A Face Says It All!
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
A Face Says It All!The true map of your inner emotions.
Within one-tenth of a second of seeing a new face, you’ve already made a judgment about what that person is like. In a flash, you know whether you trust him and what you expect your experience with him to be. Studies have found that different people come to remarkably similar conclusions when they view the same face, even if it’s just for an instant.
It’s well known that faces are very important to us, and scientists have mapped entire sections of the brain devoted specifically to recognizing and reacting to them. Babies only nine minutes old already prefer to look at pictures of faces rather than any other image; and 12 hours after birth, infants favor photos of their mothers to those of other mothers. Newborns even respond with a different set of facial expressions when they see a human than when they look at an object.
This emphasis doesn’t disappear with maturity. In fact, we all unconsciously read and react to faces all the time without really knowing why we’re having an aversion or attraction to them.
There are thousands of studies that show the ways in which our appearance influences how people respond to us. In criminal court, for example, men on trial with small, more subdued features and rounder faces are more often exonerated than men who have sharp jaws or large noses. In experiments, men with full lips; wide eyes; and thinner, more curved eyebrows are selected as good choices for husbands, as they’re judged to be more open to commitment and less likely to be unfaithful. Men with square jaws, large noses, and smaller or more deeply set eyes are labeled as less warm, less likely to commit, and more apt to try to dominate in romantic relationships.
The results of these studies may seem to highlight what a foolish focus on superficial appearance our culture has, but what’s astonishing is that, in many cases, people’s conclusions about others’ personalities are accurate!
We respond to the features on people’s faces—the size and shape of their noses, for instance—but also to the expressions they make and wrinkles they develop as a result. It’s common to think that wrinkles are just a natural sign of aging and they don’t appear in any meaningful design on the face, but this certainly isn’t so. The lines that we form give us remarkably clear messages about the patterns of emotion we tend to have on a regular basis.
Anytime we have a feeling, we subtly make the expression associated with it. Even if it’s just for a fleeting moment, we show a tiny microexpression, and, over time, as we repeat certain feelings throughout each day, we’ll slowly carve different kinds of wrinkles into our faces. This is not a “bad” thing; there are actually certain wrinkles that you’re supposed to get, and if you don’t, it’s not a good sign!
For instance, the lines called “crow’s-feet” in the West are called “joy lines” in Chinese face reading and are considered a reflection of an open heart. People with these lines are easily able to give and receive love.
Some fascinating research has been done regarding facial expressions. For example, scientists in Israel filmed blind people and their relatives as they talked about their happy and sad life experiences, worked on puzzles, listened to a gory story, and then heard a question expressed in gibberish. As participants felt various emotions, each change in expression was recorded. What they found was that the blind subjects made expressions that resembled their family members’ more than those of strangers. These were blind people who had never even seen their relatives’ faces; in fact, one blind subject had never even met his mother until he was 18—yet his facial expressions matched hers more than others. So again we have another instance of how our inner nature is piloting our lives from the beginning, and how it can be read on our faces.
It’s important to know that our faces are remarkably clear indicators of who we are and who we’re becoming. By learning to read our children’s expressions, we’ll know more accurately how to help them deal with their emotions. In the size and shape of their features, the inherent traits and tendencies that are coloring how they perceive their experiences are visible. Such valuable information can be used for guidance on many levels.