by Angela Ackerman
Have you been in a situation where someone acts erratically, and not in a good way? It takes you by surprise, doesn’t it? Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting around the lunch table with coworkers and pop out a joke. Instead of a wave of laughter, one of your tablemates begins to sob. Or they jump up, shove the table, and walk out.
Your emotional response? Befuddlement (What just happened?) Guilt (What did I say?) Judgement (Wow, she’s unstable.)
It’s always a bit uncomfortable when we can’t follow the logic of cause and effect. A joke should prompt laughter, head shaking and a grin, or maybe if poorly delivered, an awkward beat of silence. These are reactions we expect.
Cause-and-effect is very important in the real world.
This sequence helps us navigate life. When we know what to expect, we know what to do.
Study for a test to pass it.
Pay the mortgage to have a safe place to live.
It also helps us know what not to do.
Drinking too much causes a hangover.
People who leave a paper trail get caught.
If I tell the boss what I really think, I’ll be fired.
Cause-and-effect helps us plan and gives us a sense of control over our lives.
Guess who else is hardwired to notice cause-and-effect? Readers.
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