When Emotions Pass in the Night


That car’s a jerk. That’s what I think when q car aggressively passes me. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I think that.

What I also have a tendency to do is to give personality traits to the way a car is moving. I think they call that anthropomorphism or personification. Ultimately, yes, the interpretation of action ends up at the driver but it starts with the cars movements.

It’s the most intriguing when you don’t actually see the driver of the car because seeing the driver biases the desire to simply judge the action. What can I read into that action without any interference from body language or facial expression?

Like the car that keeps shifting from one side of the lane to the other. Is that impatience? Is it concern for what might be ahead?

And the kind of vehicle changes the interpretation. If a sports car overly aggressively passes me, I might think what typical Type-A, everything-is-a-competition behavior. But if a propane truck over aggressively passes me, I might think what recklessness.

Context changes reactions to actions as well. If it’s a clear, dry day and some minivan is tailgating me, I might think your impatience will not get you there faster. If the streets are slippery at night and a minivan is tailgating me, I might think what careless and selfish jerk to endanger me for no good reason.

So I guess actions do speak very loud indeed. So if you think your state of mind is so closely guarded by your fortress like car, you are wrong. Maybe the cars actions can be like tells: conscious or unconscious actions that betray an emotion.

People who play poker look for tells. People who interview or interrogate people look for tells. Tells can be words, body language, facial expressions and perhaps the movement of your car.

Our emotions are not so hidden as we think, especially for people who know what they are looking for.

I know I am screwed in that department. I wear every emotion on my face. Nothing is hidden. The best I can do is express a blank face that while it may hide a more subtle emotional tell screams that something is clearly up even if you don’t know exactly what.

So I’ve embraced my inability to hide emotions as some sort of grand openness and tried to incorporate it as a positive personality trait. The open book approach.

To watch me is to know me. I can only imagine what my horrendous driving shouts out to other people.

About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
This entry was posted in Freedom, Personality and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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