How To Decipher Facial Expressions and Body Language
If I had a nickel for every time I tried to read my partner’s thoughts, I’d be rich by now. I’m sure you’ve felt the same way, staring at a friend or employer, trying to figure out what’s going on in their brain. Well, it’s still impossible to read people’s thoughts, but learning how to read facial expressions and body language might be the next best thing.
As any poker player knows all too well, facial expressions (aka tells) can give away the thoughts of even the most well-trained stoic. Unlike words, facial expressions and body language are nearly universal. For the most part, a smile, frown, or furrowed brow mean the same thing, no matter where you are in the world.
More than anything else, looking into a person’s eyes can be the biggest indicator of how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking. “As you engage in conversation with another person, taking note of eye movements is a natural and important part of the communication process. Some common things you may note is whether people are making direct eye contact or averting their gaze, how much they are blinking, or if their pupils are dilated,” writes Kendra Cherry.
Learning to notice these subtle changes in a person’s facial expressions or body language is key to deciphering their mood, whether you’re trying to win a poker game, or diffuse an argument with a loved one.
Wish you were better at reading emotions? This infographic can help.
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