Why is yawning contagious?

(posted by Gordon)

Well the most common answer is along the lines of… cavemen… alpha male… control of group… monkeys… showing largest canines… that type of thing. Grrrr, fecking alpha males, trying to control everyone as usual. I really don’t like them, strutting about like they own the place and using (whether they are aware of it or not) clever peer pressure tactics to maintain their popularity, something they perceive as superiority, even if that popularity is transient.

Hmmm hang on and I’ll backtrack a little.

I work in a male dominated industry. My office in particular is full of stereotypical alpha males. Strutting around, projecting their own form of authority like self-important peacocks. I hate it.

You know the type. The ones who enjoy the sound of their own voice far too much, who presume that because they have said something it MUST be right, and who, whilst they may ask for your opinion, only do so because they vaguely remember that they ‘should’ even if they are not sure why.

You come across these men all over the place, shouting into mobile phones, treating waiting staff like they are dirt, and generally walking around like their **** doesn’t stink.

In fact I find these characters so repulsive that they are fascinating, in the same way that you want to ‘just have another quick glance’ at that person with the disfigurement, I find myself watching them in action, trying to figure out just how insecure they are with themselves, and if they even realise that there is such a thing. Are they presuming that their arrogance and overbearing personality somehow makes them seem confident and assured? Do they understand that without integrity and compassion they will never be anything other than the class bully manifested in the adult world?

What makes these people (for it is not always a male trait) the way they are? Is it purely upbringing? Did they have an overbearing father to live up to? Or was it a lack of an authoritarian figure that lead them to become what they are?

Of course it’s always easy to look at others critically, make assumptions and proceed to erroneous conclusions. But dare we cast the same eye over ourselves?

I’m not an alpha male, mainly because my mother was the authoritative figure in our household, and I was following my fathers lead. Instantly that will make you think that my Mum ruled the roost and my Dad was hen-pecked. That, of course, isn’t the full story. My Dad is very laid-back, my Mum is the worrier. My Dad is happy to take things as they come, and likes to keep busy, pottering round the house. My Mum likes plans, lists, organisation, and ‘gets things done’ when needed.

Most of the conflict between child/teenager and parent in our house was between me and my Mum, in fact I’m pretty sure all of it was. Did this shape the adult I’ve become? As I wasn’t allowed to easily stamp my authority in those situations I guess it did. One vital thing I DID learn was that intelligence was a far bigger weapon than any physical attribute*. Brains not brawn is the way to go…

Now I know you are all thinking.. where the hell is he going with all this.

And you know what.. so am I….

* yes a deliberate OOERRR phrase, well I’ve got to try and keep up with my (clearly) over-sexed companions… (jealous? me?)

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