A frequently asked question is, “What’s the difference between Body Language and Facial Expressions of Emotion when reading people?”
This is a very good question.
I can certainly understand the need to know the difference if you are trying to understand people better, improve your communication skills and sell more stuff in your industry.
I am the Face Whisperer, I concentrate on the face as a communication channel and what it reveals, but when considering Body Language and Facial Expressions it might be more useful for you to understand Body Language more than Facial Expressions depending on the industry you are in.
This article is going to explain the pros and cons of Body Language and Facial Expressions of Emotion. This way, by the end of the article you will be able to decide which is the best fit for you and your industry.
• There is a bigger area to read than just the face
• We can consider the gestures and emblems and what they reveal
• Positioning the body in certain ways sends a sub conscious signal to others
• Physiology of the body reveals a lot about the state that a person is in e.g. slumped physiology when a person is feeling unmotivated and not likely to take action
• It’s easy to manipulate your own body to pose how you want to be perceived even if you don’t feel it
• A person can convey any kind of body language they desire to fool another
• It’s culturally specific for some emblems and gestures, easy to misunderstand
• Some people try to build rapport by emulating body language in some situations – if not done well, has the complete opposite effect
• It is dangerous to make assumptions with no base line for ‘normal behaviour’
• A lot of people believe they are experts after reading a book…
• There are 7 universal expressions of emotion that are not culturally specific
• Regardless of what people say, you can know how they feel
• People are less conscious of their facial expressions and reveal more because they don’t know to hide them in most circumstances
• Using appropriate facial expressions in Key Visuals leads to 3 x more engagement
• Even when not speaking a person will reveal how they feel via either micro or macro expressions
• Facial expressions of emotion are not widely known about
• People feel uncomfortable when they realise you can understand how they feel
• Software is not reliable (yet) to read peoples subtle emotions
• To be accurate you need the full face to read facial expressions
• Limited fully qualified experts available in the commercial world