mine. With friends I feel there's so much more at stake years of friendships and you're exposing a huge part of yourself and there's a lot more to lose there, so it's often the case people worry more about it.
June 17th, 2015 5:08pm
Probably because the fear of rejection is different. If your good friends reject you, that's a much bigger deal that if someone you just met rejects you, because your friend's opinion is much more valuable to you.
June 23rd, 2015 10:17am
this is because we know our friends from years and they know us from a long time, and we do know that we will be knowing them in our future. so a thought arises in our mind that tell us that if we have to stay with our friends for longer then what will he or she will think about when we tell him that we are not the one they think we are. whereas when we just meet we don't have any such corner for them and we dont care about what will they think about if they find out who we are.....its just psychology...
November 18th, 2015 3:41pm
Because you're not afraid of judgment, you don't think about what they will say because they are a stranger and it likely won't matter to you what they think. On the other hand, close friends and family member's opinions are important to you, so its harder to come out to them
December 8th, 2015 5:18am
For me, I'd say its because there's still some sense of anonmitity between you and said new person. That's why telling the whole internet I'm pansexual is easier than telling my (gay, even) cousin.
December 8th, 2015 1:44pm
well it's because they don't really know you like your best friend knows your family and stuff like that . When the trust in the relationship is looser , its easier
December 12th, 2015 9:23pm
I think we expect that there's so much more to lose with people we've known for a long time. If it's someone you just met, you often don't care too much about what they think. That being said, I think there's a lot of other reasons. I've experienced this myself, and I can't say I know exactly why things are this way.
December 14th, 2015 1:11am
i think it is easier because you do not have a connection that can be ripped apart with the person that you have known for a long time. You do not want to lose the person that you have known for a long time, so you go to someone new.
December 17th, 2015 11:37pm
I'd say it's because when you've just met someone, you don't have too much of an emotional attachment to them, and they have never known you as someone else. However, when it's someone you've known for years, they are a person who has had a ginormous impact on your life and you coming out to them as something other than what they originally saw you as, is something that can be hard because you may be afraid of losing them, whereas if it's someone you just met, it wouldn't matter as much.
December 19th, 2015 2:48pm
It's probably because strangers don't have as much of an emotional influence on you than those close to you. If a stranger responds badly, you might be offended but you can shrug it off more easily. If it's a close friend or a family member, however, it's going to hurt so much more. So the possibility of rejection and makes it more difficult to come out.
January 5th, 2016 8:08pm
It might be easier to come out to someone you barely know than a good friend because you have nothing to lose if they decide to leave you. You might have worked hard for years to maintain your friendship and friends, so losing them can seem like a huge loss.
February 16th, 2016 7:06am
It's possible it's easier because you don't have that bond with them that you do with your friends so you not as afraid of losing favor with the stranger :)
February 17th, 2016 2:08am
I think the more we know someone, the more precious our relationship is to the person and in this case our friends. Coming out and being LGBT has been a controversial issue to those who are not understanding about it. With this in mind, we are afraid of destroying the harmony we have with our friends. We don't know how they would react, therefore, it's a high risk situation. With an acquaintance it can be easily forgotten.
February 29th, 2016 2:46pm
This is likely because you already have an established reputation with your friends since you have known them for much longer. It's often difficult to introduce new information to them that you feel could potentially change their perception of you. Sometimes it's easier to "come out" to someone you just met because they have no pre-conceived notions of you, your history with them is too recent for their to have been much judgement passed, and you may feel like you have nothing to lose by being honest, whereas there may be a fear of losing old friends.
February 29th, 2016 7:40pm
It's because you have more of an emotional attachment to your friends, and therefore their rejection would impact you a whole lot more than compared to someone you just met. It feels safer. And sometimes it's good practice.
March 6th, 2016 11:36pm
In my personal experience it can be two things. The first thing is what a lot of people have said already, there's a lot of more pressure when you come out to friends you've been together for a longer time because you value their presence on your life and you are worried of what they might think of you because of that. When you say it in front of a stranger it really does not affect you as much because their presence in your life doesn't have such a meaningful connection. In the other hand, you might find having a much more deeper connection with a person you've known for less time than your long life friends and they can give you the support and understanding you crave, so it feels right to come out to them, because you know they won't judge you (that as in making a comparison on how it was to come out to one of my long time friends to my university friends which have been both incredibly supportive).
March 15th, 2016 11:49pm
Because you don't need the new persons validation. You don't have the fear of rejection the same way. If it was your friend who rejected you, you'd be heartbroken. If it was the new person, you'd feel mild annoyance or nothing at all.
June 7th, 2016 4:20am
Because you're afraid of ruining something that has already been established, as opposed to a person you just met, who you don't have an established relationship with.
July 18th, 2016 12:15am
Sometimes telling the people that are closest to you things they don't already know can be a scary task. It's easier to come out to someone you just met because there's no emotional connection. There's no expectations or fear that they might change their opinion of you since none exists at that specific time. However, the process of telling past friends and seeing their reactions whether good or bad will help you determine whether they're worth keeping. Never be ashamed of who you are. Much love, Xoxo
October 24th, 2016 7:28am
Someone you just met has only known you for a short period of time, and consequently, their image of you won't change much. But when you're telling a friend of years, they've known you for so long and it can be worrying, thinking that they might not be accepting of you now.
January 17th, 2017 6:32pm
Coming out to someone you don't know often means less because they're a much smaller part of your life than people you've known for a long time. When coming out to friends you have known for a long time, you feel that you may have more to lose or that there is more pressure because they mean more to you.
February 14th, 2017 7:50pm
I've seen it happen before, and you know, we have that connection with old friends that we don't have with a stranger. If I were you, I'd be scared of losing that connection over something that is a part of me. But still, whether or not they agree with it, if they are a good friend they wont try and change you