How Brow The eyebrows and the forehead can offer interesting signals as form of non-verbal communication to others. The face is the best social tool to express our emotion-rather than disguising our true thoughts and feelings. It is actually a marquee advertising a wide range of emotions, moods and attitudes. It isn’t difficult to see why this happens-there are more than 44 muscles in our face, 22 on each side attached to bone and skin. This allows us to make wild gesture and to control separate parts of face independently, often unconsciously. As such, physiologically, we have learned to link together each of the pieces of your face from jaw to scalp which send messages that are meaning full to another speaker. Popular psychoanalytic psychologist Sigmund Freud had written: “People can discover other’s secret if he watch and listen carefully. Even if he kept silence, His motion will tell you the truth. Betrayal seeps out from him all the time.” Sigmund added that humans are able to hide our emotions but for a millisecond, the true emotions are revealed. Hence, he concluded that it is almost impossible for anyone to hide their true feelings. Another psychologist Professor Paul Ekman had conducted much research to determine how facial expression helps reveal our underlying emotions and is renowned for having introduced the facial action coding system (FACS) to evaluate the relationship between facial expression and emotion. From his research, he found that micro-gesture displays on our faces reveal our hidden emotions. Simultaneously, he found that the facial micro-gesture is displayed within a quarter second of an emotion’s arousal. With this discovery, body language specialists have been trained how to look out got and capture these micro-gestures to read facial expressions. Keen Observation Facial Expression is a very powerful communication tool. While most of us have never been specifically taught how to generate or translate this facial behavior, we all nevertheless know them, perform them, interpret them and communicate them without conscious thought. As such, it’s no wonder people will believe the look on your face rather that what you tell them, no matter what you say-as our face is an amalgam of its components. But, let’s look at the various components for better understanding. The movement of the eyebrow sends messages to us indirectly as it is visible to the receiver and is easily read and detected, compared to pupil dilation analysis. While the eyebrow is strategically located near the eye region, their limited muscle control limits what messages they can deliver. Still, the lowered eyebrow alone can be interpreted in many ways. When an individual is angry, the facial muscle contracts and the eyebrow are lowered. It can also augur concentration, aggressiveness, dominance, sadness, deep thought or displeasure. We can also interpret the lowered eyebrow as expressing disagreement, doubt or uncertainty. When the middle of the eyebrows is pulled down so they slope inwards, this shows a person is angry and frustrated. Lowered eyebrows too can be interpreted as displaying concern and authority. When parents are punishing their kids and instructing them to stop playing, they have lowered eyebrows and this effect is enhanced with the index finger being waged in and authoritative manner. Raised Eyebrow Raising eyebrows enhance the facial expression. When a person feels happy, the eyebrows are raised because our limbic brain reaction will stimulate cranial tissues and cause the forehead muscle to contract. Also, when an individual is surprised, their eyebrows become raised. The greater the surprise, the higher the eyebrows become raised. Further, we can use raised eyebrows as a signal to ask for attention or to signal general emphasis. For example, raised eyebrows after a question is asked indicate a clear invitation for the other party to answer the question. Raising eyebrows may be seen as a submissive move or represents openness, or even asking for approval and support. This motion is momentary. The raise of eyebrows indicates an unspoken enquiry, like: “am I right?” or “do you agree with what I say?” Alternatively, raising the eyebrows slowly for a few seconds marks the end of the statement-usually as a nonverbal enquiry to check if the listener had understood. Note that the eyebrow raised at slower speed and accompanied with the head nudged upwards indicates disapproval. Skepticism too can be expressed by raising one eyebrow, especially if appear with a small smirk. The middle-raised eyebrow can be interpreted as relief. In some cases, it can indicate anxiety. Conversely, the middle-lowered eyebrow too can show what the person is angry or frustrated. Further, it can also be a sign of deep concentration. A swift up-down flash, or oscillating eyebrow movement, is done as a sign of recognition and greeting. You can even observe it among primates such as monkeys and gorillas. This involuntary signal of recognition and interest has been observed in such varied cultures- from Europeans to Balinese, African Bushmen to South American Indians. Furrowed Forehead Note that the forehead is always associated with eyebrow movement, which indirectly causes and affects forehead mobility to a certain extent. When a person feels anxious, sad, concerned, bewildered or even angry or concentrating, frowning by furrowing the forehead and brow can be observed. It is difficult for us to determine what the furrowed forehead means. For instance, a student taking part in an examination would have a furrowed forehead when examiner announces 10 minutes remaining for the examination. Besides and examination situation, and arrested person being led past reporters would have a furrowed forehead because the suspect find himself in an untenable or disagreeable situation but cannot escape. This is why you would usually see these at arrested persons’ mug shots.
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