Saturday, November 30, 2013

Silly Old Bear

Around our house, if you are being ridiculously pessimistic, you’re Eeyore, if you’re being a scaredy cat, you’re Piglet (pronounced, “P-p-p-piglet”) and if you’re being all happy and excitable, you’re Tigger.

We are not alone in this. Lots of people have noticed that the different characters of Winnie the Pooh are representative of different personalities or outlooks, though there is a distinct tendency, if my quick Google search can be depended upon (which found this and this and this and this), for people to say, not just that the characters represent different human tendencies, but that they have different disorders. Eeyore is depressed, Piglet has anxiety disorder, Tigger has ADD, Rabbit has OCD and even Christopher Robin is schizophrenic. (Come on, people, in the story, he’s a small boy playing with his stuffed animals, though later on, as an adult in real life, he did seem to be a bit of a curmudgeon.)

Why does everything, even Winnie the Pooh characters, have to be pathologized?

About 15 years ago, I went to see a lecture by an expert on children with learning differences. At the start of his talk, he joked, “Once you know about learning differences, you will see them everywhere.”

It’s TRUE.

The people who talk a million miles an hour, don’t define their terms or identify the person they are talking about, they just expect you to know, they are having trouble with pragmatics or the social use of language.

Jittery people, tapping their feet, drumming on desktops, who clearly have no patience for lectures or books, who need to get out and be doing something, they have issues with attention.

We’re not “disordered” or “damaged.” We’re just all, at some level, silly, "imperfect," idiosyncratic, different.
Maybe we should just embrace it.


  1. wow, by reading this blog, I just recognized that my husband has trouble with pragmatics. He rambles on and on, sometimes losing where he was going with the conversation. And sometimes he will start a conversation, and I will say to him that he is starting a conversation in the middle and I have no idea what he is talking about.

  2. Verrrry interesting.