Life is Not a Book (More’s the Pity)

There is something that happens in books and movies that generally does not happen in real life. (You know, aside from all the other things that happen in books that people generally believe can’t happen in real life.) At least, it is not something that has ever happened to me.

What I’m talking about is “the speaking look.” Most people do not know what a “warning look,” actually looks like. Most people will not be cowed into silence by a single threatening glance or a few words of warning. Most people are not actually all that attuned to other people’s body language or speech patterns, even if supposedly, most people have what’s called “the theory of mind,” which is the ability to guess/understand what someone else is thinking or feeling. (Which I’m not sure I can believe in, but then, I don’t tend to do that very well to begin with.)

I’ve tried this in the wild on many occasions. If you tell someone who had a bee buzzing by them, “don’t move, there’s a bee,” they will immediately start screaming and flailing. If you glare at someone in hopes they’ll stop saying something offensive, they will laugh at you. Clever witticisms comments and “set ups” where characters pretend to act like the wrong-doing character to make fun of them and/or Educate them will tend to back fire more often than not.

(People will also fail to hear/identify sounds that are quite audible to someone else, and will make fun of you because they apparently can’t hear the weird metallic buzzing that’s been driving you crazy all morning, but that’s a different ramble entirely)

This is mostly because (I think) that the writer in writing the story generally doesn’t want to have to deal with characters who consistently miss cues/body language, unless it’s some kind of satire or “dark” fic. So the characters follow the script instead of wandering off or looking blankly at the dramatically-pausing or meaningful-looking character.

(Note: no matter how cool it looks, don’t try to base your speech mannerisms or body language off of favorite TV shows and books. It generally doesn’t look that cool in real life.)

In an entirely random shout out (and yes, to do a Amazon link), I recently read Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robinson. I enjoyed it a lot. His school experience doesn’t really match up with mine, but I could really, really sympathize with the communication problems the writer mentions, since I’ve had similar ones.


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Filed under not spalding gray, Ramble

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