Mannerisms – what are they exactly?

I found out about some of my mannerisms the hard way, when I asked a pupil to role-play the part of ‘teacher’in a French lesson.The whole class was laughing and I didn’t get the joke!I can see the value of being videoed at work – what a wonderful learning opportunity!
I can recognise some people by their mannerisms and gait even when I can only see them in silhouette, but I often find it difficult, bordering on impossible, to define the mannerisms that give me the clue. I find the same with voice-recognition. Before the days of caller-ID and mobile phones, many people could ring me up and say ‘Hello, it’s me’ – and I knew exactly who ‘me’ was.I’m sure there are scientific explanations of the factors that enable us to recognise voices – but I’m still amazed at the speed and accuracy of human, science-free, technology-free voice recognition and mannerism-recognition.
A complete stranger once identified me on a bus by my mannerisms and by the colour of my young daughter’s eyes.It transpired that the stranger knew both by sister and my husband professionally. She told me she thought that my mannerisms were just like my sister’s, and that my daughter had ‘her Dad’s eyes’ – so she decided to tap me on the shoulder and check it out!
Somehow we seem to have a God-given ‘radar’ that enables us to make these identifications quickly and accurately. This really captivates my interest.If I were a scientist (which I’m not!) I think I might be really fired-up about researching this subject – but that’s just hypothetical šŸ™‚

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