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There are 19 types of smile but only six are for happiness

Smile ≠ happy

Smile ≠  happy

Those who smile often are thought of as more likeable, competent, approachable, friendly and attractive.

Of 19 different types of smile, only six occur when we’re having a good time. The rest happen when we’re in pain, embarrassed, uncomfortable, horrified or even miserable. A smile may mean contempt, anger or incredulity, that we’re lying or that we’ve lost.

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There are 19 types of smile but only six are for happiness

There are 19 types of smile but only six are for happiness

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170407-why-all-smiles-are-not-the-same

bbc.com

10

Key Ideas

Duchenne smile

Duchenne was interested in the mechanics of facial expressions, including how the muscles of the face contract to produce a smile.

The Duchenne‘ smile is long and intense, though it involves the contraction of just two muscles. First the zygomatic major, which resides in the cheek, tugs at the corners of the mouth, then the orbicularis oculi, which surrounds the eye, pulls up the cheeks, leading to the characteristic ‘twinkling eyes’.

Fear smile

“When bonobo chimpanzees are afraid they’ll expose their teeth and draw their lips back so that their gums are exposed,” says Zanna Clay, a primatologist at the University of Birmingham.

In babies, a broad grin can either mean they’re happy or distressed and studies have shown that men tend to smile more around those considered to be higher status.

Miserable smile

The ‘miserable smile’ is a stoical grin-and-bear-it expression – a slight, asymmetric smile with an expression of deep sadness pasted over the top.

Since Landis’ classic study, psychologists have found this tell-tale smirk on the faces those watching gory films – they were filmed by a hidden camera – and among patients suffering from depression. It's a socially acceptable way of showing that you’re sad or in pain.

The dampened smile

The dampened smile is an attempt to control an automatic, happy one and exists because some muscles, such as the ones controlling the mouth, are easier to suppress than others. “The cheeks will be raised but we pull the corners of the mouth downwards or press the lips together."

Not all cultures invite a broad smile.  In Japan, where etiquette dictates that emotions are stifled in public, there’s a greater emphasis on smiling with the eyes. 

Embarrassed smile

The ‘embarrassed smile’ is identical to the dampened smile, though the two are easily distinguished – if not by the flushed cheeks, then the uncomfortable situation which usually precedes it. Another tell-tale sign is moving the head downwards and slightly to the left.

Qualifier smile

The ‘qualifier smile’ aims to take the edge off bad news. 

It begins abruptly, raising the lower lip slightly, and is occasionally accompanied by a slightly downwards and sideways tilt of the head.

Contempt smile

The ‘contempt smile’ indicates a mixture of disgust and resentment and is disconcertingly similar to a smile of true delight, except for the corners of the lips which appear tightened.

Angry-enjoyment smile

Translating roughly as ‘malicious joy’, schadenfreude is the thrill of discovering another’s misfortune.

“If individuals are alone and feel unobserved, they usually express feelings of schadenfreude by so-called ‘Duchenne smiles’ and ‘Duchenne laughs’,” says Jennifer Hofmann, a psychologist at the University of Zurich.

Fake smile

Most people – around 71% - can voluntarily contract the inner portion of the orbicularis oculi. 

Judged by facial expressions alone, people are judged as most truthful when they are lying. As the American humourist Kin Hubbard once said: “If you haven’t seen your wife smile at a traffic cop, you haven’t seen her smile her prettiest.”

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Eye signals
  • Eye gaze: Directly eye contact indicates interest and paying attention. Prolonged eye contact can feel threatening.
  • Blinking:  People often blink more rapidly when t...
Lip signals
  • Pursed lips: an indicator of distaste, disapproval, or distrust.
  • Lip biting: signals people are worried, anxious, or stressed.
  • Covering the mouth: used when people want to hide an emotional reaction.
  • Turned up or down: When the mouth is slightly turned up, it might mean that the person is feeling happy or optimistic. A slightly down-turned mouth can be an indicator of sadness/ disapproval.
Gestures
  • A clenched fist indicates anger in some situations or solidarity in others.
  • A thumbs up and thumbs down: gestures of approval and disapproval.
  • The "okay" gesture: "okay" or "all right." In some parts of Europe, the same signal is used to imply you are nothing. In some South American countries, the symbol is actually a vulgar gesture.
  • The V sign: peace or victory in some countries. In the UK and Australia, the symbol takes on an offensive meaning when the back of the hand is facing outward.

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The old Victorian picture style
The old Victorian picture style

If you have a look at Victorian pictures dating from the 19th century, you will soon enough realize that back then people did not really smile. The reason for this involves two elements:

    ...
The picture called 'A playful smile' (mid-1850s)

This picture is one of the earliest proofs that Victorians could also smile in photos.

The model is a young lady who poses typically for the period, however, letting a smile be seen on her face.

The 'Giggling gent' picture (c1889)

The picture shows a family who is captured a bit earlier than expected, fact that allows us to see everybody's natural laughter. This is what used to be known as 'Gigglemug' or 'habitually smiling face'.

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Smiling and the brain
Smiling and the brain

Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.

Real vs. fake smiles

Whenever we smile, there are 2 potential muscles we activate.

  1. The zygomaticus major and it controls the corners of your mouth. Whenever this muscle only is activated, it’s not actually a genuine smile. Scientists call this also the “social” smile.
  2. The second muscle, known to show sincerity is the obicularis occuli and it encircles our eye socket.
What smiling does
  • Smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep, according to recent studies.
  • Smiling helps to generate more positive emotions within you. That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more.
  • Smiling leads to decrease in the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health.
  • Smiling breeds trust, makes you happier and helps you to live longer.

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