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Posts Tagged ‘behaviour’

This article appeared in Mx last week (the free metropolitan newspaper) – before you berate me for reading that ‘newspaper’ let me say, I know I know, you wouldn’t categorise this publication as hard-hitting journalism. In fact, it can be quite trashy and ridiculous at times. But it’s free, and stupid. I need a dose of stupid sometimes.

Onto the article itself! What do you think?

The thing that struck me most was this line: “It’s no wonder girls keep playing games – we’re not supposed to call, we’re not supposed to chase, we’re not supposed to come on too strong.”

There will be some with stories of how they met their man by being straightforward and forthright, but I would have to say my thoughts are attuned with that line. Or at least, that’s how it feels. Not only do many girls spend time analysing text messages, conversations etc., but they also analyse how ‘eager’ they come across, if it’s too much. Maybe it should be toned down. What if he thinks I don’t like him then? If he liked me wouldn’t he try anyway? Maybe I’m reading it all wrong. I just want to know!!!

Have you ever played any tricks to get the attention of someone?

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During this last week of February, of summer, and a crazy busy schedule, I unexpectedly encountered a few acquaintances along my way. I ended up chatting with one of them for nearly an hour, as we spanned a broad range of topics and whiled away the dull ride that is public transport. I often glanced at the commuters around us, as they averted their gaze and pretend to be oblivious to our conversation – I am sure that at least one of my comments is bound to end up in mX Overheard (a section of the free metropolitan train newspaper).

As we each parted to go on our separate ways my first thoughts were about my impressions and what it was that I left. After some analysing I began thinking about my reaction or thought processes (yes, I analysed my analysis) – and I thought about the different ways in which one thinks about the exact same situation.

Do I think about the impression I left?

Do I think about what impression that person has left on me?

Or perhaps I start to think about the delicious lunch I have packed, the sparkly dress I saw in the shop-front and all the work I have for today.

Which of these is your first reaction?

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Photo: Caiti Ann http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitianne/3660558349/

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Now flip phones have become a thing of the past. It’s all about the i-phone, blackberry and whatever else is around the corner. Nevertheless, when I was younger the flip phone was the coolest thing around.

I used to watch the television carefully when the girls and guys would flip their phones effortlessly and wish I had a flip phone; just for that sole purpose. Mind you, when I did eventually try opening one, it didn’t look quite as seamless as those ‘perfect mannequins’ on television.

It is a well-studied phenomenon (not the phone flipping), that our behaviour changes when we are being observed (social facilitation, mere presence theory etc.). We don’t really need studies to tell us about these nuanced alterations because they are evident in our own actions and in those of others.

For example, some of my nuanced changes in behaviour include, talking on the phone with my head in the air, moving the pleats of my skirt so they sway in the wind, typing faster on the computer when someone walks by, swaying to the music just a bit harder…

What I want to know, is does it really make a difference? Do people see right through us as we shift our gears?

We tend to have that feeling that we are ‘fooling others’; a certain superiority that others can’t see through us. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum we achieve that same feeling when someone ‘tries’ to fool us, or so we think, and we see right through it. Perhaps we play along for our own amusement, to spare the feelings of the other party or because we can’t be bothered to signal that their jig is up.

I just smile inside and keep moving along.

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Here is part of an Obituary for “The Late Mr Common Sense”, which I recently read in a local school newsletter.

“Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

Common sense lost the will to live: when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault; when schools were required to get parental permission to administer sun lotion or a band-aid to a student; when a teacher was fined for reprimanding an unruly student; after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot – she spilled a little onto her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was predeceased by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason.

Common Sense is survived by three step-brothers: I know my rights, Someone else is to blame and I’m a victim.

Not many attended the funeral, because so few realised he was gone.” – Author Unknown

  

Common Sense, Truth, Trust, Discretion, Responsibility and Reason… Where have you gone?

It seems like the harder I try to practice these virtues, the more I get knocked back; for I am either patronised or mocked by some of my peers.

Perhaps the notion that “bad girls/boys have more fun” is something worth taking a closer look at. For some people, working to gain trust, practising truth and being wary of over self-indulgent behaviour might not seem worth the effort. It is certainly more difficult to practice responsibility, especially as it seems to connote a lack of excitement and adventure. We love to push other people to try something new, to test ‘the limits’ and see how far they will go to gain the approval of others.

Perhaps it is not too late for Mr. Common Sense to rise again. Although…if Common Sense and Logic are closely related, I don’t have much hope for myself! I’ll just have to work on Trust et al.

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