Smiling is the basis of all social interaction. Sign of politeness, embarrassment or compassion, it always means something, whether unconsciously or not.
But how do you recognise different types of smiles?
Two scientists conducted a study to identify them. Thanks to them, your social relations will be much clearer.
1 – The smile of reward or satisfaction
According to scientists, this smile is the most intuitive. “This is the kind of smile you would make to a baby, so he’ll smile back at you.” This smile is completely symmetrical, one raises the eyebrows slightly and the most important: one must show his teeth! It is also the smile that many of us choose from our photo shoots. It can reveal an impression of happiness or intense joy.
2 – The smile of affiliation or sympathy
This smile is mostly used to express tolerance, understanding or show that you are not a threat. Like the smile of reward, it is symmetrical. But this time, we do not show the teeth because the lips remain tight. This smile is discreet, but it can tell a lot. And yes, it is not necessarily because one shows one’s teeth that one experiences sympathy.
3 – The smile of domination
People smiling in this way want to assert their “superior” social status and strengthen their power over others – whether at work or in a group of friends. This time, the smile is not symmetrical. Often one raises one eyebrow – which reinforces the asymmetry of the face. If someone smiles at you this way, it is surely because it takes you high.
Smiling has always helped people to communicate, especially if they do not speak the same language.
Knowing how to differentiate and interpret them can help you avoid situations that make you uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know whether a smile is honest or calculated.
Stay on your guard.