Micro-expressions Are the Window to the Soul.

 Once you get started watching for micro-expressions it is addictive and so informative.

My elder brother visited me a couple of years ago and annoyed me and I saw a smile flash on his face. He had annoyed me on purpose. We had been meeting at my house once a year at his instigation. Each time he had annoyed me at some point. I realised after seeing the smile he was doing what he had done as a child! Amazing! I said next time I would meet him but not at my home and he has not come back. I think he was doing something like counting coup. He  wanted to upset me in my home presumably to boost his own ego. Micro-expressions simply do not lie!

koyptakh koyptakh
51-55, M
33 Responses May 3, 2009

Hi Kaidabear<br />
I guess that you need to understand how people communicate and very little of it is non verbal. This is astonishing to me as consciously if we want to say something we speak. However that is not the true nature of human consciousness. People are very like icebergs. Most is underwater or unconscious.<br />
So a good starting point for me is to notice your own feelings. If you feel upset during or after a social interaction ask what happened. Of course you cannot rewind a film but you do have a good memory even if you do not think you have. Accident victims when hypnotized can often provide car registration numbers they were unaware of having even seen. Again the human mind is like an iceberg. Most is underwater out of sight or consciousness.<br />
Once you have alerted yourself to the fact you are emotionally affected by a person you socialize with then you can reflect on what happened after you meet but also be more proactive and watch for micro ex<x>pressions. One thing to remember about them is they are fleeting. Very. You may not even be able to see them unless filmed and played back. Nonetheless if you are looking for them then you have a better chance.<br />
The human face is a very rich emotional projection of the person's emotional inner state of mind. You can study facial ex<x>pressions of emotion and then look for those as micro ex<x>pressions.<br />
Yours is a good question. These are just some ideas. Please share anything you discover. There is also a range of body language which it is also useful to be aware of. Basically be alert. Watch everything - hands especially are often out of a person's conscious control. Where they are and what they are doing. Bunched fists for example suggest repressed anger I suppose! An angry person may not want you to know how angry he or she is!<br />
This whole field is interesting and useful! Wish I knew more!<br />
Best wishes<br />

micro-ex<x>pressions! really interesting! once, I felt some sort of happiness radiating from another person when i tell them i am in trouble. it's like some sort of vibe they're radiating subconsciously. It tells me a lot about a person

Hi Knighted <br />
I will check out the book. <br />
I like that idea of checking back for things which did not quite fit! It is like unpicking a mask maybe.<br />

I started by reading Paul Eckmans book unmasking the face. Then I took one of his companies classes. Since then he has partnered with another technology company and it formed " You can now go there and receive training online. It doesn't cost much for the base courses. Around $30. Upper courses cost about $80. <br />
<br />
As for Dawnrisers situation. I would venture to say that she is hoping for somthing from you. What is anyones guess, not enough info. When she doesn't get that "something" she punishes you by putting you down. Just a guess at this time. Think back and see if you remember any hints that she may have left that didn't quite fit the conversation or feeling of the interaction.

How can you learn to be aware of these facial ex<x>pressions?

Hi Evania<br />
I think you are right putting people down is inconsistent with Love.<br />
Thank you<br />

Hi Evania,<br />
Through into the factors for consideration that there is a large cultural difference, here. People in her country do interact somewhat differently than where I live (in general, of course). You may have a point regarding your reference to her ego. However there is far too much evidence that she does like me! LOL

Fantastic conversation!! My cent's worth on Dawnriser's "friend". I propose that she doesn't like "YOU" per se. But really likes how SHE feels when she is able to put you down, because then, SHE (her ego) feels all validated, superior, stronger, etc. That is a tremendous high and yes, she will travel great lengths to get it. True Love doesn't put down; period. As Koypt suggested, clearly she has other issues in her life. Which, by the way, if she were confronted with, she would vehemently deny. I don't think she is a "friendly friend" to you. ~ Often times, the more vehemently we deny something...................... the truer it is. Our true, inner consciousness knows a lot more than we think, but we keep ignoring It, and go on in very limiting ways about our lives........ :-/ <br />
Excellent exchange of great ideas going on here, Knighted and Koyp, Thank You!!

I think you are very wise, my friend. Actually I am a prety literal person, and pretty quick to pick up on verbal clues, even quite subtle ones. Sometimes I think (read hope) I am being too sensitive, so will be looking for confirmation in physical clues. <br />
Speaking of body "language" it is something I notice and take note of in people I see whether I know them or not and is much more likely to be how I recognize them than their facial features. Sort of strange, perhaps.

Hi Dawnriser <br />
I think micro ex<x>pressions are read unconsciously so maybe you are picking up mixed messages - presumably she is conflicted. Not necessarily to do with you as she likes you a lot. Maybe other issues in her life. Ask her? Verbalization has a lot going for it!<br />

A fascinating subject and I am glad this enlightened discussion was brought to life again. <br />
I am using it to try to think through an event -- interaction -- I had just yesterday with a friend who professes to like me a lot -- evidenced by the fact thay she has traveled great distance to see me several times -- yet makes me feel so "put down."

