He way that humans interact and operate with one another is governed by unwritten social rules. Things like how close to stand to other people, what words to use or avoid, what to say to someone who has just celebrated a positive achievement, how to answer a phone – or simply how to queue up.
There are thousands of these unspoken rules, and many of them quite complicated. When these rules are broken, it makes people nervous and uncomfortable. You can make everyone around you instantly uneasy by jumping the queue at the bank or by striking up a conversation with someone you do not know.
The moment we are born, we begin to absorb clues about what’s acceptable and what’s not by continually emulating as well as experiencing adultsreactions. Children pick up which behaviour triggers negative looks, which initiates laughter, and which receives no reaction at all.
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