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Opinion

Adopted Mannerisms

I have a friend whose speech patterns are quite unusual. The tone of his voice, the accent…. Everything was just different, sort of like how someone from Britain stands out in Africa. It was not until recently that I found out that his speech patterns were identical to someone else. This friend of mine listened to a renowned preacher and had successfully adopted his speech patterns for himself. Sadly, when I mentioned it, (albeit indirectly), he just waved it off with a virtual smile. (Yes, I told him this over the Internet, and he replied with an emoji).

But speech is not the only thing that can be copied….. Wait. Have I told you what “ADOPTED MANNERISMS” are? Oh! You must forgive my forgetfulness. (Smiles shyly).

Adopted mannerisms are simply traits or characteristics that are imbibed by someone who originally did not have them. In other words, a copy cat, although that would be too harsh. There are several kinds of adopted mannerism; physiological, (which has to do with physical appearance) and psychological, which deal with thought and behavioural patterns and speech patterns.

Like I was saying earlier, speech patterns aren’t the only things that can be “adopted”, or “ copied”. I take an instance from “CHAPPIE”, the sci-fi movie from 2015. According to the movie, Chappie was a robot who had the ability to feel emotion, just like humans (sigh). Initially, he wasn’t able to do anything, as his creator, Deon, described as a baby (heh). Later on, he started walking with a sort of swagger to his gait, like 50cent in his younger days (shhh!).

Some factors that influence adopted mannerisms include genetics and the environment. The saying “A chip off the old block” reflects just how much genes play a huge role in adopted mannerisms. There are people who behave exactly like their parents, or forebears. That’s not to say there aren’t any differences though. But if placed in a certain situation, they would most likely take an approach that would most likely be what their father or mother would do.

Environmental factors play a huge role in the traits that we take from others. If you are in a room where everyone else is quiet, chances are you’ll be quiet too, even if it’s for the time that you spend there.

If you were at a nightclub, however, your reaction would be different. Since almost everyone there is frenzied and dancing, you will be pulled into that aura too.

Adopted mannerisms have a huge impact on our endeavours as humans whether we realise it or not. Unfortunately, it is one aspect of life that is ignored at best, and in the worst-case scenario, unknown to a large number. This ignorance has led to some of the worst-case scenarios. Here you are wondering what I mean. I’ll explain it. In an environment where vices are prevalent, there is a huge chance that at least 70 per cent of the individuals found there would be involved in some if not all of the wrongdoings there. How else would you explain cult and gang rivalries? Or the fact that a usually introverted person whose only bad habits are earing junk and under eating, suddenly becomes a smoker?

Utilised correctly, however, I believe that adopted mannerisms can bring beautiful change to society. By educating the general public on adopted mannerisms and its impact on our lives, we stand a chance of reducing societal to a minimum.

I would not be writing this if I didn’t adopt some manners, would I?

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