TheConfidante In the Media
Kissing is awesome (according to me) and there are so many reasons to talk about it:
Why do we kiss each other? The short un-scientific answer is we have no idea! The long answer is that we have no idea because not every culture and society on Earth does it. Nobody has a definitive answer about why it’s something we’d even start doing to begin with.
We do have a lot of ideas about why we kiss people and I’m sure you’re thinking of a few. It’s important to note that some cultures, particularly more “primitive” ones, find the practice strange and, in some cases, downright unpleasant.
We can assume therefore that kissing isn’t something ingrained in human behaviour; it’s very much a social construct and different between different cultures.
From what I’ve researched about kissing, here are some of the top reasons scientists think we kiss:
No wonder that kid was so worried about seeing “Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Underneath The Christmas Tree.”
It releases a whole heap of chemicals related to making us feel good and encourage bonding. Kissing has much the same effect, releasing such love drugs as oxytocin and producing the same reactions.
Where does this (non-Australian) Mistletoe come into it? It’s actually an old tradition dating back to Celt and Norse mythology. In one Norse tale, the son of the goddess, Frigga was killed by an arrow made out of mistletoe. Frigga was so distraught, her tears turned into white berries that coated the plant symbolizing her love for her lost son.
She was so impressed by her white tear-berries, that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to anyone who passed under the plant from that day on. We kiss under mistletoe because a goddess was so happy that she cried tear-berries after her son died that she promised everyone a kiss?
Ancient mythological tales are… interesting.
There are other Norse stories about a guy called Loki who deceived a blind God into murdering another God with an arrow made of Mistletoe, being the only plant to which he was vulnerable. Somehow then Mistletoe became a symbol of peace and friendship to appease for its part in the murder.
Some traditions then developed into a men being allowed to kiss any woman standing underneath mistletoe, and that bad luck would befall any woman who refused the kiss.
Mistletoe is a terrifying, parasitic plant that murders trees and produces poisonous white berries (that look red in all the pictures) and should not be eaten under any circumstances. How anyone decided this was a plant to symbolise love and affection is anyone’s guess. No - it’s not native to Australia. We have enough petrifying flora and fauna without having to worry about poisonous parasitic tree-killing weeds.
For a truly enjoyable Aussie Christmas, I suggest substituting the mistletoe for a gum leaf. At least they’re more therapeutic and friendly.
Joanne Wilson is the weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily Weekend magazine, weekly radio guest, professional relationship counsellor and certified clinical neuropsychotherapy practitioner of TheConfidante Counselling. She is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland - Australia. You can contact her at: www.theconfidantecounselling.com or email HERE.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.