Fandango Provocative Question # Familiarity = Contempt ?

Fandango is the host of Fandango Provocative Question


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question.

There are two old sayings that have always intrigued me. The first is “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This expression means that you feel more affection for those you love when parted from them. You realize how much you love that person, and the desire to see them often increases when separated.

The other old saying is “Familiarity breeds contempt.” This expression means that the more you are exposed to someone, the more bored you become, the less appreciation you have for that person, and the more you find fault with that person.

So my provocative question this week is about absence versus familiarity and how they affect relationships.

Do you think that these two sayings are two sides of the same coin and that “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is just a nice way of saying that “Familiarity breeds contempt”? Or do you believe that these two expressions have polar opposite meanings?


I don’t think it is true for everyone or every scenario. Does familiarity breeds contempt?

Human being are strange creatures! We don’t appreciate the good qualities of people near and dear to us because we are constantly being exposed to them. Like spouses, siblings and children. We stop being amazed at their good qualities and don’t show gratitude openly, even if we feel it in our hearts.

A person who can earn our contempt, would inherently have some personality flaws. When we are constantly exposed to them, we start to get a dislike for their company. Qualities like a bad sense of humor! Some people have a limited repertoire of funny incidents and jokes which they keep on telling you again and again. This definitely can give one a distaste for their company. Other things that come to my mind are being miserly, encroaching on the hospitality of others or having values that clash with our own.

On the flip side of this question, do we really grow fonder of people when we haven’t met them for some time?

Well if that person is a good friend, we’ll miss them when they are away, and the love and affection we have for them is not dependent upon the distance that exists between us. On the other hand, if we suffer from amnesia we can forget how irritating some people can be and miss their company till they come back. And then we realize that they weren’t the people we have made them out to be in their absence.




26 thoughts on “Fandango Provocative Question # Familiarity = Contempt ?

    1. Yes, exactly Shweta. I was having a discussion with Marilyn, and we both agreed that these Pat phrases seldom mean anything, just expressions that have outlived their usefulness, if there was any too start with.

      Liked by 1 person

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