Psychology of smirking

Sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists, borderlines and histrionics lie for many reasons. Self-preservation e. Sometimes it includes contempt for the target who is being so ruthlessly and successfully exploited. It is hard to contain duping delight; those who feel it want to share their accomplishments with others, seeking admiration for their exploits. The presence of others witnessing the successful liar typically intensifies the delight experienced and increases the chances that some of the excitement, pleasure, and contempt will leak, thus betraying the liar.

I have had clients describe this phenomenon in relation to the sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists, borderlines et al in their lives and have witnessed it firsthand in some of my past personal relationships. In previous articles, I have referred to it as the Sociopathic Smirk. Counseling with Dr.

psychology of smirking

Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship.

Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.A smile begins in our sensory corridors.

The earcollects a whispered word. The eyes spot an old friend on the station platform. The hand feels the pressure of another hand. The entire event is short — typically lasting from two-thirds of a second to four seconds — and those who witness it often respond by mirroring the action, and smiling back.

Other muscles can simulate a smile, but only the peculiar tango of the zygomatic major and the orbicularis oculi produces a genuine expression of positive emotion.

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The name is a nod to French anatomist Guillaume Duchenne, who studied emotional expression by stimulating various facial muscles with electrical currents. We know that variables age, gender, culture, and social setting, among them influence the frequency and character of a grin, and what purpose smiles play in the broader scheme of existence.

Landis took pictures of study participants engaged in a series of activities that ranged from sacred to profane: listening to jazz music, reading the Bible, looking at pornography, and decapitating live rats. He evaluated the photographed reactions but found no evidence that certain expressions characterized certain emotions.

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For decades, many psychologists agreed that smiles reflected a vast array of emotions rather than a universal expression of happiness. In subsequent research, conducted with Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin, Ekman and Friesen confirmed the unique link between positive emotion and the true Duchenne smile.

The researchers attached electrodes to the heads of test participants and then showed them a series of short films. Two shorts, designed to produce positive emotions, displayed frolicking animals; two others, meant to evoke negative responses, came from a nurse training video depicting amputated legs and severe burns.

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Using FACS, the researchers catalogued viewer reactions and found that Duchenne smiles correlated with the pleasant films. They also recorded an increase in the left parietal region, typically stimulated by verbal activity.

A renewed appreciation for Duchenne and his unique sign of joy emerged. Mental health researchers soon noticed that wherever positive emotions went, Duchenne smiles followed. Patients with depression brandished more Duchenne smiles on their discharge interviews than during their admissions, and Duchenne smiling alone — not other types of grins — was found to increase over the course of psychotherapy.

Even casual, untrained observers could identify Duchenne-style faces, and based on these looks alone, assigned highly positive traits to the personality behind them.

University of California at Berkeley psychological scientists LeeAnne Harker and Dacher Keltner used FACS to analyze the college yearbook photos of women, then matched up the smile ratings with personality data collected during a year longitudinal study. Women who displayed true, Duchenne-worthy expressions of positive emotion in their year-old photo had greater levels of general well-being and marital satisfaction at age A related study, published in a issue of Motivation and Emotion, confirmed a correlation between low-intensity smiles in youth and divorce later in life.

In a more recent study, published this year in Psychological Science, Ernest Abel and Michael Kruger of Wayne State University extended this line of research from emotional outcomes to a biological one: longevity.During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.

psychology of smirking

Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities.

We will get through this together. The smirk is the mischievous little brother to the everyday smile. One part friendliness, one part arrogance, this smart-alecky facial expression can be used to joke, flirt, express sarcasm, and much more.

See Step 1 below to start smirking - you'll need a mirror! A smirk is a good facial expression to show others you're slightly amused by something. Keep your lips closed as you raise one side of your mouth to form a half smile. For tips on how to use a smirk when flirting, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Facebook Loading Google Loading Civic Loading No account yet? Create an account. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy.

As the COVID situation develops, our hearts ache as we think about all the people around the world that are affected by the pandemicHowever, just like any other body language, smirking can take on different meanings depending on the person or the situation.

