Why You Want to Pinch That Cute Baby’s Face
Landon is my newest nephew. Only two weeks old and he already has our hearts. He is so precious and pure, I cannot get enough of him. When I look at his little nose and chubby cheeks, I find myself saying things like, "Oh I just want to bite him." This is not the first time that a cute baby has had this effect on me.
Almost everyone I know has experienced that feeling of overwhelming cuteness while playing with a baby or puppy. Psychology Today says there’s a scientific reason behind it. Commonly known as cute aggression, “dimorphous expressions” serves a sociological purpose. It sort of controls our emotions. Sage Journals published a finding from Oriana Aragon, who is the lead researcher in the 2015 study and she explained the phenomenon.
We regulate emotions in a lot of different ways. Sometimes we try to rethink the situation. Sometimes we try to push our emotions down with sheer will. Sometimes we remove ourselves from the situation that is causing the emotions. And with this new discovery, we are figuring out that sometimes we respond with the opposite expression from what we feel, and that seems to help to balance us back out too.
In other words, the level of adorableness your baby and/or puppy possesses is literally too much to handle. Your brain needs to balance the emotion with the opposite action because you “can’t even."
So, the next time you find yourself questioning whether or not you are a cannibal, just remember everything you learned about cute aggression and snuggle that baby safely.