Reading Emotions: Excitement

How can we tell the difference between someone simply enjoying something, on the one hand, and getting excited by it, on the other?

The answer lies in the movement of the body.

 

The way Lisa smiles as she talks about this exciting topic, tells us that she is experiencing pleasure. But the way she can’t keep still shows her excitement.

Reading Emotions: Enjoyment

Take a look at Laura watching one of her favourite TV ads. How can we tell she’s enjoying it?

She’s smiling, not just in a quick and fleeting way, but with a sustained and relaxed smile on her lips.

When people are experiencing pleasure we see the eyes widen. Laura is looking at the screen with wide open eyes – she wants to take in as much information as she can.

She’s looking intently at the screen, something we can see from the focus in her eyes. This is not something which she is just mildly interested in. It has her full attention.

Reading Emotions: Embarrassment

Embarrassment is a powerful emotion. When we are in a social situation and feel ashamed, it’s not possible to control our reaction. After all, you can’t stop yourself from blushing, if that’s one of your responses to embarrassment.

In states of embarrassment people want to hide, become invisible, or, as the phrase goes, want to dig a hole and disappear in it. There is another phrase people use when talking about a moment of embarrassment: “I didn’t know where to look.”

Reading Emotions: Dissatisfaction

When asked to think about a particular fashion brand, Karen doesn’t try to hide how dissatisfied she would be if she owned it. It is immediately expressed, as she pulls down the corners of her mouth and presses her lips together.

This is a good example of someone displaying their feelings for all to see. But while her mouth is telling us she is dissatisfied, she is also telling herself. She would make this expression in private, as well. Try thinking of something you don’t like and see what happens to your mouth.