Ever wondered if someone you work with is a psychopath? There is a trick that can give some indication as to whether they are, just yawn.
So why do we yawn in the first place and why would this have anything to do with being a psychopath? A study has shown that your average individual with this personality type won’t catch the yawn as most of us do. After all, there is nothing more contagious, it’s impossible not to follow suit, yet for some, it is. The yawn is a common form of human communication funnily enough. It’s a way to signal time to sleep amongst groups, and in primitive times it probably played a role in making sure people were not dozy in the face of threats in the environment. If we all sleep at the same time we will be stronger together when we need to be awake.
What you do need to join in the common yawn is empathy, and as your average psychopath is lacking in this, a failure to catch onto a yawn and do so in sympathy is an indication of this personality type. So if your colleague does not join in, then take note. This does not mean they have the potential to bury you under the utility cupboard however, they may simply exhibit traits of a psychopath. In fact, a lack of empathy fuels success for many people and the boardroom has more pychopaths and sociopaths than you would imagine.
This might also work in a personal capacity. Imagine you are on a blind date and want to see if a person is empathic and someone you could potentially bond with – drop a big old yawn and watch for the response. You are probably yawning like crazy reading this particular post, but if you are take heart, it’s probably a good sign.