A lot of people are talking about how powerful it is and that it will change your life and you will be like a *someone who can read minds*.
What are facial and micro-expressions at the beginning?
Facial expressions are emotion projected to our faces. Psychologists found out that every single emotion that we are able to feel has its own unique signature on the face, for example, happiness, sadness, disgust, anger, surprise or fear. All of you can read these facial expressions because you are seeing them for the whole life from TV and more from people around you. There is no problem so far.
The tricky part comes with the micro-expressions or the micro momentary expression, which one of the first describes Charles Darwin in The Expressions of the Emotions in Man & Animal. And these are slips of these 6 emotions I’ve listed above. What I mean by that is, if you feel disgusted and you don’t want to express it out loud, so your face will show by a specific micro-expression of disgust. It is the full or just a part of the emotion which stays on the face only for just a tiny fragment of a second.
By a logical deduction, you can find out that it’s awesome to have the skills like this.
“It is amazing, that you can see how others are feeling at the moment.”
“You can read people’s mind.”
“It is something you can’t get out from home without.” Etc.
A lot of statements like this are tied together with the study of micro-expressions and now these problems come.
When you are studying micro-expressions, you find out it is marvellous to read about it, you also see a couple of videos and you feel like you can spot anyone who will drop some of the micro-expressions. But … you can’t find anyone.
1) No.1 problem is the difference between training and real-life situations. You have completed a one-hour long training program where you’ve probably seen for first time described facial movements of each emotion separately. And you have seen a couple of short videos where were micro-expressions showed, somehow. Not very much like in real life. And then you have passed the test, you feel like the true micro-expressions expert.
Unfortunately, you found out you can’t spot a single micro-expression in real human being someplace near you. And you ask why? Have I done something wrong? And the answer is no, you just need to put much more time and effort into developing this habit of observing micro-expressions. And it will work.
Moral of this point is don’t think of yourself how great you are when you finish some certification until you can really use it. Your ability to do it makes you a pro and not the paper. I know it from my own experience. I went through that and now I can spot it and use it. If you would like to know more about how to train it, there is a video on YouTube where I talk more about training body language habits.
2) When you finally manage it to spot some of the micro-expressions, you still have to assign a meaning to each of it. And that might be quite a tricky part as well. Imagine a situation, you are talking to a friend of yours and suddenly you spot a sadness micro-expressions. Well, you have noticed that but now you have to decide what does it mean. Did I say something that made him sad? Did he remember some event that made him sad? Or was it just a muscle spasm that looked like brow raise?
At the moment you will finally notice it, you will find out, that you don’t know how to use it at that moment. Should I ask him? Tell him? Change the subject? Leave him alone? Hug him? So you will probably just continue in the communication the same way as you did and maybe someday later you will talk about it with the person.
So micro-expressions are not anything that will allow you to read minds, it is actually a quite advanced technique of reading body language and you have you be wise to use it so you could really profit from it.
It is an exciting skill and at the moment you find out it works and you start playing with it might be real fun with important messages in it. I can only recommend to learn it, it is worth but you have to pay the price of it.
Fancy knowing more about the observing body language?