Jimmy Kimmel's recounting of the recent birth of his son, William "Billy" John, the discovery of his heart ailment (Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia), and his subsequent surgery was quite emotional.
It's very natural to deeply empathize with Billy and his family. During such empathy responses to other's emotional displays, even if one does not know the individual on a personal-basis who is suffering, they will often tend to mirror their behavior. This is particularly true when it comes to tears - you're sad, I'm sad - you cry, I cry.
Not surprisingly, many other behaviors will also be mirrored. Today I received multiple emails from people noting that, while they were watching Jimmy Kimmel, not only did they cry too, but they also began mirroring his hand-wringing and finger-squeezing.
Hand-wringing and finger squeezing are very common nonverbal anxiety displays. These signals are particularly frequent during times of higher stress levels when a person feels the odds for a successful outcome are particularly low - or there is 'nothing or little else which can be done'.
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