Facial expressions convey emotion and meaning to the person, who is looking at you. Even the slightest change in the position of your eyebrow can change the entire meaning of the body language that is being displayed. Facial expressions are the primary means of conveying social information among humans, but they can well be found in other mammals and some other animal species also. A simple smile itself is enough to express ‘I’m pleased’ or ‘I’m happy’ or even ‘I like you’. Being the foundations of body language, facial expressions are manifold varying from joy and approval to distrust and doubt. Read on to learn the different types of facial expressions.
Different Types Of Facial Expressions
This expression can be characterized by lifted eyebrows such that they are curved and central to the forehead. The skin below the eyebrows stretch and horizontal wrinkles can be seen across the forehead. The eyelids are wide open’ while the jaw drops down separating the lips and the teeth. Often the head is tilted, but in two ways. If the head tilts forward, it indicates disbelief’ while if the head is pulled back, it indicates fear.
Usually, this expression is neutral and only indicates that the person is open to information. The features of such an expression are a half smile and a slight widening of the eyes. The forehead and the eyebrows are the expressions to watch out for. A slight frown indicates concentration, while narrow eyes show that the person is unable to absorb and accept the incoming information.
A clear emotion of sincere happiness! This expression rightly answers the question ‘Why do we smile?’ The characteristics of a joyful face include round eyes and raised cheeks. A broad smile that exposes the teeth expresses friendliness, politeness and approval.
Rage is the result of anger. The eyes narrow, the eyebrows lift up, forming the classic V-shape. The lips tighten while the face can be seen as prepared for combat. The reasons behind anger include hate, a desire to inflict hurt or a denial of consequences.
‘His face was a mask of terror’. This cliché from the English literature best describes a fearful face, as it takes on a mask-like appearance. A fearful face can be distinguished by a frozen stare, wild and wide-open eyes, pale and pulled back face, chills, sweating and strands of hair standing on end.
Extreme (emotional) pain, distress or anxiety best describe the word anguish. The face alters to crying or rhythmic sobbing, with arched eyebrows, slightly open mouth and turned down lips.
Disgust is an emotion associated with things that are considered as unclean, inedible, infectious or otherwise offensive. A person may close his nose and eyes as an attempt to prevent contact from the contagion to show an expression of disgust.
A person portrays this emotion when he realizes that he has been identified in an indefensible ‘wrong doing’. This happens when the person is caught by others, but also when he recognizes internally that he is wrong. Such a person can be identified by looking down or to the side in an attempt to avoid meeting the eyes of the other people. The mouth droops in sorrow; the head tilts forward or bows down with the eyebrows arching outwards in a non-aggressive expression.