I love 'em, in all their weirdness. I especially love some of their foibles, especially those which crop up repeatedly - that is to say these are not really individual foibles, but common ones.
Yesterday I experienced one that I've been watching for years, and it inspired me to write about it.
Essentially what happens is that person A has a problem. They ask a group of people "What would you do in this situation?"
Those in the group can express themselves any way they please, and most simply ignore the question. Yep.
Remember, the question is "What would YOU do?"
Most people reply "I think you should...."
No, she didn't ask what you think she should do, she asked what you would do.
Those of you who know me well know that I try to avoid saying "you should..." anyway, as a general principle. But specifically when I'm asked "What would you do?" I reply "I would....."
And what I would do is frequently not what others would do. I have a fairly unusual outlook on life.
Therefore, quite often when I say "I would........." a lot of people disagree with me. That's OK. I don't mind, in fact I'm used to it.
But having said "I would...." what happens next is not just people disagreeing with me, but people accusing me of something I didn't do.
"Why would you tell her to do that?"
"She shouldn't have to do that!"
"You have no right expecting her to do that."
I didn't tell her what to do. She asked what I would do, and I actually paid attention to the question. I responded with what I would do.
Apparently to many, this implies giving advice. This must be how they operate then. They say "I would" when they MEAN "You should." A subtle way of telling people what to do, by pretending they aren't. And, they assume others are as weasly as they are.
Some of us say what we actually mean. Shocking really.
I don't expect everyone to be as careful in their communication as I am. It is my choice. I will not "should" you on this anymore than I would anything else. But group behaviour fascinates me anyway - especially the "pile on" effect when somebody says something controversial - and this is an especially interesting aspect of it.