Unanswered Question: What causes our human connections?
It’s a puzzle to me how I can feel immediate connections to people who are technically ‘strangers’ and feel uncomfortable around some family members.
When I go to the grocery store, I find the outing interesting and, as a ‘people watcher’, informative. I’m not one to consider what people are wearing as often as I find their ‘body language’ and willingness to ‘connect’ fascinating. To me, there are as many untold stories as there are people.
I don’t know whether I fancy myself as a scientist, psychologist, or detective. Just call me “endlessly curious”. LOL
I think each of us have felt a ‘connection’ with a stranger at least a few times. The young mother who smiles while you’re playing peekaboo with her toddler or the man who keeps looking at his watch while waiting outside of a store that you offer a “life gets so hectic” commiseration to.
Sometimes those gestures fall flat and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes you connect in a far deeper way.
I’ve had people, whom I had exchanged pleasantries or glances in the aisles, who happened to follow me at the check-out where we just fell into a conversation as if we’d known each other for years.
Last week, I was paying for gas at a gas station where I’m a ‘regular’. I already have a rapport with the clerk. When I couldn’t find small bills in my bag, I said,” I’ll have lots of dollar bills by Friday but not now.” She got an amused look on her face and said, “Why? Do you have a second job?” (I knew she was thinking about a pole dancer.)
All the while an elder gent was standing behind me in line.
I said,” Yes. But what a cheap crowd! I’d like fives or tens once in a while.”
Then she said, “I’d ask for fifties and hundreds!”
(She’s a cute little lady in her mid-twenties.)
I said, “You probably could, but I’m 66 years old, don’t forget.”
Well, at this point the gent bursts into a belly laugh. Once he caught his breath, he thanked us both for a laugh like he hadn’t had in a long time.
For a moment, we three had found a ‘connection’. Anyone walking in at that moment, would have been an immediate ‘outsider’.
Why does that happen?
We can find out we ‘like’ people while we don’t even have to have an opinion about others. There’s no reason to consider ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’… there just seems to be ‘connected’ or ‘unknown’.
There does seem to be a sub-category of ‘unknown’ people. You know. The ones who leave us scratching our heads. They seem nice but they’re on a totally different ‘wavelength’.
That type can be a family member or a stranger. If you consider someone a friend, IMHO that mysterious ‘connection’ factor already must exist.
The people we allow to connect with each of us must have a subliminal ‘recipe’ that we can subtly recognize. It also seems that all individuals are not meant to connect with just anyone. The pressure to automatically ‘love’ and ‘respect’ (or feel connected with) every single human being has always felt too ‘large’ of an expectation. IMHO… we’re meant to selectively connect and ignore the rest. They’ll find their own connections elsewhere, I’m sure.
I don’t believe I’ll ever come close to figuring out “What causes our human connections?”. But I’m so happy that they exist!
Sunday Dawdle- 1/29/23 Who we are.
Rory, as usual, has offered a few interesting questions.
Should we fear the arrival of more progressive AI [Artificial Intelligence] or embrace it?
As with most things, cautious fascination is my default.
It’s the same way I approach thunderstorms.
They are wonderous, awe-inspiring, events but shouldn’t be met with careless disregard for their dangerous capability.
Given that…my worry mainly lies with the ‘all for profit’ type of human innovators who time-after-time throw caution to the wind.
A quote from Jurassic Park that fits this well is, “The scientists were so concerned with whether they COULD, they never asked if they SHOULD.”
How much time do you spend sitting each day?
Sometimes a lot (reading or blogging) and sometimes so little (from gardening or doing errands) that my body aches. I guess that balances out over time as a healthy lifestyle.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
[Having Children not included]
Being an excellent childcare provider. I built a wonderful reputation and took my role of inspiring and teaching kids farther than what some might consider “babysitting”.
Kindergarten teachers approached me on a few occasions expressing how well prepared and skilled ‘my kids’ were and knowing new kids each September had spent their ‘tender years’ under my tutelage made them happy. Some family members of ‘my kids’ have also reached out to tell me how pleased they were by what they had noticed the kids had learned. That included manners, life-skills, and being curious.
Are/Were you the youngest, middle, oldest or only child?
I have been interested in ‘birth order’ theory for a long time. Some psychologists believe that one’s birth order plays a crucial role in each of our personalities. The little day care ‘families’ (keep in mind that many of the kids spent more wakeful hours with me than at home) that grew up in my care often scrambled that dynamic by placing ‘oldest’ children in a group where they were the ‘youngest’, and so on.
I was all in on “Birth Order Theory” at one time. And I DO think birth order plays a part in the rate at which kids mature. BUT, after years of my own curious study, I’m now convinced that most of our temperament and natural inclinations come from inborn tendencies. Our DNA has done much of the decision making. I could go on and on about my real-life observations, but I’ll spare you. LOL
I am the oldest child of three. I was also the oldest grandchild on BOTH sides. I got a slathering of attention for sure.
Human psychology is so very curious.
On Facebook, there’s a game circulating which asks people to list some unknown facts about themselves. Immediately, I was struck by the different types of answers and that, some “private” people, just didn’t want to play.
As a person who shares her ideas and opinions (more often than many would care to hear), I find “private” people curious from the “get go”. This is not a judgement, at all. I just wonder what they are feeling and thinking? Since they aren’t inclined to share…I may never know.
That said, the answers, from those who wanted to play, fell into several categories.
1. Things that have happened to them.
2. Their personal tastes and preferences.
3. Accomplishments and choices they’ve made.
THIS is absolutely interesting to me.
