Facial Expressions and Their Meanings

Facial Expressions and Their Meanings

 Facial Expression Meanings

“She brightens up the room” “He’s interesting”, next time someone is grabbing the attention of the room look at their body language and most interestingly their facial expressions. Here are some general meanings behind facial expressions and tips to improve your likability and instant appeal.

girl with real smile

A genuine smile


Smiling produces a positive reaction in others. This may be the single most excellent thing about smiling, your brain tells you to smile back at a smile! We are talking about genuine smiles here, other smiles can mean different things, such as the tight lipped smile (hiding something), smirking or seduction. When someone is catching attention it is likely they are displaying loud and proud smiles to many people. A real smile will have features such as squinted eyes, open mouth and ‘crows feet’ and other skin folds showing. More on smiling in here.


This can be hard to pick up, but your subconscious is likely attracted to those lovely dilated pupils in the middle of the face, and applies to both sexes. If the other person is interested in you, their pupils are likely to dilate naturally, which your mind will respond to – naturally. Our pupils dilate naturally in response to seeing things we like such as food or partners.

girl with large pupils

Big, attractive pupils








Eye contact and raised eyebrows

Sustained eye contact shows the other person you are genuinely interested and is a very likable communication / body language display. However, don’t turn this into a staring competition. You may find it easier to make full eye contact while it is your turn to talk. On the other hand looking away, especially down does not show confidence and is submissive.

The sideways glance is a courtship action and can be used to show interest from either sex and is sure to get twice as much attention back. Check out this article for more eye contact info!

Raised eyebrows can show interest or surprise, but also have other uses and meanings such as;  Flirtation (by a female), this appears submissive to men and is appealing to their subconscious and ‘the eyebrow flash’ which is a great way to greet people. Note: the eyebrow flash is when you quickly raise your brows.

Touching the nose

When lying or anxious blood can rush to the nose creating a sensation. The result is usually a quick rub or touch, not a long one. Make sure this is not a genuine nose itch by looking at the cluster of body language and topic of conversation if the person seems uneasy combined with touching areas of the face, then you may have a reason to be suspicious.

Touching the neck

A quick neck scratch (not like rubbing behind the neck) or rub can indicate the person is not sure about what is being said, logically or morally. Usually combined with looking away or down when feeling completely doubtful about the situation. However, this can be easily confused with a woman flashing her wrist in a show of seduction.

worried man body language

Unsure and possibly worried

Guys, check out this article on seductive gestures.

Hands on mouth

Can be a sign of the person disguising suspect words such as exaggeration or lying. Someone with a single finger near the mouth however may be contemplating, which is a good thing. It’s about reading the situation you are currently in with the body language presented.

Touching the chin

Called ‘chin stroking’ and is what it intuitively looks like, evaluation (making a decision). Most of the time the person will be making a decision about what is being presented, or thinking about what to say next; chess players for example.

Evaluating you

Evaluating you

Want to be better at reading others body language? Know the signs and visual cues next time they are presented to you, and bring confidence and success your way with these added skills.

We highly recommend the following resources;

The Definitive Book of Body Language. The go-to book if you are new to body language, we recommend this to alot of beginners;

What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People. Another pick-up-and-read book that can be read by beginners and itermediates alike

Winning Body Language: Control the Conversation, Command Attention, and Convey the Right Message without Saying a Word. Need we say more than the title of this book, you will never be the same after this read, life changing!

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