We all have that friend who walks in the door and starts chatting to their pet dog. “Heidi, are you ready for dinner, darling? Did you miss me today?” *insert high-pitched child voice*

As nurturing as it is, it can sometimes come across as kinda odd, right? Turns out, your bestie may not be so cray-cray after all. In fact, she’s probs hella smart.

The same applies if she’s talking to inanimate objects, too. Yep, that includes talking to your succulent, your phone, your cappuccino… This is called anthropomorphise (bit of a mouthful), but it means that you give non-human objects human characteristics. And this, friends, is a sign of intelligence.

“Historically, anthropomorphising has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural by-product of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,” Professor Nicholas Epleym at the University of Chicago tells Quartz.

So, why do we do this?

Well, the object or thing may have a feature that resembles a face, so we subconsciously associate it with being human. Wacky, but true. Because of this, there’s a desire to establish a connection with it (dog-whisperers, we’re looking at you). This explains why we sometimes call our pets human names, or associate our cars with personalities.

So let all of your shame go, give your bowl of porridge a compliment tomorrow morning and tell your goldfish your day plans. If someone tells you to quit it, just tell them you’re smart as hell.

Words Sophie Fisher.