Behavior Modification

Boy I’m really running late today. It’s been a long one.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you enjoyed some time with your special someone. Myles and I have hung out a lot. I gave my children each a heart box of candy. The Husband and I hung out too.

Let’s remember: These are my thoughts and opinions. Agree or disagree, your choice. Feel free to comment or not.

Way back in high school I took a psychology class. I had been toying with the idea of majoring in psychology in college and thought I’d take the class just to make sure it was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. It was a lot of fun. The teacher wasn’t a “book” teacher so we did a lot more than read the chapter and answer the questions. We had rip roaring conversations and talked through a lot of studies. There were projects. We even had to do volunteer work. It was one of my favorite classes.

One of the fun things we did was little experiments with our friends. Sometimes with permission and sometimes on the sly. I remember doing one that involved yawning. We were to yawn at some point when talking to someone to see if we could get the other person to yawn. They do tend to be contagious. I can’t remember the details but I know we had to keep track of how many yawns were returned. It was a very simple way to modify a person’s behavior. Over time we were allowed to come up with other little experiments on our own. One kid decided to try to start a trend. He began wearing his t-shirt, the music band ones, backwards. It took a few days but eventually a handful of kids were doing it. It was interesting to see how people would just go along.

I learned so much in this high school class that when I went to college, even though I majored in accounting, I took an abnormal psychology class. It was interesting but not as much fun.

I find myself thinking about the psychology of the pandemic. How we are all being changed whether we want to be or not. I see changes in the way people behave towards others. At first it seemed like a kindness to move away from others. People would still smile and speak. I see that slipping away. People now move to the other side of the street, even though all are wearing masks. It is even more rare to get an excuse me at the grocery store. I worry about the children. How will they be well adjusted if they never see a stranger smile and are repeatedly told to move away from this person or that person. I’m concerned for our society.

About nothingbutknit2

I'm a wife, mother and knitter. Watch out for my pointy sticks.
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13 Responses to Behavior Modification

  1. I have expressed these same concerns. A whole generation is growing up not knowing the joy of some crazy lady making faces at them while waiting in the grocery store check out line, of seeing a stranger smile, of talking to random people. Covering your mouth covers your emotions. I seriously am concerned about the effects of this.
    Also, I think you’re my long lost twin – I too took a psych class in college, and also ended up with a degree in accounting. Weird, hunh?

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do have a very similar mindset:) The accounting made more sense than the psychology:)
      The saddest part of the mask/distancing thing is the look I see in the eyes of the little kids. I see fear. Some are quite tiny, maybe 2 and they just look frightened. We aren’t yet at a year (almost!) and I think the damage that has been done will last a lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see fear as well. But there’s hope – the other day we were at Petsmart. If you donate, they give you a sticker. I’m kind of not into big ugly puppy stickers, although the fancy Victorian ones will grab me but that’s another story. I noticed a little girl and her mom behind me so I asked the mom if the little one could have the sticker. The little girl was all happy and reaching for it, no fear there. But I worry all the same. And the worst part is that the idiots in charge don’t seem to care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Some of those in charge seem to be taking advantage of the extra power they’ve been given. At least some places are standing up. I’ll be interested to see if anything happens to Cuomo. Everyone seems to be turning on him. The recall of Newsom in CA has had great momentum. Both of these “leaders” have behaved poorly and didn’t put their people first.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cuomo was sanctified because he blamed Trump for everything- and still is. But when your parents, and grandparents, have died because of his actions, that kind of pushes aside the Orange Man Bad argument. My niece in law hasn’t actually hugged her mom since March. I feel lucky that I don’t have anyone in a nursing home because by now, I’d probably be in jail for busting them out.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. kathyreeves says:

    I miss hugging my kids, though we have tried to keep things more normal at piano lessons. Nonverbal communication is centered in the face and reading that is a critical life skill, so wearing masks all the time is definitely a concern. We are so easily led these days, even more so than 20 years ago, and back then our grandparents were saying the same thing about us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ReginaMary says:

    We just had a workshop at school where we talked about trauma and resiliency. The presentation was terrible, but afterward, my colleagues and I had some really good conversations about our young people and the events of the past year. It makes me sad to think about all of the ‘firsts’ and milestones our students encounter and how so many of these moments will be remembered through the lens of a pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been watching since the beginning all the milestones and events people are missing out on. Everyone in charge keeps saying we have to do this to save lives and we’ll get back to normal. But all these milestones can’t be revisited. There will be no prom or graduation for the kids who graduated last year and probably this year. They will never get that back. Weddings have been dramatically altered. Funerals totally different or gone. All these things can’t be revisited. The mental health issues that people will suffer in the future need to be measured and balanced with the risks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ReginaMary says:

        I agree. You see it with your own children and I see it at the school where I work. I really scratch my head when I hear over and over that the young people are not the cause of the outbreaks, yet they are opening arenas and large venues here in NY, but many schools are still operating on a fully remote program. Many confusing and contradicting directives.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. chrisknits says:

    I hear you on all of it. My rebellion is I do not wear masks into most stores. I tested “detected” for the dead virus in August 2020, so I have had it. Why should I be in a mask. I didn’t have any symptoms when I “had” it and even if I get a different strain, why would it affect me any differently? I think the loss of common sense is the worst thing happening right now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • yarnmama10 says:

      Same here. I won’t wear a mask. I did submit to it out in a few circumstances like visiting my mother in hospice, etc. I have walked away from the hand full of retail stores that refused to let me enter without a mask. Maybe if enough people did that this madness would stop pretty quick. I let my wallet do the talking. If they don’t want my business I am sure someone else will. It’s their loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I ALWAYS wear a mask when indoors with people not in my immediate circle or family. Strong adherence to masking guidance is what has gone a long way to keeping Vermont numbers low. If I meet you in a store not wearing a mask, I will go far out of my way to avoid you, and I am sorry you care so little for the health of the employees, who don’t have that choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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