For instance, smirking at your friend could just be a little tease. But on the other hand, smirking at the presenter could mean that you don't believe what he's saying. This goes to show that body language is a versatile tool to have in your everyday lives.

Similarly, knowing what smirking means can be useful to understand why some people smirk at certain moments, or why some people smirk all the time. A smirk could be a body language for being smug or arrogant. Smirks are usually accompanied by other dominant body language such as raised chins, spread shoulders and open arms.

Their speaking also drips of pride. Some people resort to smirks when they are under a verbal attack.

The Psychological Study of Smiling

It's a body language that is usually used when someone is under fire but doesn't want to defend himself anymore. It's the type of body language that agitates people who put you under verbal assault.

A person will also tend to put on a confused, tight-lipped smile when they don't believe what one person is selling. Most times, it will curl up into a smirk, to indicate confusion about authority on the matter. Most people who show off a big smirk are usually narcissists. However, this doesn't have to be negative. A lot of people care for their egos. When their egos get stepped on, that's the only time their body language shows smirking. When the narcissist in their personalities are insulted or stepped on, that's the only time their smirks come out.

Try Not To Smile Even Once ⚈ ̫ ⚈ (Meme Compilation)

Some people like to not show their true colors. They avoid a certain body language. When they're irritated, in disagreement, or pissed off, they choose to show a smirk as a distraction for their true expression. This way, they suppress what they really feel which could be worse. As you can see, different people have different motivations for smirking. Don't miss this article: Quotes and Testimonials Click Me!

What Does Smirking Really Mean? Ah, the smirk.

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The ever-so confusing body language that's associated with many things. These include passive aggressiveness, smugness, egoism and even pride. Arrogance A smirk could be a body language for being smug or arrogant. Defense Some people resort to smirks when they are under a verbal attack. Doubt A person will also tend to put on a confused, tight-lipped smile when they don't believe what one person is selling.

psychology of smirking

Narcissism Most people who show off a big smirk are usually narcissists. Distraction Some people like to not show their true colors.The second is their dramatic, often over-stated character. This was evident before and during the presidential election. While the other candidates — Hillary Clinton included — were struggling to appear likeable and restrained, Trump was busy performing grimaces that would not have looked out of place in Japanese Noh theatre. During the campaign, Trump eclipsed Clinton in the macho stakes.

This expression is the antithesis of submissiveness. Psychologists have discovered that smiling men are widely perceived as less dominant and that powerful men show reduced levels of smiling.

Individuals who want to demonstrate that they are not a threat are more likely to raise their eyebrows, widen their eyes and flash a smile — the precise opposite of what Trump does in this effort to remind everyone that he is not the kind of guy you can push around.

Most politicians, when they are angry, will allow themselves a modicum of indignation. This is certainly in line with research by psychologistswhich shows that people with a strong sense of entitlement, or who see themselves as powerful and unchallenged, are more ready to engage in public displays of anger than others.

One of the ways that Trump tries to look like a tough politician is by jutting out his chin. The chin-jut relies on the fact that men with bigger chins have higher levels of testosterone and, partly for this reason, are more likely to reach positions of power.

In a study at West Point military academy in the USfor example, it was discovered that male cadets who had larger chins were more likely to reach the rank of general in later life than their small-chinned peers. By using the chin-jut, Trump is taking full advantage of this fact — tilting his head back, thrusting out his lower jaw and attempting to give the impression that he deserves to be in charge. Although Trump instinctively recognises the demeaning potential of smiling, there are occasions when he is prepared to throw caution to the wind and give a full-blown smile, with his teeth on display and wrinkles around the corners of the eyes — the latter being the feature that defines a genuine as opposed to a fake display of happiness.

This is the smile that Trump defaults to when he is in the public eye: the mouth is closed and the teeth remain hidden. The result of this is that the zipped smile appears more guarded — and because the mouth is stretched sideways, it makes the face look slightly wider. There could be several reasons why Trump is so attached to the zipped smile. One is that it makes him look less submissive.

By avoiding a full-blown smile, he is able to appear circumspect, while keeping his options open — something he evidently likes to do. Another reason is that zipped smiles make the mouth look wider. There is evidence, both from animals and humans, that mouth width is linked to readiness to engage in physical combatand it has also been found that men with wider mouths are more likely to attain leadership positions.

