Mandeville, LA 70471 | Travels Internationally
985-612-7576

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When Facial Expressions Lie

July 11, 2018

Most of the time we do well with accurately interpreting facial expressions. But, according to
recent research, when emotions run high, our ability to correctly interpret facial expressions
decreases. Thus, we make inaccurate judgments about what others are feeling and thinking. As
emotional energy intensifies (negative or positive), context becomes critically important. It is
the context of the situation that facilitates accurate interpretation of facial expressions. The
problem is that as emotions escalate, our awareness of the context decreases. We get tunnel
vision just when we need big picture broad vision. We incorrectly assess what is going on inside
other people. As a result, our response is wrong and misunderstanding occurs. That can lead to
all kinds of undesired outcomes: the win-win deal is killed, the relationship is damaged, the
person quits, and so on.

What are we to do?

Develop the habit of expanding our awareness and vision, to be looking at the whole landscape
of the situation. Creating the habit of doing this in less intense situations, established a new
default system. Instead of falling into tunnel vision during instances of high emotional energy,
we are able to stay in full landscape vision mode. This allows us to take into account the
context, which in turn helps us correctly assess what is going on inside others. From there, we
can engage in an effective conversation which leads to better results and outcomes

Connelly Hayward |
Travels Internationally| Mandeville, LA 70471
| 985-612-7576 | [email protected]