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Smiles and Head Nods
Welcome dear participants.In this module we would look at the types of a smiles, the cultural differences in whichwe pass on and interpret a smiles as well as the head nods.The first type of a smile which has been hinted at by Allen Pease is the tight lipped smile.This smile is normally exhibited, when people do not want to opened up with thoughts, theywant to restrain their attitudes, they want to conceal their ideas and at the same timethey want to come across as affable people.As you can make out from these photographs the lips are is stretched tight across faceand the lips are in a straight line.So, often you would find this type of a smile in the photographs and videos of highly successfulpeople, who may often talk about success and the parameters behind it, yet never revealedthe true life stories.At the same time we find that the tight lipped smile also becomes a message to a new entrantin the group to suggest that the person is not included.The next type of a smile is the twisted or the lop sided smile.Here, we find that the two sides of the brain sent conflicting messages to the person.It shows opposite emotions on each side of the face.The left brain pulls the muscles downwards and the right side of the brain raises theleft hand side eyebrows as well as the lips and cheeks and therefore, this smile expressesmixed emotions.The downward slant of lips etcetera suggests negative emotions and the upward tilt suggeststhat the person is not angry.This is often considered to be a micro expression, but our experience tells us that it can alsobe done deliberately and sends messages of sarcasm as well as embarrassment in certainsituations.The third type of a smile, which has been taken up by Allen Pease is the drop jaw smile.It is the exaggeration of a smile and often it is taken up by those people who have tointeract with a large group of people, particularly the public figures while interacting witha crowd.So, they want to pass on the impression that they are happy and amused to meet these peopleand there is a certain playfulness.At the same time you would find that on various social occasions, it is displayed to lowerthe hostility or rancor in other people.So, it is an exaggeration of a positive smile.The sideways looking up or the turned away smile as you can easily make out by lookingat this photograph.So, it has encapsulated openness as well as shyness, it suggests a sense of welcome andat the same time a sense of being reserved and a tendency to avoid people.When we look at this smile, on other people it generates somehow a parental feeling inus and making us want to protect or to care for such a person.This smile has been immortalized by Princess Diana, who has captivated the hearts of peoplewherever she has gone.The miserable a smile is a mask which helps us to suggest that we are not exactly in pain.So, this is a social way of passing across this idea that we do not want to share, oursorrow and our pain with others or we are able to put up with it.So, this smile is also slightly asymmetric one, because the smile does not reach theeyes, the eyes remain sad.A dampened smile is an attempt to control a very happy Duchene smile.So, here you would find that the person knows that there is a genuine warmth in the heart.There is a reason to actually smile in open manner, but somehow either, because of thesocial curtsey or, because of certain other emotions or, because of certain other constraintsthe person feels that well I should not exactly smile here.So, this is known as a dampening smile, putting a damp cloth on a warm cake for example.This smile is passed on when we know that we are not in a situation to help the otherpeople.The next is the qualifier smile.This is used when we feel that we are not in a position to help others, but at the sametime, we want that the other person should not feel very bad.It eases off communication of bad news and it tries to take the edge off of a negativeaspect.For example, you have been standing in a long queue waiting for your turn to get a particularmodel of a product.By the time the queue ends and you reach the window, you find that the model has been exhausted.At that time the salesman would pass on this message to you with a practice the smile.So, this is a qualifier smile.So, it can be often irritating to us, because either we are trapped into smiling back orthe situation does not allow us to a smile at all.Similarly, we have a smile which shows our contempt, it is a mixture of disgust and resentmentand it is very similar to a smile of true delight with some major differences, witha major difference that the corner of lips appear relatively tightened.This contempt smile is often displayed when we are in social situations and similarly,you would find that in those cultures where the individual needs are not always the focusof attention.This is used to hide negative emotions, for example, anger etcetera to maintain socialharmony.Another type of a smile which has become a staple of films and similar media etceterais the angry enjoyment smile.This is also known as a schadenfreude smile, which is a German word and this translatesroughly as a malicious joy or delighting in the misfortune of other people.So, it is an expression of the thrill or the self-satisfaction when we discovered thatthe other person is facing certain hardships etcetera.Often we find that the reasons of this emotion are different in different people.Sometimes it may be related with a personals feeling of vendetta towards an individual,sometimes we find that there may be social or cultural issues and sometimes we may findthat there may be a sense of justice prevailing ultimately.For example; we may feel that a person has become suddenly rich and influential by unethicalmeans; however, when after a couple of years the law is able to reach that individual andnabs him then we feel some type of an enjoyment and this smile is also reflected in thesesituations.This smile hides complex emotions, it hides emotions of aggression.It may stem forth from a sense of rivalry, whenever rival has been defeated and sometimesas I have commented just now, it may be the result of justice being served ultimately.It is not always easy to conceal this smile from others.When we are alone we would smile in all these situations in a very happy manner.We would be using what is known as the Duchenne smile, the Duchenne loves, but when we arein the presence of others then we have been conditioned, not to show too much of happinessin the unhappiness of other people, because basically we are all social people.When we know that somebody is watching, we try to wrap up this emotion of too much ofan enjoyment on certain portions of our face.Our eyes would express the true emotions, but the grin would be there on our face andit is this creepiness of this grin, which has become a staple of horror movie villains.We also have what is known as a polite smile.Politeness as you know is voluntary and also