Whether you're the proud owner of a dog, cat or parrot, you probably talk to your pet all the time.
To be honest, it would be a little weird if you never speak to your pet at all -- but if you ever think talking to your pets is making you crazy, you're (probably) wrong.
In fact, when humans talk to animals it's a sign of intelligence, and it's even the same with inanimate objects like cars or plants.
It's known as anthropomorphizing, which means giving human minds and names to non-humans, including objects.
Nicholas Epley, behavioral science professor at the University of Chicago, told Quartz,
Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it's actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet. No other species has this tendency.
So, you're not a crazy cat lady, after all!
Anthropomorphizing is most commonly associated with giving human names to non-humans, but it extends to character, too.
It explains why we describe non-humans as having human traits -- for example,when you start giving your car the character of a stubborn old man.
And thankfully, it doesn't mean you're crazy. It's just that your brain is programmed to see and perceive minds.
Sometimes it can backfire, though -- like when we see fake eyes but immediately associate them with having a mind.
Fake eyes are a trick we fall for almost every time -- one that can dupe us into seeing a mind where no mind exists. As a member of one of the planet's most social species, you are hypersensitive to eyes because they offer a window into another person's mind.
Pretty cool, huh?
It's just another one of things that make humans wonderfully unique, weird and special.
Next time your friend calls you out for talking to your dog too much, make sure you tell them it's because you're smart AF.