How to Read Faces: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Read Faces: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Read Faces: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

Reading faces is a vital skill. When trying to communicate with another human being, it helps to understand the possible emotions that the other person might feel. In interpersonal relationships, you will be able to treat the people who are close to you better. If you are in a professional environment, you will be able to better understand your colleagues and clients. However, you should pay attention, as slight changes in facial expressions can represent vastly different feelings.


Part 1 of 3: Read the face

Read Faces Step 1
Read Faces Step 1

Step 1. Look at the eyes

When reading a face, it is best to start with the eyes, as they are the most suggestive of all facial features. You will learn a lot about a person's humor if you pay attention to their eyes.

  • The pupils dilate during times of stimulation or low light. If you are in a location with constant light, watch for changes in pupil size. A larger pupil suggests some kind of excitement or interest.
  • Our pupils shrink when we see something offensive or negative. This constriction blocks unwanted images.
  • A person may squint if they don't like or don't like what you say. They may also be suspicious of your words and actions. If you see this happening, address the problem and clarify what you say.
  • Eyes that look quickly away suggest insecurity or discomfort. You can also detect these emotions through glances to the side. Any break in eye contact proves that the person is not fully present.
Read Faces Step 2
Read Faces Step 2

Step 2. Look at the lips

The lip muscles are extremely delicate and move to reflect various moods and reactions. When a person begins to speak, their lips part slightly. Pay attention, as it is best to have an open and available disposition when someone wants to talk to you.

  • The lips that point inward are called pursed lips. Pursed lips indicate tension, frustration, or disapproval. A person with pursed lips retains the emotion they experience, whatever it may be, and effectively silences the words by pressing the lips together.
  • Pulling the lips out to make a kiss shape indicates desire. These lips can also suggest uncertainty like a lip tucked inward. It is often called "hiding the lips."
  • Pay attention to grimacing or sudden movements of the lips. While very slight, these small changes indicate cynicism or disbelief in some circumstances. You can also discover a liar with these slight jerks of the lips.
Read Faces Step 3
Read Faces Step 3

Step 3. Evaluate the movement of the nose

Although the nose moves less than the eyes or lips, its central location on the face makes it easy to read.

  • The widening of the nostrils is a common movement. When they widen, they allow more air to flow in and out, preparing the person for combat. Flared nostrils indicate that a person experiences anger or displeasure.
  • It is possible to wrinkle the nose from a bad smell. If we go beyond the literal interpretation, a "bad smell", seen metaphorically as an unpleasant image or thought, can cause the person to wrinkle their nose. If a person has something on his mind, he may wrinkle his nose if he has a thought that he does not approve of.
  • Sometimes the blood vessels in the nose dilate, making the nose look red and swollen. This occurs when a person lies. You may also scratch your nose, which can further irritate it.
Read Faces Step 4
Read Faces Step 4

Step 4. Study the eyebrows

Often connected to the eyes, the eyebrows enter into a wide variety of body language communications. Despite the limited number of muscles that are attached to them, the eyebrows are quite visible and suggest different emotional states.

  • Frowning goes hand in hand with eyebrows. If the forehead is furrowed and the eyebrows are raised, the other person is likely questioning your behavior or being surprised by their surroundings.
  • When the eyebrows are lowered, the eyes are slightly hidden. When this is accompanied by the action of lowering the head, it suggests a desire to hide the movement of the eyes.
  • Eyebrows that rise while pulling down suggest anger or frustration. They may also suggest intense concentration.
  • Look for a horseshoe-shaped crease between your eyebrows. Known as "Darwin's sadness muscle," this peculiar symbol shows pain or sadness.

Part 2 of 3: Understanding Different Emotions

Read Faces Step 5
Read Faces Step 5

Step 1. Feel the happiness

A big smile is the most obvious way to characterize happiness. Unlike a small smile, a large smile shows the upper teeth. The lower lids of the eyes should have a crescent shape.

There is a wide range of happiness. From being happy to being euphoric, this wide variety of emotions can be detected by similar facial expressions

Read Faces Step 6
Read Faces Step 6

Step 2. Identify sadness

Pay close attention to the eyebrows. They will be oriented upwards. A sad person also frowns. You can usually assume sadness in anyone you see frown.

  • Pay attention to droopy eyelids that slant the eyes slightly.
  • Contrary to happiness, sadness is a dangerous and powerful emotion. In addition to facial changes, you may notice a lack of energy in the sad person.
  • People who experience sadness can also become more reserved and introverted.
Read Faces Step 7
Read Faces Step 7

Step 3. Acknowledge the surprise

An often exciting emotion, surprise can be characterized by wide eyes and an open mouth. In other cases of minor surprise, there may even be a slight smile on the mouth.

