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How to read facial expressions for normal people.

Updated on February 5, 2014

Start out easy and read the face of this warrior. If you cannot read the pain, move on to another article for you empathy score is in the negative and you have

We have to understand the subject but also our impact on her.
We have to understand the subject but also our impact on her. | Source

Some lead up to get us to “science or art”.

Research is intense in this area and even made popular through a television show based on obnoxious Phd who was the best, called Lie To Me. I do not do show reviews but this one is edgy and well presented with huge sexual tension, not too much gratuitous violence and reasonable plot lines.

The point of the lead character being obnoxious and overly honest and analytical is shown clearly. We do not read people well unless there is a stake in the game and confrontation. It is just the way it is. Very hard to read a nice 70 year old sitting at a church social unless she has at least some inner conflict.

This writer earned his bones in this area by picking juries and interviewing witness revolving around our USA jury and trial system. A little known fact is that prospective jurors lie all the time to either get on a jury panel or to get off and go home. Most US juries have at least 50% liars on them, it just is a fact. Interestingly being a liar does not and should not preclude a person from a jury picker’s acceptable file. What people lie about is really important.

Enough about lying. What is far more important is consistency between the spoken word and the body and facial language of the interviewee – interviewer exchange. Think of some juror verdict awards in the millions and think of murderers going free. The stakes are very high in this game and so accuracy is often paid for with lives.

Let us take this in the form of picking a 6 member jury. The writers’ experience is more with but lest you get bored let us stick with 6. And that will leave some time for a little extra on reading the writing and knowing the facial expressions which is fun.

I worked hard on this one to determine if his smile was only for the camera. I spent two hours matching this face to his play time. It was less genuine than whe

So you actually have to sit down with this stuff and really pay attention. If someone like your spouse asked what you spent 2 hours doing - good luck with that.
So you actually have to sit down with this stuff and really pay attention. If someone like your spouse asked what you spent 2 hours doing - good luck with that. | Source

Do not think for a second that only what we hear is what we know. A fun thing about most hardcore atheists. They claim we cannot feel a truth.

Juror 1

School teacher that hates her job based on wrinkle lines, indications of fatigue and a pursing of upper body and face. We quickly get a baseline by asking if unruly children should be punished or get more love. Clearly her real thought will be punished more. So if she says more love we know she is lying for a reason. But that has to be supported by normal facial activity when asking a teacher about a hot topic. And if she combines that with defensive body language and a quickly more attentive manner.

Well let us just say this – if we are on the side that wants the other side punished. We keep that juror.

This face is a little nervous but confident and will not back down and it shows confidence in the photographer.

Source

Juror 2

Very interested electronics engineer in mid 40s. Sorry but these guys get paid to think and know they are right in a very much not vague work environment. It is really hard for them to turn off the right or wrong button in their makeup. Gray is not what you will get out of this guy. So straight forward you ask him if 51% sure will have him convict your client to death row. If he says that for sure if that is the law he will follow it. Liar. And take my word for it he will look contemplative and sincere when he says it. But trust me, engineers do not ever care to look contemplative and sincere. And in his case his body will relax as he knows you have asked a question with a yes or no answer.

If we are defending we keep this dude because in human affairs certainty does not exist but he will expect it. (the above 51% is irrelevant in a criminal trial)

This face tells us that there is no fear for self, but fear for someone or something else. The posture and smile are hiding things.

I would not eat a lunch with guy, but maybe a dinner where he pays. Because he wants something.
I would not eat a lunch with guy, but maybe a dinner where he pays. Because he wants something. | Source

Juror 3

Freelance internet writer that works for three publications

No issue here ask her if she likes her work. She will answer yes with a comment on income. Whatever that expression is by both body and face is truth. So you just straight forward ask the follow-up. If she has any reasonable doubt will she have a problem voting for acquittal of your poor accused criminal. If she says yes with the same body language as before she is not lying and take it from there.

this face is a memory rendition. The artist captured a child known well as Buddha baby. But somehow the artist saw a worry.

