If all of us had the same face, there’s no doubt that interpersonal communication among humans would’ve been excruciatingly difficult, if not impossible.
This is why when communicating with someone we spend most of the time looking at the person’s face. This assures the person that we’re addressing them and them only, not anyone else. And since we spend so much time looking at someone’s face whilst communicating, the human face evolved a plethora of expressions so that inter-personal communication could become more effective.
Imagine if there were no facial expressions how our day-to-day interactions would be like. There would be no way of knowing how a person feels about what’s going on except body gestures and verbal communication. Also, there would be no way to communicate how we feel about something, except body gestures and verbal communication.
You can twist and manipulate words whichever way you want but lying with facial expressions and body gestures is not an easy task.
Change of facial expression = change in emotional state
Say you were reading a newspaper and your mood was low due to the obnoxious negative news that seemed to fill every page. Suddenly, you stumble on a news article describing the win of your favorite football team.
For example, if you underwent a plastic surgery that physically prevented you from smiling, you’re less likely to experience happiness! Even if you do experience some happiness it will be greatly inhibited by your inability to smile. Similarly, if a surgery changes your facial muscles in a way that prevents you from frowning, you’ll experience less anger and sadness.
Facial expressions are contagious
You realize that you picked it up from a sibling or a parent or a co-worker or a friend or even an actor that you saw on TV. I’ve caught myself doing this many times, wondering what entity inside of me made me do it and thinking, “Wow! That was not my expression. I’m a freaking impostor”.
Married couples who’re close to each other and have spent a long time together copy each others’ facial expressions extensively to the point that they begin to look alike! The theory is that making similar facial expressions over time builds muscle definition in the same areas of the face, resulting in similar facial features.
The human face is like a broadcasting station of the mind. What’s on your face often reflects accurately what’s on your mind. However, since everyone relies on facial expressions so much, they’re easier to manipulate in order to convey the information that one wants to convey.
Learning about the different facial expressions and what emotional states they convey is of crucial importance in honing your non-verbal communication skills. This website provides you with all the information that you need, covering the most subtle details in the most succinct way humanly possible. (Visit the Body language and facial expressions section.)