A body language expert has revealed the meaning behind the different types of sneezes, explaining that a ‘loud sneezer is often marking his position as an alpha male’, while an ‘elbow sneezer likes to follow the rules and may not be an individual thinker’.
Robin Kermode, founder of communication consultancy Zone2.co.uk and author of the best selling book Speak so your Audience will Listen, spoke to FEMAIL to reveal what our sneeze says about us.
The communication coach said: ‘In the age of social distancing we are trying especially hard not to stand too close to other people, in case they sneeze their germs all over us or, indeed, if we do the same.
‘So the way we sneeze is important, and never more so than at this time. But the way we sneeze also says a lot about our personality type too.’
He added: ‘As I was growing up, my mother used to say, “A man should always have two handkerchiefs in his pocket. One, in case he needs to blow his nose, and the second, in case his partner does too”.
‘And recent studies show that she was right – a single sneeze can send around 100,000 germs into the air, up to 27 feet, and at speeds up to 100 mph.’
Robin has shared the top types of sneezes and what it says about your personality – but which one are you?
‘This is kind of person who doesn’t want to draw attention to themselves,’ body language expert Robin Kermode explained, marking a ‘silent sneezer’ as someone who will either hold their nose or not make a sound
The Apologetic Sneezer
Describing this as someone who apologises before, after and maybe even while they’re sneezing, Robin says: ‘This is someone who doesn’t want to impact on other people’s lives too much.
‘They will probably be quite reserved in character, and always polite.
‘You can see the agony on their face as they try to hold in a sneeze that is inevitably going to come out.
‘Of course, it comes out in the end, and when it does they hold most of the sound inside them, apologetically. This personality type should definitely work on their confidence’.
The Loud Sneezer
Robin says: ‘We’ve all heard this one. They are usually men and perceive themselves as being Alpha.
‘They tend to believe that a 500-dB sneeze is a confirmation of their importance in the world and often lack consideration.
‘From my experience, the Loud Sneezer rarely covers their mouth and are supremely proud of their volume. Beware of them at your peril, their volume probably matches their velocity so, in the words of the government, Stay Alert!’
The Silent Sneezer
Robin Kermode, founder of communication consultancy Zone2.co.uk and author of the best selling book Speak so your Audience will Listen, spoke to FEMAIL to reveal what our sneeze says about us
‘This is kind of person who doesn’t want to draw attention to themselves,’ Robin explains, marking a ‘silent sneezer’ as someone who will either hold their nose or not make a sound.
‘They may lack confidence or just be the type who don’t want to ruffle feathers, but they could do with letting their opinion be heard more often.
‘They try to keep a poker face as if it’s not happening but usually end up looking startled, as their eyes widen in the process. The rabbit in headlight look doesn’t fool anyone.’
The vocalised ‘Achew’
Robin says: ‘This is usually done by someone who feels they have every right to sneeze but are trying to be socially polite.
‘Sometimes called the Muffled Sneeze, it’s often seen in confined public spaces, like in a lift or a train.
‘This person is usually self-assured, but also self conscious and controlled, and could do with occasionally letting their hair down’.
The Trying not to Sneezer
‘This is the ultimate people pleaser,’ Robin says. ‘The person who doesn’t want to create a scene or make a fuss.
‘They will try everything from pushing up hard with their forefinger against the septum, or holding their breath.
‘While it’s great to want to keep people happy, these characters should make sure they stay true to themselves and aren’t too easily influenced’.
Robin reveals of the elbow sneezer: ‘This person likes to follow the rules, and with recent COVID-19 guidelines stating sneezing into your elbow is the most hygienic way to sneeze if you don’t have a tissue, they’re right on target. This character is self aware and considerate, but can perhaps sometimes lack individual thinking.
The Elbow Sneezer
Robin reveals: ‘This person likes to follow the rules, and with recent COVID-19 guidelines stating sneezing into your elbow is the most hygienic way to sneeze if you don’t have a tissue, they’re right on target.
‘This character is self aware and considerate, but can perhaps sometimes lack individual thinking.
‘It also makes me wonder how many times they’ve already sneezed into their jacket or jumper, and when they had last washed it. I’m not sure my parents’ generation would have approved’.
The Repetitive Sneezer
‘This is generally done by somebody who wants to be the centre of attention’, Robin says.
‘I had an uncle who sneezed very loudly, twice. With about an 11 second gap between, as if he was genuinely proud of his second sneeze.
‘Many of us routinely sneeze in patterns, often between two and five times, but they don’t have to be eccentrically loud.’
The Video Call Sneeze (without handkerchief)
‘This is the unprepared personality type,’ Robin says. ‘The one who goes on a video call without a handkerchief.
‘I was on a video call recently with someone who sneezed very visibly. As he didn’t have a handkerchief, he spent the next five minutes surreptitiously trying to clean his face whilst trying to appear not to be doing so.
‘These characters are often the ‘confused professor’ types’.
Robin Kermode is one of Europe’s leading communication coaches. His podcast, The Art of Communication, has over 10,000 listeners and his online public Speaking Masterclass is out now.
‘They tend to believe that a 500-dB sneeze is a confirmation of their importance in the world’, Robin says of the loud sneezer