January 2, 2005

the small things

Has anyone noticed how people pick up traits or ticks of other people? I've been noticing it for a while now amongst all sorts of different people. For example, at work, one of the guys, Rob, uses a lot of fill in the blank phrases. What I mean by fill in the blank phrases is he'll say something like "it's one of those situations" or "you know how the story goes" without actually telling you what the situation is or how the story goes. Anyway, two of the other guys at work have started using some of Rob's phrases. It's not just the phrases either, they've actually started imitating his body language while saying the phrases. I mentioned this to one of the guys and he didn't even know he was doing it! Could it be a subconscious form of flattery? I'm thinking yes.

Posted by mrpibb at January 2, 2005 10:56 PM | TrackBack

I have noticed everyone I know do this to some extent, and I have noticed myself doing it as well. I've actually thought about this a lot. So yes.

Posted by: Marv at January 3, 2005 12:12 AM

I think that it has something to do with the way we learn language. When we're babies we learn to speak by listening to others do it, so I guess that it's natural that even as we get older we still pick up words and phrases from those we spend a lot of time around. Think about the way phrase and lines from television and movies get incoporated into the vernacular. It's interesting stuff.

Posted by: Dan at January 3, 2005 12:21 AM

and don't forget the body language! Just to make things clearer, I'm talking about subconscious reptition, not repeating phrases 'cuz they're "cool"; I wasn't very clear in my post, not that you guys didn't understand.

Posted by: Jon Swiston at January 3, 2005 8:43 PM

how did you get a pretty color on your blog?

Posted by: Jen at January 19, 2005 9:02 AM
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