Is there a word to describe (from a family or friend's perspective) a person that would go out of their way to do more for a stranger than for their family and friends.

I am also wondering if there would be different words if the reason or motivation for doing this is different, e.g. if this person's family is rich and doesn't need money so they give money to other people to help them out, or if this person doesn't feel close to their family (or treats them the same as strangers).

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    Has anyone heard a word "philoxenia" or "xenophilia"? I consider anyone who shows love and hospitality to strangers to be a less-biased person, an opposite of someone who's "xenophobic". But in the meantime, I worry if such "philoxenic" person is viewed by his family as "familiaphobic"!
    – wordsalad
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 1:28
  • What about, just simply, "humble"? I think "servile" as well, but there is a sense of sycophancy in that one. Lol.
    – E.Groeg
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


Theoxeny I recall this term from Greek mythology, but I don't know of it equates to love of strangers compared to family

[1]: http://Xenia (Greek: ξενία, xenía, trans. ... Theoxeny or theoxenia is a theme in Greek mythology in which human beings demonstrate their virtue or piety by extending hospitality to a humble stranger (xenos), who turns out to be a disguised deity (theos) with the capacity to bestow rewards.

Xenia (Greek) - Wikipedia

What the OP describes is an extremely common psychological phenomenon. I'm interested if there's a more specific answer.

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