What Are Micro Expressions, And Why Are They Important?
What Are Micro Expressions, And Why Are They Important? To quote the theme tune for Notting Hill – “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”
The truth is we are all communicating, all the time, even when we don’t want to. We communicate emotions from the fleeting micro-expressions to the photos we use on our social media profiles and in our across our personal brand.
The question is what are we saying? Are we on message – or are we saying something completely different from what is intended?
Unless we understand what emotions look like, and how you are communicating your emotions through facial expression, we can’t really be sure – we could be silently sabotaging our dreams.
The human face is the most expressive part of our body. It’s also a powerful tool in the right hands – to understand, communicate and read what others are thinking or feeling. For centuries, experts have studied how facial expressions work and why they happen; sometimes with surprising results. Their findings show that reading micro-expressions can dramatically improve your ability to get along with people and lead them where you want them to go.
What are Micro Expressions?
So what are micro expressions? We all have Macro and Microexpressions. Macros expressions last between half and four seconds and give us more chance to determine what emotion is being shown. Micro-expression on the other hand are fleeting, lasting less than half a second these involuntary communications are extremely revealing although often misunderstood or missed altogether. Microexpressions can reveal a person’s true emotions and exist for only a fraction of a second.
Micro-emotions are brief facial expressions that occur in less than half the time it takes to blink an eye. They’re involuntary, revealing our thoughts without us realizing.
They expose people’s true emotions and their feelings about themselves, others or things around them at any given moment.
Dr Paul Ekman is the world’s leading expert on micro-expressions he has specialised in this subject for over 50 years and identified that there are seven universal micro-expressions.
What are the seven universal micro expressions?
Dr Ekman originally identified 6 universal emotions although his additional research went on to identify a seventh. Of course, there are many different human emotions, however, Dr Ekman’s research shows that seven of these are universal. Irrelevant of our age, race, ethnicity, culture in fact even if we were born blind we use the same combination of the 43 muscles in our face to demonstrate these seven emotions involuntarily.
Anger – defined by Wikipedia as “Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat”
Contempt – defined by Wikipedia as “Contempt is a pattern of attitudes and behaviour, often towards an individual or group, but sometimes towards an ideology, which has the characteristics of disgust and anger.” it is often shown as scorn to another person or situation, a feeling of superiority or righteousness.
Fear – defined by Wikipedia as “Fear is an emotion induced by the perception or recognition of phenomena which can pose a danger or threat. Fear causes physiological changes and therefore may produce behavioural changes, such as mounting an aggressive response or fleeing the threat.”
Happiness- defined by Wikipedia as ” happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being.”
Surprise – defined by Wikipedia as “Surprise is a brief mental and physiological state, a startle response experienced by animals and humans as the result of an unexpected event. Surprise can have any valence; that is, it can be neutral/moderate, pleasant, unpleasant, positive, or negative.”
How To Read Micro-Expressions?
How to read micro-expressions: We are all communicating constantly, even when we don’t want to. The truth is our emotional brain responds 24x faster than our thinking brain so by the time we think don’t show that emotion if is already out there.
Some people just seem to be naturally talented at reading others’ emotions, but for the rest of us, it takes more effort. The good news is we can learn how to read micro-expressions to empower us to become the most effective negotiator, communicators or leaders in the room.
The facial action coding system is a research-based method for understanding the language of emotions. It enables us to decode all the messages that people are sending, even if they haven’t spoken or expressed themselves verbally in any way.
If you want to learn more please visit