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No need to feel shy of contagious yawning!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Imitation, they say, is the best form of flattery! Many celebrated artists like Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Velazquez, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and the like are some of the most imitated artists in the world. Besides these painters, there are numerous sculptors, actors and even authors have been extensively imitated. People imitate well-known work for recognition for themselves and also making some fast buck! Quite a few of us may be producing noteworthy works of art but until they start getting imitated, we can’t claim to have arrived!

    Apart from all works of art and literature, styles and mannerisms of well known people are also imitated. Mimicrists imitate the voices of actors and other public personalities. Among the actors, Rajni Kanth is the most imitated star today. Last week, the Sun TV channel started a new programme of people imitating famous stars. I personally felt that the chap who imitated Sivaji Ganesan was too good but the guy who imitated Rajni walked away with the Prize. It was not his outstanding performance but the current craze for Rajni that tilted the scale in his favour.

    There is an unwritten law of what can be imitated and what can not be. Thus one may imitate the voice and mannerism of a celebrity, but he can not imitate any deficiency that the celebrity may have, physically or otherwise, say a lisp, stammer or lameness. Years back, such handicaps were often made a subject matter of jokes even in renowned periodicals but not any more. I even remember a teaser of yester years. Why did the chap with a stammer did not get an answer when he sought to know the time from a passerby? The passerby also had a stammer and he was afraid that if he replied with a stammer, the other chap might feel offended and slap him!

    Yawning is, however, different. No one imitates someone yawning unless that someone does it in a very unique manner. This is about the only facial activity where Rajni has not set a style of his own. Yawning doesn’t need to be imitated but comes on its own when someone starts it. It is most prevalent in a Dentist’s waiting room where it takes the form of a Mexican Wave. Many have given some explanation or other for the contagious nature of a yawn. I am actually one of the quickest to catch a yawn even from a hundred meters away.

    The Hindu has published a couple of days back a news item giving yet another explanation for contagious yawning. The report says that psychologists have discovered that contagious yawning is strongest in people who are empathetic and have a more developed sense of social awareness! Researchers from the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:placeType>University</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName>Leeds</st1:placeName></st1:place> selected 40 psychology and 40 Engineering students for the experiment. They were unaware of the experiment. One of the researchers set off the process by yawning ten times and the wave started. On average, the Engineering students yawned 1.5 times and the psychology students a whopping 5.5 times! Among other things, this shows that the psychology students have a greater ability to appreciate the mental state of others!

    This news item has indeed gladdened my heart because I was often criticized by folks at home for my tendency to yawn instantly at the sight of another yawner as though I was a mirror image of the other! ‘Were you waiting for someone to start yawning?’ is the usual question put to me. Now I don’t have to feel bad about it anymore. On the contrary I feel proud that I am very empathetic and my social awareness is very high too. I’ll yawn without any inhibition henceforth. In fact, I’ll yawn as much as possible if I see anyone starting it in a public place to show how empathetic I am!
     
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  2. srinivasan_vanaja

    srinivasan_vanaja Gold IL'ite

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    hello sir,

    I think this not my cup of tea. I really hate humans yawning. As you have mentioned, I feel shy if I yawn and would try my best to conceal it. But the yawning of animals like dog, cat, tiger, lion etc., is quite admirable to watch.

    When I was reading this post of yours, I was feeling very sleepy but did not yawn.:-D

    regards,

    Vanaja
     
  3. Sindhuja

    Sindhuja Silver IL'ite

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    Cheeniya sir,
    I also yawn if someone yawns in front of me. I also yawned while reading this post (really).

    "I feel proud that I am very empathetic and my social awareness is very high too."

    I do not know if I my social awareness is high, but I can be proud of (kassa? panama?).

    Sir, coming to last sunday's Super Duper, I liked the one who acted like Rajini (I am not Rajini's fan) and second was one who acted like Sivaji. I am sorry to disagree with you.

    regards,
    Sindhuja
     
  4. Nivedi

    Nivedi New IL'ite

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    Cheeniya Sir - Classroom environments always make me yawn whether it is in school, college or even work-place seminars and meetings. Sitting in the last row in school and college gave me a lot of opportunities to yawn secretly. But I prefer the open loud yawn - they are more satisfying. Maybe I will never find a place in the good manners book. The secret and noiseless yawns induce me to yawn more.

