Edition Maldives - EN


The Micro-expressions you must know to Read

13 April 2017 - 18:13


Travel enthusiast and market analyst, committed in promoting positive community growth.

The business environment is constantly evolving. You face so many people every day. Interact with so many faces on a daily basis within that 24 hours, people within your work life to those in your personal. 

Are you a good reader of faces? Do you know how they are feeling based on the small twitch in the eye, or the way their smile curve to one side?

Being able to read facial expressions is a gift that very few possess. If you are able to understand peoples reaction solely based on their expressions without them stating the obvious, you can quickly react to persuade them to the way u want them to feel. 

For instance, let’s say in a business meeting, you are going on about the benefits of investing in your company, and you fail to read the twitches and tics on your potential investors face. You might as well have lost the deal. 

However, if you do manage to read that pursed lips, or the way they crinkle their nose or raise an eyebrow, you can alter your approach to address them in accordance to their concerns. 

So what are the most obvious micro-expressions you can read? 

1.Anger or Irritation

A person who squints their eyes, furrow their forehead or compress their lips into a tight line is an indication of their annoyance or anger towards you.

2. Disgust 

The look of disgust is usually hard to read because it may be that the person is actually upset. So it is better to question them before jumping to conclusions. 

3. Annoyance 

Annoyance is relatively easy to spot. While everyone may not show in the most revealing manner, expressions such as pursed lips, nose crinkle, eye roll or the look of slight repulsion and, more importantly, sudden disinterest are good giveaways. 


Repetitive behaviors of nervous ticks are usually associated with stress relieve. It is believed that the brain benefits from repetitive muscular tick as a form of pacification. For instance, the repetitive touching on the nose or eyelid, uncontrollable blinking or constant twitching of the cheek. 


You can easily identify a person who disagrees with you from their eye roll, nose crinkle, squinting eyes or the sudden eyelid flutter. Just ensure you manage to identify whether it is indeed disagreement or annoyance. 


An interested person who is highly aware of the topic may have one finger on the chin or mouth in a frown. However, interestingly enough, squinted eyes can also show interest, disagreement or disdain.


The happy expression is the most obvious one. If someone is paying close attention and listening to what you say with a real smile or wide eyes, it is an indication of awe or happiness.  


Sarcasm is not always easy to read. It may give the impression of jovial and fun, but is directed towards signs of mistrust or even disdain. While sarcasm is typically associated with intelligence, it is not always directed as harmless fun, but usually disrespect or disregard. 


Ridiculing may be directed in the form of fun, or being coy. In most cases, eye roll while joking with you is a clear indication of ridiculing or sarcasm. There is a very thin line between sarcasm and ridiculing. Let’s just say ridiculing has more intense disdain compared to sarcasm. 

10. Frustrated

Signs of frustration comes in the form of eye rolls, sighs, knotted brows and tightened lips. A person tired and/or over worked will typically show signs of frustration. 

Many of the facial tics are associated with various emotions. You cannot judge someone’s reaction solely based on their facial expressions. It is important to understand and analyze the situation before you conclude. 

The ability to read faces is a difficult talent to acquire, but it is an incredible skill that can help both in your work and personal life. 


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