Why do we release objects in our hands when we unexpectedly hit something with them?


Or is that just a me thing? I’ve asked a few other people and they said it happens to them, too.

In: 1

In essence the sudden jolt causes us to go into a mild form of survival mode. We may drop something in order to try to catch ourselves against an object like a wall or a fence, or even catch ourselves on the ground. We don’t quite register that we’re not going to fall or anything like that, it’s just the sudden shock of it all, in a subconscious reaction to reduce harm to ourselves. Somehow people holding beers are immune to this. Hopefully somebody can come in with a more scientific answer.

When we accidentally hit something with our hands, we often let go of whatever we’re holding. This happens automatically and is a way for our body to protect itself. It’s a reflex called the withdrawal reflex. Our brain quickly tells our muscles to pull our hand back to avoid getting hurt. As a result, we end up releasing the object we were holding because our body prioritizes keeping our hand safe over holding onto the object. It’s a natural response that helps prevent injuries.

If you’ve ever swung a bat at an immovable object like a hard metal pole or something (and not let go), because the thing you are hitting doesn’t deform at all, the force of your swing is sent back up your arms and can be a bit painful. If you unknowingly hit something, you’re body usually takes the easy way out to avoid the “worst” outcome in case the thing you hit on accident doesn’t deform.

Like others have said, this is a way if protecting yourself.