I do it. My dad does it. His brothers, my brothers... for all we know it could go back 100 generations, and we're just the latest in a long line of ancestry carrying on the family trait.
Our tongues stick out when we concentrate.
It's almost as though our anatomy has somehow been programmed to say, "Attention systems: this is a high-focus issue. We can't have that willy-nilly, attached-at-only-one-end, loose cannon of a muscle over there causing problems. We've got to pin that thing down!"
It happens a lot playing video games. You might think that's the connection right there--that a stimulated brain trying to accomplish something assumes the body must be working too, and creates an action to compensate for the fact that you're sitting on your rear and exerting nothing more than your thumbs. Not so. Working through problems - even physical ones - it happens. I ran down a muddy hill once, and there is was again, sticking out like a ransomed captive, willing my feet to step carefully, to avoid slipping and falling to my demise or embarrassment. "Well, if I actually did fall, it would be a stupid time to be holding my tongue between my teeth," I mused as I arrived safely on the drier sidewalk, momentarily thankful that 'tongue stitches' was a phrase I'd never yet had to utter in an emergency room.
I spent a lot of time, once I got past the age of, oh I guess twelveish, intentionally training myself out of the involuntary habit. Let's be honest, it's not the most attractive of attributes to display. It's not terribly embarrassing, since it was fairly easy to stop once I'd decided to. It still surprises me sometimes, though, like in the hill-running incident, or when trying to cut something very precisely, and as I quietly tuck my tongue back into its rightful place, I marvel at the persistence of the quirk, wonder how long it went unnoticed by my own perceptions, and admit, by the slight flush of my cheeks, that I kinda hope no one else saw.
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