Adults need fidgets too. Fidgets can be used to keep you stimulated by using multiple sensory channels. Fidgets have real world benefit and can help adults get through board meetings or their children’s piano recitals. Sure, we all have our cell phones, but using phones conveys a distinct message that “you are not as important as what’s on my phone.” In contrast, fidgets can be disguised and even in obvious cases doesn’t make the person feel less important.
Why does fidgeting help people to listen? Physical activity is known to increase attention and even fidgeting offers benefits by releasing dopamine. It may be that it gives a person a sense of control over their environment and thereby has a calming effect. It may be a personality trait. Some people are high tempo and some people are low tempo. It may be that fidgeting allows high tempo people to adapt in low tempo situations.
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