Mimicry and Social Skills

2/4/2015

Mimicry and Social Skills

I talk about mimicry a lot, and for the life of me, I don’t know why that would ever be a bad thing.

For people who are sensitive to very distinct differences in their environments, or can sense what is or isn’t right, mimicry is just part of us. I’m sorry that you may not like it, but everyone mimics in some way.

Learning is mimicry. Google: “Scaffolding, Vygotsky” and “Behavioral Psychology” if you disagree, and then get back with me. But the entire point is that to learn anything, we must imitate. We must imitate others. Language is mimicry, because you learn words from others. Social conduct as a whole is mimicry. How long you are supposed to take to make a bowl movement in a public restroom, that is also mimicry.

We all live with these things, and they are only bad if we allow them to be. Humans are social creatures. We have society, because we inevitably conform. We are shaped and filled just like other humans, after all.

So I’m not particularly sure why mimicry is criminal, in this day and age. We can do all kinds of things that are obscenely nonsensical, but to actually admit we are the same as the people who may not be all that great is the cardinal sin of the century. What do you think the Milgrim Studies were (Sorry; psychology knowledge again. These were experiments done at Yale University by Stanley Milgrim, in order to test social control and authority post-WW2, through asking participants to deliver a series of electrical shocks to an actor until they had basically killed him (it was fake). It’s on Wikipedia, if you’d like to see, and it’s also in every intro psychology textbook I’ve ever read : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment).

But yeah, humans are humans. We like other humans. We like them enough to mimic their idiocy. We like them enough to mimic their genocide. We like them enough to commit murder.

Some of the best dystopian novels were by people like Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) who were casually deranged by their day’s standard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley). Is that a problem? I know that’s only like, one guy, but can we all just acknowledge that may creativity and being deranged are actually a thing that are meant to go hand in hand? I can only be as deranged as you let me, and that is why I mimic. And that isn’t a bad thing!

If I don’t know the limits, I will find them, and then I will know them for next time. It is not a bad thing to know what is acceptable or not, because that crap changes, no matter where you go in the world. I can mimic, because I was depressed and had to learn, and actually? That made me really well adjusted to make a running jump into culture shock. I know how to take care of myself. Put that in your pill.

Oh sweet Jesus, I make fun of medicine and Pharmaceutical pursuits all the time, but the point is, health isn’t a passive thing. Pills are meant to be a temporary thing, in theory. But sometimes they aren’t. I know that some people will have to take pills for the rest of their lives for things they will never control, but if you don’t have to, you shouldn’t. They are so expensive and so often ineffectual that you may as well do your absolute best, use them for the supplement they are if you absolutely need them, and use that time to find alternate methods. I remember my past pretty terrible, given that it was often terrible, but the fact of the matter is, if you absolutely need something to survive, you should take it and find better, as you can. This is your life, and your decision, if you can make it. Apart from that, who am I to shoot my mouth off and tell you otherwise? I am often wrong.

I don’t like pills, but that is just me. I know how many alternate methods of therapy there are in the world, because I know how many passionate people find healing in what they love, and that seems pretty natural to me. I believe in “if a thing isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. And often, that is why I don’t believe in mood stabilizers or antidepressants, because I don’t believe that they are generally pretty helpful, and I also know that the science behind them is still rather raw. I’d rather take my risks forcing myself into other healthy habits, and see what happens. And when I couldn’t, I took the pills, and used that time to move forward.

People who would otherwise be ostracized mimic constantly. It is just life. The question is whether you not being accepted is real, or if it is imaginary. How will you know, if you never try, and never try different things? It could be that the people you are hanging out with that don’t accept you are in fact jerks. How will you know if you don’t try? If that doesn’t work out and you still aren’t sure, try again? The scientific method hinges on two things: reliability (repetition, and finding the same results) and validity (those results are true). Without both, you cannot know if something is true. As an added bonus, certain sections of 1st Corinthians can be contrasted with the Scientific Method and found to be in part the same. I wrote that down at some point last semester, I might pull it out soon if I already haven’t posted it.

Well, I’ve rambled enough. Social skills can be learned, because social skills can be deduced. I like being open to random crap, even if that does make me offensive a good portion of the time (but less, as I live). I’d rather start broad and work my way down, in order to actually know what works, and be able to give better advice, if anyone ever actually asked me (trololololol yeah).

Anyways, hope all is well with all of y’all. Ramble at you later,

Haley

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haleynoohra

I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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