Trump might also be unconsciously attracted to the zipped smile because it increases the apparent width-to-height ratio of his face, which in turn makes him look more masculine and macho.

Psychologists have consistently shown that men with a high facial width-to-height ratio are not only seen as tougher and more attractive, they also have higher levels of testosterone and are actually more competitive.A smirk is a smile evoking insolence, scorn, or offensive smugness, falling into the category of what Desmond Morris described as Deformed-compliment Signals.

Wipe That Smirk Off Your Face

A smirk may also be an affected, ingratiating smile, [2] as in Mr Bennet 's description of Mr Wickham as making smirking love to all his new in-laws in the novel Pride and Prejudice. The word derives from Old English smearcianvia Middle English smirken. The specific meaning of a mocking or unpleasant, malicious smile or grin develops in Early Modern Englishbut until the 18th century, it could still be used in the generic sense " to smile".

I know better. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the financial derivatives markets term, see volatility smile. Kirkpatrick ed. Ford ed.

Going Mental: How Do You Know When a Sociopath, Narcissist or Borderline Is Lying?

London, England: Bibliotheca Bodleiana. Perls, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim p. Categories : English words Facial expressions. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Look up smirk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.First impressions are powerful and are formed in all sorts of social settings, from job interviews and first dates to court rooms and classrooms.

We regularly make snap judgments about others, deciding whether people are trustworthy, confident, extraverted, likable, and more. And at the same time that we are judging others, we in turn communicate a great deal of information about ourselves — often unwittingly — that others use to size us up.

It is no surprise that complete strangers engage in a process of mutual evaluation, or that people form impressions quite quickly, and in many cases, quite accurately. Students were also asked to rate their own personalities. Two surprising findings emerged from that study: First, classmates tended to agree in their assessments of others; if one classmate rated a peer as dependable or extraverted, it was likely that other classmates rated that individual as dependable or extraverted too.

Thus, if a person was rated as sociable by his classmates, it was quite likely that he had independently rated himself as sociable as well. These data, and those from similar studiessuggest that we are adept in rapidly and accurately evaluating some personality traits, or at the very least that we are quick to discern the way others see themselves.

Just how low can we go? If we can accurately size up a fellow student in the first few moments of class, without any significant interaction, how little information do we need in order to make these assessments? Is body language enough?

What about facial expressions, clothing, or mannerisms? From the shoes we wear and the way we stand to the songs we like and the way we walk, researchers have examined what our behaviors and our preferences convey to others. In many instances it seems we need to catch only the smallest detail about a person to form an accurate impression, but of course we can get it wrong. Notably, the audio on these video clips was removed, so that raters made their evaluations exclusively on the basis of non-verbal cues.

Not only were the judgments of the teachers fairly consistent across raters, but they were also fairly accurate. These appraisals, rendered after only half a minute of observation, were reliably predictive of the evaluation scores given to the teachers by students whom they had instructed for a full semester.

In subsequent studies Ambady and Rosenthal examined judgments rendered after only ten seconds, and then after a mere two seconds.

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Even when given only two seconds of silent video, the raters made judgments that correlated reliably with end-of-semester evaluations made by the teachers' own students. Two seconds of silent video may indeed seem like a very thin slice of behavior upon which to base an impression, but researchers have demonstrated that we can do well with far less.

More recent investigations have demonstrated that a simple photograph of our favorite shoes provides enough data for strangers to judge our age, gender, income and attachment anxiety, and that a list of our top ten favorite songs reveals how agreeable and emotional stable we are. But what if we reduce the information available to a mere series of dots, strung together to form a stick figure that depicts movement but nothing else? John Thoresen, Quoc Vuong, and Anthony Atkinson addressed this question in a series of experiments where participants judged personality traits on the basis of body movements alone.

The scientists first videotaped male and female volunteers as they walked roughly 25 feet. From these videos, they created stick-figure depictions of each walker, eliminating all information about age, attractiveness, weight, clothing, race, and gender.


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