Some artists capture the "great within" that is a whole other talent that is relevant.
Some artists capture the "great within" that is a whole other talent that is relevant. | Source

Are you willing to bet against me?

Do you think we can nail you for what you truly are?

See results

Juror 4

Retired government clerk that worked a customer counter

Be clear in your mind this guy will have complete control over his body language giving away feelings and his face will remain like a poker player. So here we look at him before any questions and look for his relaxed “tell”. Yes just like some liars have a tell when they are lying some people in fact most that work a 9-5 develop clear relaxed tells. So the question goes right to the comfort level. Something about himself. Do you enjoy watching football? Same response as when at rest and not talking about himself and he is lying like a dog. Government employees do not talk about themselves in public. Only with their immediate click of friends. Believe me he would not be retired if he did he would have been fired long ago. But again it is more his body and face language that is important. If he answers to stay on the jury or if he answers to stay off is this simple. So then you look at which party he focuses his attention and how he does

Juror 5

On welfare and mother of three in school. Single. Easy as cake if your party is above her lifestyle she resents it – period and end of story. So a quick question about people that are get what they want at the expense of others. If she shows disdain at this at this notion and shows any sign of contempt or “of course that is bad” she is self-righteous and will do as she wants. Put her on the jury with the engineer and school teacher we will be lucky if there is not a fist fight. We are looking for overly proud in a humbling life. So ask her about loving her children and doing anything to protect them even breaking the law. If she sits upright and face is indignant you have a loose cannon. So you would leave her on if you want no chance at a unanimous verdict. And the other way if not.

Really are you going to deny this boy ate a forbidden cookie?

Children are so easy we forget that adults are just as much so.
Children are so easy we forget that adults are just as much so. | Source

Juror 6

College student on break

If the body language before a question is very serious you have a base. If nonchalant as it should be you have a base. “if you have an opinion but it is different than the majority will you stick with it?”. If the face remains the same as before – no matter the answer you have the truth or a psychopath. Psychopaths are extremely rare like 1 in a million. If the face changes from one extreme to another. You have an actor. The only answer that a normal college person can give in this is that they will resist others telling them what to do. So go with where they look and what there face looks for reassurance from – if from the judge or other side. Maybe skip on that one.

Now for that fun I promised writers

It is kind of hard to synthesize this and very hard to quantify so quickly. So let us say we have an appetizer for the next time somebody we need in our life speaks.

I promised some written word here. That is real fun. I have a sister that is an accomplished calligrapher. And I took about 15 hours of handwriting analysis classes. See the problem. What can we learn on the net?

So follow your gut and take introductory phrases and ending phrases and ask yourself what emotional language is being spoken. Any and I mean any written comment or post on the internet that makes you feel edgy is trying to do just that. From trolls to spammers the rule applies. If the first sentence you read makes you uncomfortable – first skip the meat and go to the last sentence. If the last sentence works for you, maybe you were wrong about the first. Try it again and again stay out of the meat. If the last sentence makes you feel alright about the first. Read the meat. If not – go away or do like me and get banned for a bugs life ;-)

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    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      jainismus, I agree and generally it is really mostly about just pay attention.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      Great article. If you learn to read a face, your learn to read the person.

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      Eric - Atheists simply do not believe in a god. That is all. So - no - you are making that up and it is untrue. Still - a tacit admission that your god is actually a "feeling" rather than anything that exists outside your head is welcome. You know "feelings" are internal, subjective and don't exist anywhere but in your head - right? Same as your god.

      How is body language or facial expression a "feeling" exactly? I can and do make judgments based on such things all the time. As well as "intent" behind actions.

      I find it odd you even needed to bring people who don't believe in your Majikal Invisible Super Being into this article at all. I guess they threaten you some how. :(

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jodah I am super excited about the feed back. Nowadays I just use this knowledge to get along. And I can read my wife a mile away and so I know what to do.

      So I will write a second one on that.

