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The TMI Greeting

A greeting in which one party (or the other; greeter or greeted) exchange information that is personal, private or uncomfortable in nature: “Hey, didja hear about my kidney function?” or “Wow, that lunch burrito went the wrong way”. This, you might say, elicits a disgust response.

What is disgust? It’s a response that “ …caus[es] us to recoil from reminders of our animal nature.” The appropriate reaction to a TMI greeting? Try one of benign masochism; that is, laugh at the icky thing one has been told so as “… take pleasure in the fact that [one] can rise above… animal instincts” (Rozen et al, 1999). But then, that’s rather animal too; and doesn’t show much compassion. You choose.

Rozin, P., Haidt, J., & McCauley, C. R. (1999). Disgust: The body and soul emotion. Handbook of cognition and emotion, 429-445