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Friday, February 05, 2010

Putting Your Best Face Forward: Facial Expressions are Filters

Interesting study that just came out proving basically that Botox blocks a person's ability to empathize and take in negative emotions.  Somehow the fact that they cannot frown blocks that emotion from getting in.

PhysOrg.com says:

"The Havas study broke new ground by linking the expression of emotion to the ability to understand language, says Havas' adviser, UW-Madison professor emeritus of psychology Arthur Glenberg. "Normally, the brain would be sending signals to the periphery to frown, and the extent of the frown would be sent back to the brain. But here, that loop is disrupted, and the intensity of the emotion and of our ability to understand it when embodied in language is disrupted.""

This is interesting, but since the study only involved forty people, here are a couple of thoughts/ observations for you.

Your expressions link to your interpretation of the world!
We know that happy people tend to smile more. People who smile tend to be more positive.  Positive people tend to interpret the world more positively.  Right?

Is the converse true?  Negative people tend to frown more.  People who frown tend to be more negative? Negative people tend to interpret the world more negatively?  Right?

These are generalities but have been talked about ad nauseum by many "motivational experts" - we have to remember this. We also know that our facial expressions affect how others react to us.  (i.e. We tend to approach people who are smiling, shun people who are frowning.)

Our facial expressions influence both how people to react to us and HOW WE REACT TO OTHERS more than we know.

So, grab out the mirror and take a look.  If you don't like the particular lines and wrinkles you see (are they frown lines or smile lines) decide to make a change!

And personally, I'd rather change my view from the inside out than somehow use the Botox approach.

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