      For you my friend I suggest learning your dogs this way. But I surmise that you already do. So make in cognizant. I love this stuff. thanks for coming by and keeping me excited about my work.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very interesting hub Eric. I enjoyed the read. My wife studied psychology at University and part of that included 'body language". Fact is I have to be so careful that what I say matches my expressions etc, even a raised eyebrow or a wave of a hand can spark off ....well, shall we say a disagreement...lol. I never even noticed a dig at 'atheists' in this article, but I guess I'm not fine tuned to search and destroy any mention in that respect. Oh well, I'm on your side. Well written.

    • ParadigmEnacted profile image

      ParadigmEnacted 3 years ago

      Hey, by all means, keep it. Also feel free to add more as you see fit.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic observations paradigm. Should we discard two or use 2 to fill a purpose? always a big question.

      My son the artist really did get what you saw right in that print I think.

      And this was an awesome read https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Lesser-Qu...

    • ParadigmEnacted profile image

      ParadigmEnacted 3 years ago

      I saw the pain but also a great deal of resilience on the face of the Indian Warrior. Juror #2 looks a little pompous.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey TFP we should combine one like this with one on Obama. His intent is clear.

      Normal is easy to define. "Those folks who consider themselves normal"

      Take my word for it those who are not do not view themselves as such.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Brian so nice of you to read and comment. The fact that the company I am working with in this picture is not going to make it. I did a financial restructuring with a promise of management restructuring. But from body language of execs I knew that second promise was false. They would not give up control. So what you see here is false confidence.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

      So define "normal"? LMBO

      TFP

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Always an interesting topic, at least to me anyway. I enjoyed your "behind the scenes" take on things. So tell us, what are you hiding in your picture?

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      RA, I changed it for you. I think the way it is now it would be hard to really say otherwise.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      RA, most do not believe in feelings as proof of anything. Are you denying that?

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      But it is a lie. Atheists do not say what you claim they say. Doesn't your Invisible Super Being burn you in hell for bearing false witness? Oh well - figured you didn't actually believe. Thanks for listening. ;)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Victoria, thank you for that reminder, I have nephew (live in) like that and it is funny to watch. He just loves it when I tell him what he is doing and we get a good laugh.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A really fun thing is telling someone you are doing it and then watch how they act like they think they should act. Thanks Bill for your constant conscious support

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      RA I looked at the mention and it is germane to the article and referencing a type. Of course all of this piece works of stereotyping. I think thoughtful readers understand generalizations to make a point.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      RA us fun to get to know. Never a dull moment. Thanks for being such a great supporter.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      When I saw this pop up last night I immediately thought of the show "Big Bang Theory." One of the main characters, Sheldon, has absolutely no social skills, including reading body language and facial expressions. Very funny! Very nice article Eric! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting technique....and the signs are obvious if you are looking for them.....it's always a fun read when I stop by.

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      Well - it is misleading - no "hard core atheists" claim any such thing. Atheists simply don't believe you when you claim there is an Invisible Undetectable Super Being outside of reality. As a poker player myself, I am well aware of the physical tells you are describing here. I wonder why you even needed to bring up atheists? All these tells are observable phenomena.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Should I change that part? RA.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is a very helpful thing for us just to think about and be in touch with. I forgot to add a capsule on how it can help us relate and better get along with significant others. Thank you GOL

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      You would? How nice. Perhaps you could explain to me why you choose to worship a deity that will throw unbelievers in the lake of fire after they are dead. Looking forward to understanding that and therefore getting to know you better Ms Dora. Personally - I wouldn't do so. But - yours is a jealous and angry god. If you want to know me better - understand that I despise bullies and this is bullying. :D

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is the second article this morning in which my comment comes after that of Righteous Atheist. I certainly do not hate him. I think I'd like to know him--sincerely.

      Now, for you Eric. "Lie to Me" was great on how to read lies in body language. You have also given some very good insights. Thank you!

    • Righteous Atheist profile image

      Righteous Atheist 3 years ago

      Interesting that you had to make a dig at atheists in this. I was actually enjoying reading until you did that. You hard core religious zealots sure do hate the unbelievers don't you. How come?

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      I used to love the show, "Lie to Me". Body language is very interesting, but now judging from your article, it can extend even to profession and other factors. The selfie was quite a surprise...