While some, chose to reach into their childhood for tidbits, others stayed in a “real time” frame of reference… this also, was interesting.
I’m not a psychologist and we cannot be sure that “how?” people answered isn’t influenced by their own environment in that moment BUT it must, on some level, say a lot about their self-image.
Now, don’t expect me to draw conclusions. This blog post is just about pointing out something that I found curious and wanted to share ‘cuz sharing is what I do! LOL 😉
Comedy: The Life and Times
What makes something or someone funny?
If we could “put our finger” on that, most of us would choose to become comedians. It is fun to be funny!
I was watching my 7 year old granddaughter make her 5 month old sister laugh. A delightful engaging scene. The first thing that I noticed and, had always known, slapstick comedy is ageless. Even infants know that falling on your face is funny and, the addition of surprise to that equation, makes it hilarious.
The puzzle that I am searching to solve is, how do some people make us laugh by their presence alone? I have a giggle reflex that starts when my sister enters the room. The same reflex happens with a few friends of mine too. The immediate solution seems to be that we have an on-going comedy act. Maybe a history of funnies that come to mind or, at least, are lurking in our subconsciousness. That might well be true BUT I have had the same comedic stirrings with new kids/babies in my day care program. One of my long remembered kids and I locked eyes for the very first time and laughed. We each just felt a bubbly energy when we were together.
Which now begs the question, where does that energy originate and what inspires it? Have you ever been in line at a grocery store and felt that connection with a complete stranger? I have. It always surprises and delights me. It’s often been said that dealing with the “public” is a chore. Yes, there are also people who can “put us off” at first glance. Is it their posture, lack of eye contact, facial expression? A fascinating psychological puzzle for sure.
Whatever the chemistry may be called, it makes the world a happier place knowing that comedy is alive and can be found when, and where, we least expect it. Surprise!
In The Lake of the Woods- Book Review
Just finished this book and I’m in the usual fog that follows. Gripping and disturbing are often adjectives applied to books. They fit completely in this case.
There are historical references, many of which I remember in real-time. The old understood fact, that society is forgetful, certainly has me reeling. I had also forgotten those events.
Forgetting is necessary in order to carry on after atrocities. But when we forget, do we place understanding in the hands of historians? Then again, there are some things, like the recent tragedy in a Connecticut school, that can never be understood. It will never be known how many people were wounded…scarred forever, and the lack of understanding of such events fester forever in our subconsciousness. Never Solved…Never Resolved…EVER.
So what do we do? We wait. Time doesn’t ever heal anything. It just allows for those scarred individuals to, one day, all turn to dust and, with them, the direct, hurtfulness of the unimaginable.
This book returns us to the time of the Vietnam War through the life of John Wade. It reintroduced atrocities that have yet, in 2013, to become dust. It skillfully asks the question, How can we forget? It produces characters that are directly and indirectly victims of things that they don’t understand. Most of those things, they don’t want to understand but the effects are real enough to destroy their lives. The horrific ripples are toxic and live on and keep destroying as if the horrors faced are living beasts attached by an umbilical to the witnesses.
Tim O’Brien obviously was/is one of those scarred by the war. He makes a case for living beyond personal nightmares, especially when they are the only ones faced in a lifetime. But John Wade has endured a piling on of nightmares. His hauntings intermingle and grow larger and fiercer with every attempt he makes to forget them. Not having answers, as an adult, is troubling. Needing answers, as a child, can leave a person hopelessly lost.
I couldn’t put this down. I was a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car. Some might say, the ending asks more questions than it gives answers. I believe this book was about the gray area between what is real and what we cannot understand. It certainly made me feel powerless to ever make things right. Happiness is an illusion after tragedy and the best survivors are merely “magicians”.
I’m sure you have heard the statement,”It’s all in your head.” It’s a common phrase which begs for the answer,”What’s your point?”.
Psychology doesn’t always explain everything and our taste buds are a fine example.
When I was a child, I used to watch my sister gobble the garden-fresh fruit of the tomato plant with a passion. One summer, she consumed enough of them to break out in hives. They became forbidden to her for much of that season. I ,on the other hand (or tongue), could not stand their taste. I practiced taking bites of the eye-appealing delicacy, with the same intoxicated look that my sister always had, only to retch and spit it out.
I finally found them palatable when they were hot. My “tomato war” lasted many years until I had one on a hamburger. I was in my teens and rejoiced that I could finally taste the “good” in them. You may think rejoicing is a bit “over the top” but my silent war with my taste buds was a bitter one. All that time, I did enjoy ketchup and other tomato products but never tomato juice or fresh fruit.
I have had a similar struggle with carrots. It was in an opposite delivery. Cooked carrots ruined many a stew for me yet eating them raw has always been one of my favorite snacks.
The varied tastes people have, scientifically, must have to be from our individual abilities to taste chemicals that are present. I’ve read that some of us(me included) cannot enjoy a glass of orange juice when it immediately follows brushing our teeth. Others have no idea what we are experiencing. This would be one of those,”It’s all in your head.” moments from their perspective. My answer is,”Where ever it comes from, it remains yucky!”
When realizing how varied peoples tasting skills are, it makes me all the wiser when it comes to tolerance of their ideas. How varied we are in experiences and views! It is very exasperating when someone cannot seem to grasp what you are saying. It would be easy to call them dumb or stubborn and sometimes that is exactly what they are. But, I propose we all keep our taste buds in mind the next time we connect with people. There are many ways to “taste” life. None of them are wrong but they are, oh, so varied.