Reading body language and facial expression requires effort, perseverance, and the learning of a science-based skill. At first glance, the effect of reading someone’s physical presence can be unnerving. They tend to think that understanding their body language makes you a mind reader. For most of us, this is far from the truth. Whether we realize it or not, we all are constantly reading each others expressions and gestures, processing the information and responding in turn. Because we are not always conscious or aware of the deciphering that is happening in our brains.
As with any innate skill you want to improve, you must practice. People watching and constant awareness of your own body language is required to successfully read those around you. If this was about mind reading, body language and facial expressions would be a moot point. So if you find yourself in the position of not being able to read peoples thoughts, but you’d like to get an insight on what they are feeling, check out Emotions Revealed by Dr. Paul Ekman.
If you’ve seen the show Lie to Me, you’re familiar with this master of non-verbal communication. Ekman is a psychologist and a world renowned facial expression expert. Much of his research has focused on human emotion and the behavioral response to feelings. Emotions Revealed focuses on information in human behavior, the “seven universal facial expressions”: anger, fear, surprise, sadness, happiness, contempt, and disgust. Ekman goes in depth about how these emotions both enhance and hinder our communication and impact our emotional lives. With more than 40 years of research in the behavioral field, Ekman masterfully intertwines stories and case studies with strategies for dealing with everyday life situations. Not only does Emotions Revealed provide the science behind facial expressions and the emotions that trigger them, it delivers information to enhance your communication skills.