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The opinions of the employees of s You are personal.
After about two weeks of practically no shopping, I decided to go to a large supermarket to do the necessary things in one place.
In addition to the necessary preventive measures, one aspect put me in a special emotional state: the lack of visibility of the smile in people.
Not even with the look; not even with crow’s feet when the smile is real; not even with a gentle gesture of lean facial expression, indicating that sadness and fear were absent.
The smile, covered by a mask, made me immediately think about the effects caused by social distancing and the inability to see and decipher the other person’s face in all its expression. The impossibility of connecting like this when we cross public spaces confused.
Since I was looking directly at half a face at best – as long as I wasn’t wearing glasses, accessories on my head, etc. – I felt that it was practically difficult to empathize and get close.
Maybe a nod, a grimace hidden behind the usual chin strap, or an open stance if you clear the way for another car full of shopping. Only that. But no smile.
What the face says
Photo: Jamie Brown via Unsplash
There is a specialization in non-verbal communication that is responsible for analyzing what the face reveals. In his book “Read face“The author Rose Rosetree claims that the face” is a resume. After the age of 40, every person has the face they deserve, “he says.
This branch is called morphopsychology and it means that, based on the genetic inheritance of each individual, we create a physiognomy that turns out to be a reflection of the type of being, the attitudes that normally prevail in their behavior and even in their feelings. Therefore the saying “the eyes and the face are the mirror of the soul” becomes relevant.
As an overly serious person, it is very likely that he has developed downward wrinkles on his face, which gives him a stiff expression. Expression that, because he has repeated it so many times in his life story, has left traces not only on the skin, but also on the soul and even in his mind.
What we decode when we look at others
Every time we communicate face to face with other people, and even in virtual video mode, we can collect a lot of information that at first sight seemed hidden.
If we know a person very well by just listening to the tone of their voice, we can feel their state of mind.
Then imagine the power to watch the face: we can see the same thing and also the posture, the emotions when he tells the truth or lies.
The prolific Spanish psychiatrist and author Enrique Rojas confirms that the essence of the person is manifested on the face.
The smile plays an essential role: it opens doors, empathizes, builds bridges of understanding, arouses curiosity and complicity. It is a kind of synchronicity that occurs when it is created from both parts.
That is why subtracting the possibility of this connection from the face creates an emotional effect that cuts off a great deal of the empathic ability and social interaction, mutilates it, especially when it is in front of strangers.
Photo: Alexandru Zdrobău about Unsplash
True smiles feel authentic and spontaneous. They are those where the corners of the lips are raised and wrinkles form at the ends of the eyes. You can say that we smile with our eyes, not just with our mouths.
Facial reading is nothing new: it has been practiced in China before the philosopher Confucius for around 2,500 years. While studying Pythagoras physiognomy, he chose students based on their face shape.
In general, non-verbal communication has shown that of a hundred percent of the code among people, the gesture takes 90 percent, while the verbal 10 or less. In this majority percentage, deciphering the smile is essential for credibility, strength, empathy and emotional connection with others.
Imagine for a moment a public figure who speaks, or you want to seduce or convince someone without being able to show your smile.
For Joe Navarro, who worked on these issues at the FBI for 25 years and wrote “The Body Speaks”: “The eyes and the gaze are the exact barometer of the feelings because we have so little control over them.” The pupils expand or contract when we don’t like something. And this is usually less obvious than a wrinkled forehead or a gesture of disgust with your mouth. In addition, the eyes have much more micro gestures and micro expressions than other parts of the face. I could see the culprit of a crime by watching a micro gesture in my eyes. “
How to empathize with a face mask
Maybe we should live with masks for some time; Here are the following suggestions for moving around this terrain when half a face is not visible:
1. The mask’s barrier does not remove proximity. Empathy is a quality of emotional intelligence. An open, receptive and friendly posture gives the conversation partners information about our intentions.
2. Connect with the gaze. A few seconds are enough. What does your gaze say in front of the mirror? What reflects others’ gaze? Remember that even when you smile, it creates an associated inner emotion that “resembles” a state of increased well-being.
3. Analyze the contexts. Apart from the discomfort of not being used to wearing face masks, every communication act, especially the non-verbal one, is analyzed in context. It is therefore advisable not to make any hasty judgments or interpretations, since misinterpretations can occur if the intentions of others cannot be deciphered more quickly.
4. Speak in a clear and strong voice. Lips can only be read if you use a special mask that is used for people who use their reading to communicate. So do not be afraid to raise your voice slightly when speaking so that you can make yourself heard.
5. If there is no smile in sight, adopt a physical posture. The superhero’s stance, upright and with a gesture of power, can be an alternative, not arrogance, but inner empowerment to replace the lack of contact and closeness that the mouth mask creates.
6. Talk to the whole body. This is how we express ourselves, although the face appears to be the main source of communication. We can use our hands to gesture supportive ideas, observe how we stand, reinforce concepts, and show others the willingness to connect physically, even if we have a stuffy nose, mouth and mouth Have chin.
7. Willingness and patienceare two more great keys in challenging moments like the current one. When the patient practices tolerance and discipline, he waits in an endless queue, a complicated conversation when he comes over with someone who visits us and offers his service. It will be a bridge that is many times as effective as the best smile.