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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

August 8, 2018 - 12:11pm --

I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance yesterday. She said, I don’t know you very well, but I think you’d like this podcast called “Pop Culture Happy Hour.”

She was right, it might be my new favorite podcast but, how did she know that I’d enjoy such a show?

Was it because we had spoken briefly about the diversity of roles I have played in society? Was it because we both had a fondness for book stores? Was it because we were both familiar with Danica McKellar’s math books?

I have found that when I meet someone new, I project my thoughts and feelings onto others and hope to like the reflection I see. I assume that others are doing the same. It’s always fun when the person you’re talking to mimics your mannerisms unconsciously, almost indicating that you two have already developed a social bond.

Social mirroring is a theory that “people have a tendency to take over each other's posture, mannerisms and behaviours without awareness.”[1]

Examples of social mirroring include “dress, gestures, vocal pitch and tone, posture, distance, eye contact, distance between the other person, and body orientation.” [2]

These unconscious cues typically indicate that a bond has been formed and that you can proceed to have conversations and maybe become friends.

Learning to make friends is a challenge for adults but, also for most children. Youth have an effortless ability to interact with each other but, struggle to define a social network. Often, they have just one or two friends.

It’s important to teach children how to become friends, how to find commonalities and how to seek out social networks. Human beings are creatures that thrive in communities. 4-H is an excellent community of caring adults and compassionate youth.

Youth engage in academic pursuits, athletic endeavors, financial matters and animal husbandry. 4-H youth learn to care for others as much as they care for themselves. It’s a community designed to build up and work cooperatively toward mastery of various subject areas.

Joining 4-H is not just joining a club, it’s becoming part of a large caring community. Supporting Hamilton County 4-H through sponsoring or attending our Fun Run is not just participating in an event, it’s an expression of a commitment to providing youth with a safe, healthy outlet for self-discovery and expression.


[1] (Rick van Baaren, 2009)

[2] (PhD, 2012)