Are you already yawning while reading this?
If you are speaking to someone — in a formal or informal setting — and they keep yawning in response, are you insulted that they are tired and not paying attention? Or are you in some way complimented that someone is showing you the back of their throat?
For much of my life, I took a yawn from someone as an affront that I was somehow boring the point of my interest, and if a student dared to loudly yawn in class, that was of even more concern that I was losing the accrued interest of a topic I was divining to share.
Then I met a good, and ancient, friend, who happened to also be an excellent stage director — and professional theologian — who taught me my thinking was wrong.
A yawn is a compliment, he argued — a good thing — and you should work a room, and conversations, to get that open mouth staring back at you.
Continue reading → On Yawning