Sunday, December 7, 2008

Status contest with a twist:Messages in indirect ways

collage by marguerita
The language of teasing is intimately linked to the language of social behavior.
Because teasing allows us to send messages in indirect, masked ways, it is an essential means of navigating our often-fraught social environments.
In teasing, we become actors, taking on playful identities to manage the inevitable conflicts of living in social groups.
Given the perils of negotiating rank, many species have evolved dramatized status contests, relying on symbolic displays of physical size and force to peacefully sort out who’s on top. Stags roar. Frogs croak. Chimps throw branches around. Hippos open their jaws as wide as possible to impress competitors.

Thanks to the scientific study of laughter, we know that when friends laugh, they laugh in unison, their fight-flight response (e.g., increased blood pressure) is calmed and mirror neurons fire; shared laughter becomes a collective experience, one of coordinated action, cooperative physiology and the establishing of common ground.Long-term partners develop their own teasing idiom that weaves its way into their quotidian rhythms. This teasing typically focuses on sexual proclivities, bodily functions, sleep habits, eating habits and anachronistic fashion choices.
We transform the many conflicts of social living into entertaining dramas. No kidding.
In Defense of Teasing -
Yes we can......strip-tease

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