Monday, November 15, 2010


Not writing or word nerdery or rants about word usage. Just something I find interesting : )

Human faces show emotion to varying degrees. Me? Everything is written all over my face. But there are tons of people out there who wouldn’t twitch if someone ripped out their arm hair with duct tape.

Honestly, I’d like to be the stoic type, but that’s never going to happen. Every little thought that runs through my head appears somewhere on my face. This has time and again gotten me in trouble. I was in sixth grade when I was walking to the cafeteria with my friend. Now, this was before class started and no one was supposed to be in the hallway, but we and a few others stopped there because, well, it was what we weren’t supposed to do. : )

Of course we were caught. Everyone took the scolding and moved on. But the teacher called me back.

See, I made a “face.” I didn’t do it on purpose and I didn’t do it at her—I was basically thinking, “Oh, crud, I knew this would happen and it did.” But she took it as a personal affront that my eyebrows were lowered in dismay and confusion at the vitriol she spewed at us.

Stuff like that is why I wish I could keep a neutral expression on my face. Well, at least you’d know if I ever lied. But wait: there’s more!

Blind people, people who have been so since birth, smile.

Think about it. How do they know? Yes, they can feel, but blind babies smile. They aren’t just mimicking what they feel on others' faces.

Expressions are within our brains. Isn’t that neat? Perhaps another interesting thing to note: some babies (not blind), don’t smile. This is usually the result of stress and anxiety from a lack of attention, or even a mental issue. So smiles--and other expressions--are a direct result of the brain's hardwiring, not learning. I wonder, though, if it's limited to homo sapians.

Sometimes, I even think animals can smile. When I see a happy dog, with its tongue lolling out and mouth open, I can swear I see the corners of their mouth go up. Cats too, although they’re more subtle. Their corners go up, but the real smile is when they close their eyes.

Of course, I could just be crazy about that last paragraph. : o


  1. I absolutely agree that animals smile. I swear my one cat smiles as well as gives "knowing" looks. Animal faces can be very expressive. I really liked this post, fyi. :)

  2. No, you're not crazy ... you can totally see it when cats and dogs smile... it's so cute!
    Interesting observation about expressions being innate. I think some are and some aren't. The basics: smiling, surprise, anger, sadness ... those are natural. then all the quirky ones like you've-got-to-be-kidding-me expression are definitely learned.
    Very thought provoking! :)

  3. You don't have to see, to feel better when you smile, and you don't have to see someone to feel the lift in their energy when you know they are smiling. In the dark or over the phone you can still sense a smile.

    Dixie Goode AKA echo


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