Hi Knighted<br />
clear as mud which is exactly why micro ex<x>pressions are so useful<br />

The difference between men and women is something I have studied in detail. Even in a general context one can't determine how another is impacted by a single event. The variables are to great. However, understanding how people relate to one another gives great insight. Then carry it further and look at how that relating came to be. Then add the social restrictions on the different levels. Add in the morays and folkways and you get a pretty good picture.

Hi knighted<br />
They say 90% of communication is non verbal and I suspect most of that is unconscious. even verbal communication has sub texts and what is said can be "hidden" within the carrier wave apparent topic - such as talk about the weather. I find listening for key words, words out of context suggesting leakage of underlying emotion, tone, and of course body language and facial ex<x>pression can reveal what is really being said. <br />
Like any language you get more from it the more you know and understand it. Of course the driver really is that you understand more about what is going on and and so are better equipped to handle events.<br />
I am sure there is also a strong element of having heightened emotional sensitivity to good listening and comprehending. I wonder how women and men experience differently as women are richer emotionally and men are perhaps more focussed on seeing details?<br />
interesting subject.<br />

I know what you mean. I'm currently working on recognizing ex<x>pressions from a 90 degree side view that last 1/16th of a second. At the moment I'm only 40% accuate with side views. Full front and 3/4 view I'm over 90%. Still mess up anger and surprise as those two are similar. The following micro will usually clear it up for me. What really got me is that this form of study has been around for over 50 years and validated every which way. Major law enforcement agencies rely on it to solve major cases. I use it to see if I lose someone in an explanation of a topic or hit a nerve if in a debate. While not scientifically proven on the sub-conscious level it has gained merit that we pick up on micros. It goes with the feeling of either something is "just not right" or "just feel comfortable" around a person. Either way, being able to enter and maintain a conversation with a bit of additional knowledge about how a person feels is much more comforting than going in cold.

Hi Knighted. <br />
It is fascinating and powerful isn't it. Micro ex<x>pressions can be isolated and frozen with video. They do not lie as you say. We also have an ability to take a snapshot. What sort of happens with me is I watch a face and then hold the micro ex<x>pression in my memory as a visual memory. It is funny as the facial ex<x>pression moves on but I know what I saw. Faces are very expressive! Also I listen to my own emotional responses because if I feel angry then I am probably being wound up. It presumably is a system we project and read unconsciously.<br />
It all makes me wonder about the limited scope of the conscious mind. The conscious reality is so limited. I wonder if intelligence is all about being able to take more information from the unconscious? Strange then as we all already have the information. <br />

I got into micro and macro ex<x>pressions a little while ago. It is fascinating to gain insight into what someone is feeling. I learned that body language only tells how someone is handling a situation. Micro and macro ex<x>pressions tell what is truely going on. Since I deal with lots of people everyday, many dishonest (to gain attention or acceptance) I can use my skill to distance myself from those people. Sometimes I announce my skill to get people to stop lying and making up stories.<br />
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It's a fascinating field that is truely scientifically proven to be accurate.

Hi Toby2day<br />
I am sure people do absorb micro-ex<x>pressions unconsciously. They are fast so unless you watch for them are unconscious of them. I would feel upset but not know why. Is probably not very groundbreaking really but was to me.<br />

Hi june1989<br />
Bewilderment is one word for it. What gets me is I am diagnosed schizophrenic! Yet they are all sane. I argued with a psychiatrist a year or two ago about my being diagnosed schizophrenic and he said "well you are not normal are you?" I mean is that the best he could do?<br />

I used such situations to explain the word bewilderment to my students :)<br />
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They all asked me, Why Miss? What...? Uh, why.. what..? It's fascinating indeed how a group of people can not for the live of them understand such behavior and another set of people to be able to do it without a shred of conscience.

Hi june1999<br />
sure I believe you. it is as if people are incapable of leaking their feelings. It is funny because I do not have them. One time my sister in law came to my house and she said to my face " I just cannot wait until you have to sell it". What she should have said was "I like your house and I hope you are happy here". She also said a house in the Country with stable doors - like mine - was all she had ever wanted. So she probably felt envy and expressed it. How weird! How odd she felt that way. My having a house did not stop her having one. She and my brother are rich anyway. What she did not like was me and me having anything at all. I have never forgotten what she said or what insight it gave to her mind.<br />
What surprises me is how negative people are yet I never feel like that. I never feel envy or hatred. Why do they?<br />
I did not go my Father's funeral. Before it my sister told me he had sexually abused her as a child. Then she went and played happy families. Weird hey!<br />
Best wishes :)

Knowledge is power :)<br />
<br />
People tried to put me down during my father's funeral if you can believe it koyptakh, stealing glances at me to see if I'd heard those smart, jabbing remarks and understand the insinuations.<br />
<br />
I was too numb to feel anything at the time and the slight disappointment that flashed on their faces only told me what a waste of time these people were.

Hi avalonleppard<br />
It took me so long though! Looking back so many other examples yet I constantly blamed myself. Still better late than never!<br />
hope it helps! Not necessarily in your family just in life.<br />

Hi JulySunSoul<br />
Not that I am an expert but micro-ex<x>pressions are fleeting true ex<x>pressions beyond the control of the person expressing them. We see some of them subconsciously I guess but can also do so consciously. If you pay attention you can work out for sure what people really think. In the case of people who love you and are playing it does not matter but if they really wish you ill best to find out. In families it may be hidden by claims of love and accusation you are imagining any feelings of dislike. Good luck!<br />

im not familiar with 'micro-ex<x>pressions' but i kind of get what you mean. i sort of get hunches about when my brothers wind me up on purpose because they know just how to press my buttons. i think if i was as good at this as you seem to be it would probably save a lot of family arguments :)

Hi singer1960<br />
Perhaps so. I will be extra vigilant. Having said that I do not think it is that complex. If someone makes you feel angry and you see them smile briefly when you react, and then mask it, then it seems reasonable to conclude as I have done.<br />
thanks for your comment anyway.<br />

All that you have said here might be true..... But I think at times... .You see what you want in those faces....Some times there is no other motive..... BUt you see it any way

THi dawnriser<br />
I do want to stress that micro ex<x>pressions that are in harmony with what someone is saying confirm what they say consciously. This of course how it should be! It is lovely talking to someone like that. They have an open face and you feel you can trust them because you unconsciously see the harmony. All I am saying is f someone makes you upset or uneasy then watch them and fleeting ex<x>pressions may show what they really feel. Don't be upset work it out! Good luck! The tv show sounds good - why not train people to understand it.

Fascinating subject and I surely must try to be more aware (and astute). It brings to mind the ex<x>pression, " to take at face value."<br />
Currently one of the few TV shows I enjoy is called "Lie to Me." It is about this very subject and the lead character is a trained expert in this "science."

Hi musicspirit<br />
One great aspect of micro-ex<x>pressions is that however you read them consciously or not if they correspond with what a person is saying then they are not lying and you feel it. I love to meet open people. It does not matter if they are direct and challenge you as long as you feel they are honest. On the other hand when someone has contradictory micro-ex<x>pressions to what they say verbally or with their conscious ex<x>pressions it can be creepy. <br />
Rather than be cynical about all people or frightened of all people it has to be better to watch their faces when they talk and get clues to tell if they are lying.<br />
We cannot control our micro-exressions. They are unconscious sub=conscious expresions and they at least do not lie. Maybe some people can lie this way but not that I know of.

Micro ex<x>pressions are quite fascinating! Interesting that you should say "Talking to someone who does not like you but who masks it can be upsetting but you cannot put your finger on why" because I was thinking about something along those lines after reading your story. <br />
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For example, take the way people automatically raise their eyebrows slightly when greeting a friend. It's not something we consciously take note of, yet it does seem to make you feel more at ease (so I've noticed - I can't help noticing now that I'm conscious of it.)<br />
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We pick up all these things without even knowing! It does make you think a bit about how much we are actually in control of.

hi xiaomei,<br />
I have never seen him since! We both knew the game was up. I talked about it with my sister and she tried to tell me I was wrong but that is the power of micro-ex<x>pressions. I simply know what I saw and it made immediate sense. I do not think it was affection at all. <br />
It is interesting that reading faces is a form of fortune telling. The thing about micro-ex<x>pressions is they are so quick. Psychologists have isolated them only by taking high speed photographs of people's faces while they interact and then analyzing them to show how at key points emotion is displayed which reveals the persons hidden feeling. The face can be seen as a mask which does not work very well. If you watch closely you can see a person who you may be telling your problems show on their face pleasure in your situation. The converse is also true that a truly open and genuine person shows no such negative micro ex<x>pressions. That is why some people are such a pleasure because you are not picking up at a sub conscious warnings. Talking to someone who does not like you but who masks it can be upsetting but you cannot put your finger on why. Hope that helped explain what I am getting at.<br />
ep is interesting because there are no faces! Except for these of course :)

Course I get the reference! It is a good one but no I am not an android! The problem is if you are fascinated by Human Behavior that entails People Watching which feels a bit uncomfortable maybe. That is not my intention though. Rather I think that moving observation of micro-ex<x>pressions to he conscious level is an empowering skill. Normally we see them unconsciously and make our sub conscious judgments partly on the basis of them. In the case of my elder brother he had been winding me up for years and I did not understand that he took pleasure in my getting upset - until I saw the smile flash across his face precisely when I got angry. It was like an epiphany honestly! I was then able to make sense of all the previous similar experiences going back decades and all our lives as Brothers. Trust got me into the situation where I was upset by him without knowing why. <br />
Regarding someone writing a book decades ago about body language what does that have to do with anything? An idea is not like a dated piece of fashionware! I certainly do not want to learn how to lie or manipulate people. Interestingly though perhaps but my elder brother has a world class firm handshake and looks you right in the eye so maybe he has read the book! <br />
Having said that checquers I did value your post and it made me think some more and will tone down my addiction. Perhaps that was an overstatement. As for going to ask a lawyer just watch their micro-ex<x>pressions! :)