Social Question

Your_Majesty's avatar

Is it rude to yawn in a very boring formal meeting?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8212points) October 11th, 2010

So imagine yourself in a meeting/convention/discussion/or any other formal gatherings and the situation is so unexpectedly boring. Whether the speaker say pointless things or something that you’ve already known about all of it or else for a very long time till you feel so bored and are repeatedly tempted to yawn. Will you yawn? Do you think it’s offensive to yawn in such situation?

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20 Answers

partyparty's avatar

I wouldn’t dream of yawning when in a formal meeting, despite perhaps feeling the topics are quite boring.
If necessary, I would attempt to stop listening, but that would be all.
Yes I would consider yawning extremely rude and offensive towards the speaker.

YoBob's avatar

Yes, yawning ad a formal meeting is quite rude and belies a sense of arrogant self importance.

AmWiser's avatar

Sometimes the yawn response is automatic and can’t be stiffled in time. It’s rude but sometimes just can’t be helped. Lately the media has been capturing a lot of so called rude and offensive behavior. Example

diavolobella's avatar

I think it might be viewed by others to be insulting to yawn, but that’s only if they don’t understand that yawning is involuntary and has no relation to boredom. I’ve always understood that you yawn because your oxygen levels are low. Therefore, I’ve never heard of being “tempted to yawn” because the idea of being tempted means it’s an intentional and therefore controllable act. Yawning is (for me at least) completely involuntary. So, while I do try to stifle my yawns and cover my mouth when it happens when I’m in a meeting, I can’t prevent myself from doing it.

perg's avatar

If I feel a yawn coming on at a time when it might be considered rude, I sort of lock my jaws and “yawn” with my mouth closed. Hard to explain it and it’s not entirely unnoticeable, but it seems a bit more polite.

perg's avatar

@AmWiser Re the picture, I’d say the only impolite part is that she didn’t cover her mouth. As you and @diavolobella note, you can’t always stifle a yawn, but you can at least keep your tonsils to yourself.

marinelife's avatar

Yawning in public without covering one’s mouth with a hand is rude.

Austinlad's avatar

Yes, yawning in meetings, formal or otherwise and no matter how boring they may seem, is impolite, unprofessional and unkind to the leader. If you’ve ever hosted a gathering where it’s done, you’ll understand why. Other no-no’s are clipping nails, flossing, texting, working on a slate or laptop (unless needed for the business of the meeting), staring out the window, and, er, passing gas. I’m not joking about these; I’ve seen ‘em all. True, some yawns are unavoidable, but a hand over the mouth mitigates the rudeness. I don’t mean to come on so strong about this, but meeting etiquette is a big deal with me.

Zyx's avatar

No, yawning is a reflex and can be extremely hard to supress. Aside from that: not everyone sleeps at the same time so there’s nothing less rude in a meeting than yawning. Though yawning is an indication your body doesn’t want to be there, it doesn’t have to say anything at all about your mind. Now I just yawned because I was thinking about yawning.

This makes me mad.

perg's avatar

@Austinlad well, that explains the gimlet eye I got last week while I was trimming my toenails…

Zyx's avatar

@Austinlad Maybe I shouldn’t even start considering how much we disagree on this but I’ve always felt respect is earned and honesty the best- you know where I’m going with this.

If someone doesn’t manage to grip me, I’m going to be staring out the window.
And I’m going to be blaming the speaker too. Etiquette is basically protocol. Social interactions planned out in advance. That to me just seems dishonest.

Austinlad's avatar

@Zyx, that’s cool—your choice. Just please don’t come to any of my meetings. I might have an off day and not be able to “grip” you—and then I’d have to watch you being rude.

Austinlad's avatar

@perg—oh, toenails is fine. Just please keep the clippings off my keyboard.

camertron's avatar

Yes, yawning in a formal meeting is definitely considered rude. I’ve taken some classes as an undergraduate that were truly dull and I couldn’t keep myself from yawning some of the time. The trick is to do it very unobtrusively, either using your hand or keeping your mouth closed. You can also put your head down and do it while the leader/teacher’s back is turned.

Also, it’s important to remember that, if your intentions are noble, there’s really nothing to worry about. Sure, you might find yourself in that boring meeting every so often, but yawning doesn’t necessarily mean you find the person or even the subject matter boring – it could just mean you didn’t get quite enough sleep last night. I think most presenters know that. I remember one of my teachers yawning during the middle of my capstone presentation in college, but I knew he was listening – just a little more tired than usual maybe ^_^

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Yes! I do that in class to let the teacher know that this topic or subject is very boring.
It’s a bad thing, very RUDE.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think it is rude whether the meeting is formal or not. But sometimes can’t be helped so I would try to do it discreetly. Manners and etiquette are what keeps us civilized. And you can see by looking around you what happens when they are ignored.

everephebe's avatar

Is it rude when a cat yawns? It is only thought to be rude because, the idea of it has been imbued with meaning. We don’t really know why animals (that includes humans) yawn.

chocolatechip's avatar

The real question is, what’s worse? Being rude for yawning at a boring meeting, or subjecting multiple people to your boring, yawn-inducing presentation?

hobbitsubculture's avatar

Nothing wrong with a single yawn when the mouth is covered, especially if the person goes back to the appearance of attentive listening right after. Multiple yawns don’t come across so well, no matter how tired.

@Zyx I’m in complete agreement with you about respected being earned. Some people believe that everyone deserves respect just for existing. Nope. Politeness is a freebie, but not respect.

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