Why do we cover our mouths when we laugh?

Have you ever noticed that lots of people tend to cover their mouths when they laugh? It seems quite normal, but digging deeper, why do we do it?

And the answer is, it is all down to habits. I am one for habits. Breaking old habits and creating new, positive ones. I have never really explored the harmless, day to day habits that people have, though.

We are quite literally brought up with the subconscious idea. The subconscious idea that we should not be showing people our pearly whites and that, other than dentists, nobody wants to see the inside of your cake hole. True. Particularly if you’ve just finished your lunch. 

Let’s rewind to our childhoods.. 

Remember your mum walking in and saying ‘don’t talk with your mouth full!’ 

*Side note, it would usually come out as ‘don’t eat with your mouth full’ and I would almost always come back with a sarcastic comment about how you can’t eat if your mouth isn’t full*

And remember the ‘shut your mouth, you’ll be catching flies!’ As well as that, I can’t think of a time where my mum didn’t tell me off for yawning without covering my mouth. You may be able to see that the consistent factor here is me being told off for having my mouth open. And also my mum. 

Looking back at this now, it is quite clear that the main reason for all these telling off’s is hygiene, and the main thing we are avoiding is spitting our half chewed quavers all over our friends in the lunch hall. Not because there is necessarily anything wrong with showing off your smile.

Think about it, nobody ever tells Adele to shut her mouth when she is about to hit a high note. Nobody ever told Gordon Ramsay to close his mouth when he was about to try a new recipe, and nobody ever told the laughter legend Dr Kataria that he was catching flies when he was releasing his chuckle.

Let it out, open that mouth!

If you would like to talk to Pete about some accountability, coaching or laughter, please email him or call 0333 567 1587