Involuntary describes a reflex or action done without conscious control or will — like a blink, a sneeze, a yawn, or “the giggles.”
If you volunteered to do it, it’s voluntary. If you didn’t volunteer, but you find yourself doing it anyway, it’s involuntary. This can go for the involuntary hiccups you wrestle with on your blind date, as well as the involuntary task you do at your manager’s insistence. Involuntary gets a lot of blame, but something that is involuntary is not necessarily bad: Breathing is involuntary, but you would probably do it anyway if given the choice.