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A Genuine Smile

2010 March 8
tags: ,
by Stanley Quan

Want to know if someone’s smile is genuine? Just look into their eyes.

It is very hard to truly fake emotion. It might be easy to fake the mouth part, but somewhere there will be a crack where your feelings peek out. Unconsciously, your body has a hard time matching up your facial expression to your mind if they are conflicting.

I think for this reason, posing for pictures feels weird. The smiles and emotions are forced, and don’t actually represent what you’re feeling at the moment.

The next time someone smiles at you, look into their eyes. The eyes give you a glimpse into what they’re really thinking. If you see soft eyes, you’ll know it’s for real. That’s something you can’t pretend.

2 Responses
  1. March 8, 2010

    You’re absolutely right, although using the eyes can be learned as well. There’s a group of researchers that study facial expressions that taught themselves to individually move each of the 33 muscles associated with expressions so that they could study which combinations gave which expressions.

    In the meanwhile, can you spot the fake smile?

    • March 19, 2010

      I’ve actually heard of those studies. I still think it’s really hard to create and hold fake facial expressions though, with all the mental and physical moving parts involved.

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