Facial Expressions: Reading And Understanding Them

Facial Expressions, How To Read Them?

Reading and knowing what facial expressions mean is an integral part of nonverbal interaction. You are only exposed to half the story if you only listen to what a person says and neglect what that person’s face might be telling you. Often, speech does not equal emotions, and the face betrays what a person feels.

Although it is essential to be mindful of facial expressions, remember that grasping the emotion doesn’t reveal what might be causing it. If someone seems bored, upset, or aloof, it could be for several reasons, which might be entirely unrelated to you.

The value in grasping facial expressions is to collect data about the feelings of another person. Use them to guide your interaction with the person according to that. If someone appears aloof, it might be a good time to close the talk.

Here are five tips so you can better read the facial expressions of others.

Facial Expressions, How To Read Them?
Facial Expressions, How To Read Them?

Universal Emotions

Research tells us that there are a handful of universal facial expressions that cross-cultural divides. Even visually weakened people make the same facial expressions.

The universal expressions are:

  • happiness
  • fear
  • surprise
  • disgust
  • anger
  • contempt
  • sadness

Practice making the facial expressions to copy these emotions, and you will become better at noticing them in others.


Not all facial expressions are there for a long time. Those that change quickly are called micro-expressions and are almost invisible to the casual on-looker.

You might be noticing micro-expressions if you get a “feeling” about anyone. Follow your gut.

Facial Expressions, How To Read Them?
Facial Expressions, How To Read Them?


Eyebrows can give you much of the data about what a person might be feeling.

They can be:

  • Surprise: raised and arched
  • Anger: lowered and knit together
  • Sadness: inner corners are upwards
  • Watch someone’s eyebrows to get a gist on how that person might be feeling.


The eyes tell even more than the eyebrows themselves.

They might be

  • Surprise: wide open
  • Anger: intensely staring
  • Happy: have crow’s feet crinkles
  • Also, dilated pupils can indicate romantic interest or fear, while fast blinking might signal a lie or worry.


The final clue of the facial expression mystery links to the mouth. Look for

  • Surprise: a dropped jaw
  • Fear: open mouth
  • Hate: one side of the mouth raised
  • Happy: corners raised
  • Sadness: curves are drawn down

Other signals to look for may be

  • Anxiety: lip biting
  • Distaste: pursed lips
  • Secretive: covering the mouth

These are mere pointers to get you to start noticing the facial expressions you see during interaction and what they might mean. If you find it hard to read other people’s emotions through their feelings, you may require more practice, or you might have trouble analysis what others are feeling

If your inability to decode facial expressions causes you to stress, You may need help from a mental health professional. He can help find the cause of issue along with it’s with proper remedy.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter