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What Does That Smile Mean?

What does that smile really mean? 

50 different kinds of smiles make it difficult to decide.

Just because someone smiles at you, it doesn't mean that they are pleased to see you, or even happy. Humans have a large repertoire of smiles which indicate different things. We need a good understanding of facial expression and body language, to work these out correctly.

There are eighty muscles at work in a smiling face. Genuine, happy smiles tend to broaden out from a minor facial movement to a broad expression that encompasses the whole face.

Smiles don't have to be happy. They can be smiles of fear, misery, or even contempt. Smiles send powerful messages in terms of body language, but there seems to be a difference in the way they are used.

Women smile more than men when they don't know what to do, because they know that if they smile they won't get it wrong. Men tend not to smile when they don't know what to do because they see it as a sign of weakness.

Sometimes smiling has nothing to do with underlying thoughts and emotions. People smile because it is what is expected of them. A prime example here is the sales person smiling and being pleasant because that comes with job, not out of sheer delight at serving the customer. Then there's the politician who beams a great big smile at everyone so that they think he's a really good guy.

So, next time someone smiles at you, ask yourself why. Does he want your vote? Does she want to sell you a pair of shoes? Is it a smile of contempt, or is he really delighted to see you?

What's behind that smile?


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