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Men more likely to fidget their way into trouble

Bikram Vohra
Filed on July 1, 2020

Many years ago when conducting a quiz the question that came up was how many times on an average does one touch the face with the hand in a given 24 hours. I was sure I had the answer wrong because it said between 1,500 and 5,000 times. I would have been startled at 200 being the upper limit. To bring that down to practically zero does go against all our basic instincts and the primitive four-legged need (if you are into anthropology) to make contact between paw and face has not been easy especially these days.
Is it any wonder then that touching the face is an onerous exercise made more strenuous by the placement of the mask. It is also the reason why people so easily break the rules and convince themselves that they haven't done anything wrong.
Even if one concedes that you have done nothing wrong it is just that you have not done enough right.
Into the fourth month of the pandemic take a gander at your conduct and compare it to the first few weeks. Remember how the hands stayed down and were constantly being washed with vigour and despair in equal measure. You doing that now? Echo answers no. In the beginning, before we slipped into diminishing returns, the rules were written in steel and we were unbending. Now we have, many of us, started using rationale to kid ourselves that taking chances is okay. And we are doing just that. We have lowered the safety standards whether we like it or not and by our example allowed it to be lowered in those around us.
A recent survey showed that it is men who are more likely to drop their guard because they are more fidgety by nature and have less patience to play the waiting game. Women have a warmer relationship with patience and can hang in there longer. Ironically, women are more likely to be blamed for any lapses in the safety control measures but it is usually the men who take chances.
Men are also more likely to listen to a fantail of expert advice and then distil it to their liking so that they can justify their transgressions. Women are naturally more protective especially when it comes to the children and while they might go along with the menfolk for the peace of the house their instincts are more inclined to be safer than sorry.
Back to the fidgeting stakes. Research shows men are less likely to sit still and more likely to start pacing literally and figuratively and upset, if you will, the applecart.You seldom see women burning a hole in the carpet or touching a bric a brac on someone's desk and playing with it.
Look around you. Who is the restless one, the one with the need to change the order for the sake of change, the one most eager to break the shackles.
Fidgety men are everywhere. Men twist paper clips, they need stress busters, something to fiddle with even if they are in an office. That is why the fidget spinner and other such gadgets are aimed at men.
The other reason for the impatience in men could be because fidgeting is indicative of good health. Now whether that feeds bravado one cannot be sure.
But it also increases the risk factor so sit still will you and raise the safety bar again. - bikram@khaleejtimes.com





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