Interrupting. Ahhh… now, there’s a loaded topic.
I shudder involuntarily whenever the subject is broached. Not because I worry about getting interrupted. I don’t.
I have the other sort of baggage — where I worry I’m going to anger someone because I’ve inadvertently interrupted them.
What’s interesting is that I haven’t universally gotten this feedback from everyone I’ve known or anything. » Read more
Back in high school, I was standing in line at the video store waiting to rent something. It was a long wait, as it usually was. So I was bored of course. Since this was way before smart phones, the natural thing to do was pick up VHS boxes and read the back of them. » Read more
A while back, I was talking to a woman who in general really liked her new mother-in-law. (As we noted in an earlier installment of these series, this is not uncommon; many women get along great with their mothers-in-law, in spite of cultural jokes that would suggest otherwise.)
However, the woman I was talking to had run into one hitch with her mother-in-law, » Read more
Ah, in-laws. There are so many popular references to monstrous in-laws. I can’t tell you how many “my mother-in-law is a nightmare” jokes I heard growing up.
Because of this, I grew up with the expectation that if I did eventually marry, my mother-in-law would be a royal pain in the neck.
Interestingly, » Read more
Fragile masculinity is a cultural phenomenon that’s getting talked about more and more the past few years. Basically, when a man has a fragile sense of masculinity, he believes that manhood is something uncertain, that must be earned, and that can be lost.
Typically, in this belief system, manhood is defined by proving that you are not emotional. » Read more
When I talk about someone being “a hopeless romantic,” most people are likely to assume I’m talking about a woman. Because we’re fiends for romance, don’t you know? Sensitive creatures obsessed with feelings and affection and all the trappings of a loving partnered life.
Straight men, on the other hand, » Read more
Have you ever sat up all night and worried about someone?
I sure have. Especially if I knew they were doing something particularly risky or dangerous, like driving a long distance when the weather was bad.
In one instance, a loved one was several hours late arriving home, and I couldn’t get a hold of them by phone (not normal at all for them). » Read more
Since I’ve studied linguistics and particularly have enjoyed psycholinguistics (a field of study sometimes also known as the psychology of language), I am not one of those people who fly around everywhere correcting everyone else’s grammar.
I’m instead more interested in how language is used in everyday life (whether or not that lines up with the correct way to structure communication). » Read more
A while back, this series featured an article called “Why Do We Cry? Two Dueling Explanations.”
The piece looked at a study that explored the following two possible popular explanations for crying as a social behavior:
- The Helping Hypothesis. The idea behind this is that we evolved to cry in order to solicit social support from others.
» Read more
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say something like this after someone has behaved selfishly:
“Oh, I bet they’re an only child.”
It’s actually pretty wild, how pervasive the belief is that people who don’t have any siblings are destined to grow up to be more selfish and even more narcissistic than those who have brothers and sisters. » Read more