  • The eyebrows will be very raised.
  • A person may furrow their eyebrows when experiencing surprise, but this gesture can lead the emotion to turn into surprise. A slightly more extreme emotion such as shock may be accompanied by a certain element of fear or disgust.
  • Any sudden outburst of amazement or shock can lead someone to surprise.
Read Faces Step 8
Read Faces Step 8

Step 4. Observe the fear

Look first at the eyebrows and eyes. The eyebrows will be turned up and the eyes will be wide. The mouth may also be wide open.

  • Fear is our natural response to danger. If you see someone who is scared, look to the source of their response. This emotion is often related to escape and flight behaviors.
  • Remember that fear is different from anxiety. Fear always comes from an external threat, while anxiety is generated from within.
Read Faces Step 9
Read Faces Step 9

Step 5. Observe the disgust

The wrinkled nose is one of the main characteristics of the expression of disgust. The eyebrows will also be down and the mouth will be open.

  • Imagine that the person silently utters a sound like “ble”, as if the person has seen something disgusting. The lips will hang loosely and the upper lip will be up.
  • While disgust can be a response to eating or smelling something unpleasant, emotion can also be vividly imagined. Both experiences will elicit the same facial expression.
Read Faces Step 10
Read Faces Step 10

Step 6. Detect anger

When trying to detect anger, look at the eyebrows. They will be facing down and toward the center, which will form a crease. The eyelids will be tight and straight, while the eyebrows will be down.

  • The mouth may be tight or wide open in a long cry.
  • The head may be slightly downward and the jaw may be forward.
Read Faces Step 11
Read Faces Step 11

Step 7. Identify the disdain

Used primarily to express disapproval, disdain is marked by a raised jaw. This makes it easier for the person to look down on anyone who has insulted them.

  • The end of the lip will tighten and rise to one side of the face. This expression is often identified as a mockery.
  • It may be accompanied by a slight smile, as if the person is enjoying disapproving of your actions.

Part 3 of 3: Assess Situations

Read Faces Step 12
Read Faces Step 12

Step 1. Read the macro expressions

When trying to read a face, it is best to start by looking for macro expressions. A macro expression typically lasts between 0, 5, and 4 seconds. These expressions will fill your entire face, giving you the full experience of this emotion.

  • Even a basic understanding of the seven basic emotions will help you read the macro expressions. These universal expressions include joy, surprise, disdain, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear. You have certainly experienced these seven expressions, so it will not be difficult for you to read them in a macro expression.
  • If a person expresses what they feel through a macro expression, then most likely they will try to make you respond to their emotion.
  • In the case of sadness, it is possible that with this gesture the person wants you to comfort them. However, if you are faced with a macro expression of disdain, it may try to intimidate you.
  • You should know that the easiest way to manipulate a false emotion is through macro expression. Because it lasts longer, it is easier to perform a performance of this emotion. Don't let false macro expressions fool you.
Read Faces Step 13
Read Faces Step 13

Step 2. Capture the microexpressions

Microexpressions usually last 1/15 and 1/25 of a second, which makes them more difficult to detect in another person. While a macro expression can reveal how someone is feeling, the truth is most likely revealed in the micro expression.

  • When someone tries to hide an emotion, there may be some "leakage" of their real emotion. This error usually occurs in the microexpression. If you don't pay attention to the face, you may not see the real emotion that this person is feeling.
  • If you hope to be able to fully understand a person, you must be sensitive to their micro-expressions. An intimate understanding of how someone is feeling is crucial to developing a sensitive personal relationship.
  • Although a macro expression may tell the truth, there is a possibility that the person will try to get an answer by "faking" this emotion. If you pay close attention to micro expressions, you are less likely to miss the actual emotion.
Read Faces Step 14
Read Faces Step 14

Step 3. Understand the subtleties

Subtle expressions are even smaller than micro expressions, so detecting them requires a great deal of attention. These expressions appear before an emotion is fully felt as a natural response to the environment.

  • It is also possible that subtle emotions are not the full expression of an emotion. In a microexpression, an entire emotion flashes by for a short period of time. However, a subtle expression can contain only pieces of a complete emotion.
  • It is possible that these tiny expressions are the key to discovering a deception, since the lightness of its occurrence can be hidden more easily than in a micro-expression.
Read Faces Step 15
Read Faces Step 15

Step 4. Accompany the emotions with body language

After mastering facial recognition, you can start studying body language. Body language, like facial expressions, is a key part of non-verbal communication. Recognizing physical changes will help you understand others more easily.

  • By trying to analyze someone's confidence, you can observe their posture. If you are standing straight with your shoulders straight, that means that this person is comfortable in your body. Walking with a hunched back suggests a lack of confidence.
  • If a person is honest with their emotions, they will be able to maintain solid eye contact with you. Any deviation of the eyes may suggest that he is lying.
  • The way a person speaks can be accompanied by body language. An even tone of voice will confirm that the perceived facial emotion matches the internal emotion.
  • Remember that some cultural or physiological differences can alter both body language and facial expression. The best thing is that you confirm your initial opinions about this person and get to know them well. Initial readings are very helpful, but may not always be accurate.

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