One of the most important places to look at when trying to read someones body language is the smile. The smile can consciously be controlled, as well as be controlled by the unconscious mind. This fact makes it important to distinguish the difference.

History of the Smile

  • Smile was used, like most body language, before there was any form of language.
  • Smiling was a symbol of peace and still is today
  • Monkeys and Ape would smile to show predators they were harmless.
  • It’s called the “fear grin”

Two Types of Muscle

Listed below are the two muscles involved with smiling:

Zygomatic Major 

  • Flexes consciously
  • Pulls back the mouth to expose teeth and enlarge cheeks
  • Used to produce fake smiles; fake enjoyment; fake interest
  • Way back in the day called “Pan Am” smile, which is from the flight attendants on the pan am flights.

Orbicularis Oculi

  • Makes eyes narrow and causes “crows feet”
  • Unconscious
  • Acts independently and it reveals true feeling of a genuine smile
  • First place to look for genuine interest is the wrinkle lines “crows feet” beside the eyes.

Important to have smile as a part of your repertoire

  • Increases sales
  • Increases interest
  • Increases positive image
  • To defuse hostile situations
  • Great tool for first impressions

Manual called the FACS (Facial Action Coding System)

  • For people who would like to learn more about the muscles in the face
  • Be warned the manual is not an easy read
  • Does not explain what each smile means… More which muscles are used for each expression in the face.
  • So guess what? We are going to be describing and learning about the most common smiles …. In the next video!!

For Visual Learners Only!

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