We all have odd and unusual habits of some kind. They are the idiosyncrasies that individualize us from the flock that surrounds our everyday. They are the peculiar or eccentric behaviors we perform unconsciously. We can be aware that we hold a particular characteristic but we do it out of habit. For instance, a friend of mine hums when he is nervous or uncomfortable.
I conducted three surveys on line with friends and family to find out their habits and mannerisms of idiosyncrasy. I sent out requests by email and on Facebook through SurveyMonkey. Fifty people responded to the three surveys. Also, I randomly asked acquaintances if they had any habits or mannerisms they would like to share with me. One woman expressed she always knows when her husband is finished in the bathroom. The last thing he does every time is blow his nose.
In the survey’s, I asked people for their idiosyncrasies and specific questions focused on a particular habit. Through the course of my study I became aware that people are particular about when they put their socks on. I decided to ask in a separate survey if they put their socks on before or after their pants when they get out of the shower. The majority of people, 77% put their socks on before their pants, 15% put them on after, and 8% say it depends on the circumstances.
Another specific question I asked was if they did the same thing every time before they left the house or went to bed. The majority, 65% of the people answered that they did not do the same things. Most of the people that answered yes commented routine habits like taking care of the dog and getting the coffee pot ready. There were a few that have to check all the lights in their place and one that has to unplug most of the electronics when they are not being used.
People’s mannerisms of idiosyncrasy illustrate peculiar and eccentric habits. One person said, “I clap my hands together, just once, before I start a work project. It seams to focus me to start” Another person expressed, “When I want something to go faster like water to boil or something to download, I wiggle my fingers.” Some additional responses people gave are: “I play a hand-held Solitaire game EVERY night in bed… And I play until I win, then quit.” “I turn my pop top to 3 automatically.” “My fingers count syllables constantly. I try to find tens. It comes from poetry class trying to count out meters.” “I tap my feet and fingers a lot.” “I always have to hit the volume up three clicks. No matter what!”
I had to think about my own idiosyncrasies after hearing so many other people’s habits and mannerisms. It was easy to think of a habit of mine. I talk to myself quit often. I have even caught myself doing it in the public a couple of times. Now, a mannerism was little more challenging for me. So, I asked my daughter what she thought mine might be. Immediately she replied, “Your dancing in public! It’s so embarrassing!”
Lol! A lot of the time I’m dancing to my own music.
What are your idiosyncrasies? Mannerisns?