You know what's funny is I hate playing with strangers and complain about it to my wife all the time. I paired up with my buddy who I haven't played with in ages (who is pretty horrible, he shot a 70 and 60 when we played, lol.) and I played horrible. I couldn't get my body to do anything right. I think I ended up shooting a 102 on a course that I should have shot a 90 on! Then I played with some strangers this past weekend and shot one of my best rounds in awhile of 91, as always it coulda shoulda woulda been better but what can you do? Haha. Anyway, it was almost like I relaxed too much when I was playing with my buddy or maybe it was because he is just so bad his juju leaked on me, I have no idea.
I think if anything, playing with strangers is like playing with a clean slate. You don't know them, they don't know you so for all they know, you could be scratch. So mentally, you have the advantage and can play your best. Realistically, who the hell cares what they think? You're probably not going to see them again anyway.
My one and only gripe about playing with most strangers is that it's the same conversation every freakin' round. "Where ya from?" "What do you do?" "Play here often?" "Where do you live?" bllah blah blah BLAHBLAH LBAHLGALHRJMGIOKNJRO^IJN*&$#$#@! It gets pretty annoying to the point where I'd rather be that guy who plays with earbuds in the entire round, haha. No joke, I have thought about doing that, though never actually done it.