    After a dollop of curd rice, walking into an Economics noon class is the ideal breeding ground for my yawns. Sometimes, I would cover up the yawn as if I was sneezing. But yawning in secret gives room for a lot of facial exercises, especially when the teacher's eyes are zooming in closely. The mouth yearns to open and while it is going"OOOOO", you have to contort and push the expressions sideways.
     
  5. Abha

    Abha Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Cheeniya Sir

    Well there are many theories on this one... earlier people used say that you yawn when you are sleepy...

    but actually the yawning being contagious is because.... A lack of oxygen in the environment makes a person yawn... lack of oxygen is also responsible for making us feel dizzy... so there goes the sleep theory... if you see a person yawn and you yawn too it means that overall there is less oxygen in the room you are sitting.. so ultimately everyone is goin to yawn one after the other.... lo here I'm yawning too...

    ~Abha
     
  6. aishu22

    aishu22 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sri,
    A good Topic to discuss.I too gotta chance to read the article in HINDU about yawning.My hubby is one like you. He waits for someone to yawn:-D and he yawns instanteously...
    After reading that article i was a bit convinced, that may be my hubby is very emphatetic.

    I personally dunt feel shy to yawn, but I make sure i'm well mannered while doing so.To make a mention I feel highly irritated when someone attempts to talk while yawning or produce a loud noise in tat process.

    Yawning, sneezing, coughing are all natural process and we humans do not have a control on it(do i sound like Rajinikanth??).But ppl can make sure that those are treated with some good mannerisms.
     
  7. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir

    Another wonderful post....how do you select your topics..you can make even mundane things look very attractive.

    Like Aishu,I think yawning is a natural process,why feel bad about it...something scientific too like when one yawns,the pressure outside one's ear or something drops,so that prompts another to yawn and so on. I don't remember exactly.Read this somewhere a long time back. At home,if I need to yawn, I do it freely,opening my mouth wide...it sure is a great feeling! :mrgreen: But yes,when in the presence of other people,we should mind our manners and close our mouths with our hands while yawning.:wink:
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Please see where your post lead me !
    When you posted it, I was online and made a note of the time. It was 9.54 PM.
    Then more out of curiosity, I wanted to wait and see, having written about yawning, how long you could wait to sleep.
    What do I see? you logged out within a few minutes ! I was so certain that, the time being nearly 10pm, not only your yawning continued in a series, but you slept off possibly.

    Well, now, coming to the contagious part of it, on reading your post and particularly the title, I started yawning and though I had a few posts to reply, I shut down the computer and promptly went to sleep !

    I agree, there is no need to feel shy of contagious yawning, but one does feel embarassed to yawn if you are expected to be an attentive listener when somebody is talking to you. I do not think, the "talker" will attribute it to my empathy but mistake it for my feeling bored which may not be the case always.

    Writing about this topic has already triggered of, the obvious in me now !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  9. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Cheeniya Sir
    I am going to start off by saying that we have the most wonderful and gullible group of ladies here. They have innocently believed that your were writing about yawning. were you writing about the act of yawning?? ofcourse not. You were spinning a yawn about how "emphatic" you are. Caught again in the act didnt I?? I know the only reason our dear Chithra replied so politely is ofcourse being the charming person:tongue that she is and reading the post around 9.54p.m might have been caught offgaurd. but me no way. i'm reading around 11.30p.m with the oil in eye i mentioned on your other thread.Next time BEWARE:wink: coming back to topic; why do you want to convince us you feel empathy?? the dictionary says its an intellectual reaction which i'm sure you would'nt know ,now would he CHithra?
     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vanaja
    I agree that not all human activities are nice to watch, yawning being one of them. But given the new findings on the activity, I think it's time we shed our inhibition. But one can have some restriction on the distance between the upper and lower jaw while yawning. A kutti yawn like that of a infant is so lovely to watch but what I dislike is the way some people try to imitate a crocodile while yawning. That should be deplored straightaway!
    Sri
     

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