Why I Buy the Small-Sized Popcorn Sometimes

For thousands of generations people told and listened to stories for entertainment and to share information. Movies are just modern storytelling, and like a lot of people, I really like going to the movies.

Here’s the thing though, not everyone will like the same movie. I noticed that when I went to a movie with someone who wasn’t enjoying the movie as much as I was it took some of the enjoyment of the movie away from me. When I wanted to see a movie I might like a lot more than my friends, I’d go by myself so I wouldn’t be influenced by their dissatisfaction.It turns out that it wasn’t my imagination.

Brain researchers have discovered that we have mirror neurons in our brains whose job is empathizing with other people. Mirror neurons get their name because they become active in your brain when you’re observing someone else experiencing something. It’s almost as if you’re experiencing what they are.┬áCan’t you remember seeing someone get (just) a paper cut and it making you feel queasy for a moment?

All of us are soft wired to experience someone else’s plight as if we were in their situation; we call it empathy. One of our primary drives is to belong. And these mirror neurons light up, bonding us to others through empathy. We can feel another’s fear, anger, frustration, etc. Solidarity through compassion.

Okay. Back to the movies. Sometimes, that’s why I buy the small-sized popcorn sometimes.