February 14, 2019
With micro expressions training tools, anyone can learn to spot the moment-to-moment micro expressions of others. Knowing what they mean and how best to respond to them, though, takes a lot more practice.
By definition, micro expressions reveal a person’s true emotions but they do not tell us why the person is feeling that way. This is why context and further inquiry is vital for understanding the situation and a stepping-stone toward enhancing your communication.
To help get you started, here’s a simple guide for interpreting how well your date is going:
You’ve just told your date that they look nice tonight and they respond with a micro expression of…
· happiness: As you may have guessed, this is indeed a good sign and shows that they enjoyed your compliment.
· anger: Be careful! While perhaps unintentionally, you may have said or done something upsetting and should ask if your comment was the cause.
· fear: Move much more slowly. Your date is feeling a sense of threat/danger and you might want to check in with them or clarify that you meant no harm.
· contempt or disgust: Uh oh, this is a bad sign that this date probably won’t work out. Consider changing the subject or asking what they would like to talk about.
· sadness: Before you, too, get sad, it’s likely that their response has less to do with your comment and more to do with a sad memory or experience they’ve had. Gently ask them if they’re okay.
Whether on a date, in the office, or even at home, you can practice reading micro expressions and other subtle emotional behaviors with Dr. Ekman’s micro expressions training tools.