‘By the time we are forty we have the face we deserve.’
Our facial features, characteristics and attitudes become more pronounced as we age. In this regard, it has been found that facial expressions are the resultant of subtle, complex and rapidly changing blends of eight fundamental facial emotional expressions arising from our evolutionary history. These eight facial emotions are:
- HAPPINESS, JOY, ENJOYMENT
- SADNESS, GRIEF, SORROW, MOURNING
- FEAR, ANXIETY, TERROR
- FRUSTRATION, ANGER, RAGE
- SURPRISE, FASCINATION, INTEREST
- DISGUST, NAUSEA, REVULSION
- CONTEMPT, REJECTION, ALIENATION
- CONTENTMENT, SERENITY, COMFORT
Learning to recognise these emotional “legos” or building blocks, becoming aware of the complex combinations of emotions and paying attention to the sequence of emotional expressions as they scroll across the face will provide tremendous insights into such things as how an individual feels about their life in general, their current situation, and their attitude toward others. Learn to recognise the underlying emotional canvas (long-standing or deep-seated emotions), how that differs from the more transient emotions and what this all means in the message the individual is communicating to you.
For example, how do we distinguish between a sincere smile of happiness and one that is an attempt to put a brave face on misery, sweeten a moment of bitterness or make anger appear a bit less threatening?