Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Multiple Meaning of Yawns

The Multiple Meaning of Yawns

Yawn: “a deep usually involuntary intake of breath through the wide open mouth often as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom.”

Depending on the situation, for me yawns can also mean:

  • I am tired of being here
  • I know this already
  • I’ve heard this many times before
  • I don’t agree but it is no use educating you on my opinion
  • That’s not what I meant
  • Hello, I’m here too!
  • Can we do something else?
  • I’d rather be doing something else
  • I’ve drank too much
  • My blood sugar is low
  • Can I lean on you?
  • I’m going to anyway
  • Hug me
  • There’s nothing more to talk about, but I want to keep talking
  • Can we just be alone?
  • I’d rather not stay on the phone much longer
  • It is relaxing to talk to you
  • I’m having a hard time paying attention
  • Just lay down and relax with me
  • This chair is uncomfortable
  • I’m listening because you’re requiring it of me
  • I have something to say but I’m not going to say it

It is not uncommon to apply excess meaning to natural human actions, but I think my list is a bit excessive, no?  It really just evolved that way because, based on past experiences, I don’t feel it is necessary to express myself verbally.  This aversion to verbal communication, though written off as passive aggressive, has indeed saved me a whole load of trouble in having to constantly stand up for myself or saved me from the repercussions of openly saying things that may hurt the other person’s feelings, or validate some negative opinion they may slightly harbor about me.  The simple fact that my childhood knowledge base was not completely compatible with those of my peers causes much of what I need to say to come out in other ways.  This is reinforced by my ego constantly being inflated by the information that I either withhold or don’t articulate clearly so I feel that I know something that you won’t understand.

That is in no way to mean that inadvertent actions are under my control.  All this evolved and I am only noticing it after the fact… something many many many times after the fact. But regardless, I only notice it because I’ve become aware of how often I use these mechanisms to get by.  This is just one of many compulsive things that make up what people call my personality.  I wonder that if I didn’t communicate with yawns (as Adam terms it) and I didn’t pick my nails, or at times have to eat the same food everyday because I just can’t resist , or keep believing people will do what they said they would do, etc, then perhaps I wouldn’t have the compulsion to write about these things either, I would probably be a different person, compulsively unaware of how all of you only exist to distract me from the fact that we’re bound by these programming walls.

Aside from literal translations I also yawn:

  • To get my oxygen to my brain
  • To tell myself to move
  • To make myself notice that something about the situation needs to be changed
  • To get out the energy I would normally apply to speaking
  • To make myself tired so I don’t participate
  • To make myself appear tired so I don’t have to participate
  • To avoid intimacy
  • To buy myself more time to make a decision without having to use words
  • To keep people waiting