Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Faking It

New research on lying indicates that our faces are made up of the “least obedient” muscles in our body. I think I could debate that statement on its face but we will leave that for a later essay. Micro-expressions give the truth away. Because the face is such a complex muscular structure, it is impossible to control all that is going on when a lie is being told. Apparently happiness is the easiest emotion to fake while disgust and fear are more of a challenge. This tells me that the face is in fact trainable. Maybe not completely but we all spend a great deal more time faking happy than we do walking around with fake expressions of fear or disgust on our faces. Unless, of course, you have a toddler – they particularly like the ‘disgust’ face.

What emotion do you have the most trouble faking? What emotion do you have the least trouble faking?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know! I've been told on multiple occassions that I'm "hard to read" but it is certainly not intentional. Perhaps I should carry a mirror around so I can be better aware of what my face is and is not giving away! And then train it accordingly...

Anonymous said...

I have the most trouble faking irritation ... It is a huge struggle to not let irritation show on my face and I consistently have to "check myself". Like your post says, happiness isn't hard for me to fake. Simply pasting the smile on your face and displaying a little perkiness goes a long way.

Anonymous said...

i have a tough time feigning interest. unfortunately in social setting this is something that has to be faked quite often. any tips?

Steven Clough said...

So much of what your body says translates literally. Tips on appearing more interested:

-Keep hands, arms, legs all uncrossed. Crossing is creating a physical and metaphorical barrier.
-Your body/feet direction shows where your minds at. If you're facing away, like you might leave, it gives away what your mind is feeling. Keep your body open and directed to the person or group.
-Eye contact is something I repeatedly notice people get uncomfortable with. When you're looking around too much, you look being distracted and disinterested. Keep your focus on the person talking.
-It's very tough to fake smiles, but open mouth smiles usually work better than closed lipped.
-Don't fidget. Sit still. Moving around shows that your mind is wandering.

Just a few tips, I'm sure Theresa could add about a thousand more :)

Theresa Zagnoli said...

Steven - Thanks for the input. Great that you are adding to our content and giving ideas for future topics. Anything you would like to hear more about?

Steven Clough said...

Hmmm...Let me think about it! I'll come up with something and let you know :)