deliberate, but at the same time it is a crucialaspect of our social interactions.So, this polite smile conveys this idea that the feelings of other people are importantto us in different situations.And embrace the smile is also another interesting example of how I smile enables us to overcomeour social faux pas as well as to smoothen over certain uncomfortable incidents for example,we have spilt a drink on the dress of a fellow person.We have forgotten the name of another person during our interaction etcetera.So, this embarrass the smile helps us to overcome the awkwardness of these situations in a littlemanner at least.Several studies have also found that people like to forgive people more, that severalstudies have also suggested that in our interaction we tend to like as well as to forgive thosepeople more, who show their embarrassment with the help of such a smile.A very important aspect related with our smiles and its understanding is related with culturalunderstandings.We find that in different cultures a smile is practiced differently, because ultimatelysmile is also governed by that socially accepted display rules.Though all of us all human beings in all cultures exhibit both Duchenne and social smiles aswell as plastic smiles, we find how a smile is generated depends on our cultural background.It is noted that the common American behavior is to pass a happy smile, a Duchenne smilevery often when we interact with any person.In comparison to the Americans the British perhaps are more likely to use a social smile.It has been pointed out in this study by Dacher Keltner that the British more often pass asocial smile in comparison to their American partners.It is pointed out in certain researches that the British are more likely to use the socialsmile instead of the Duchenne smile.A social smile which is adopted going to politeness concerns of the society.Keltners research has traced the roots of this behavior in the greater emphasis, whichis found in the British culture on the display of social politeness and difference as wellas this concept of the British is stiff upper lip which is a still very much practiced incertain circles of the British society.It is interesting to quote a research by Jeanne Tsai, a professor at Stanford who has suggestedthat how our culture views smiling, influences, how people in our culture is smile and I quotefrom her.Often people think that when they are viewing our candidates official photo, they are learningabout the candidates a unique traits, but our findings suggest that they are also learningabout the candidates culture and the emotions it values.This is a significant research, because instead of focusing on the expression of individualemotions, the research has focused on how the individual expression itself is culturallyconditioned and culturally quoted.She had compared the emotional expressions of leaders across different nations and hasconcluded that the more a particular nation will use excitement, the more their leadersshow excited smiles and she has quoted the examples of the American leaders.On the other hand, the more a particular nation values come, the more those leaders show calmsmiles in their social interactions and she is given the example of East Asian countriesand their political leaders.She has used a phrase in this research and I quote this phrase, ideal effect of a nation.This phrase is defined as culturally valued emotions and how people want or learn to feelit and express it in their body language.Another research which also supports this idea is by Carmen Judith Nine-Curt, in nonverbalcommunication.She writes that the Anglo culture uses a smile in friendly circles, but rarely in serioussituations.For example; people would smile much less when they are at places of work in learningfor example, in classrooms as well as at their office.Similarly, it has been pointed out in this research that in Latin American countriesa smiles take place of many verbal expressions.For example, instead of actually saying hi, how are you, a person in Latin America perhapswould prefer to smile at a person and then their smile would suggest the thank you attitude,also by another person.Expressing gratitude verbally may seem formal and impersonal in certain cultures and incertain cultures if a friend expresses these feelings in a verbal manner, it would be perceivedas if the friend is either distancing himself or is rejecting the other people.Cross cultural influences can also color the way we interpret the behavior of other people,if one is not aware of the cultural differences and their smiles then it is easy to miss perceiveda person from a different background.For example, a British may miss perceived that the Latin American friend is smilingtoo much or that the smile is inappropriate in certain situations.These cultural differences of understanding have seeped into some official guide booksand British authors of a popular guidebook about Poland have warn tourists that is smilingat strangers in Poland is perceived is a sign of stupidity.The Norwegian government has humorously explained, nuances of Norwegian culture by indicatingthat when is stranger on the street smiles at Norwegians, they may assume that this strangeris insane.These guidelines may not mean too much, but they help us to understand, the significanceof cultural differences in the way the smile is perceived.Another aspect of a smile is related with too much smiling.Darwin has also written about the large class of idiots, who are constantly smiling.A Russian proverb says that smiling with no reason is a sign of stupidity; even thoughtheir smile itself is considered to be a universal expression of happiness.Evidence suggest that when we do a smile, how we do a smile, how much we do a smile,etcetera is governed by the culture, which has conditioned our psyche.For example, researchers have found out that in German culture a smiling is reserved forfriends and family and may not occur during formal introductions.In sittings of work and in those situations, which are considered to be serious for example,when somebody is dealing with illness etcetera or is in hospital the most appropriate responseis one that is reserved with no smile.In traditional Chinese families also, smiling is used extensively among family and friends,but in formal situations it may still be limited.The similar tendencies are seen in Vietnamese community by certain researchers, where theyhave found that silence or the use of a reluctant smile is used as an expression of negativeconnotations.Similarly, in several Asian cultures, we find that a smile may be an expression of an apologyfor minor offenses; it may also indicate our difference to authority.It may also cover the difficult feelings and emotions of pain, distress, etcetera and alsoit helps us to avoid conflicts, when we have been insulted or threatened or otherwise provoked.This video helps us to understand cultural variations in smiles in a very interesting,yet succinct manner.Traveler advice to tourists visiting in the US, points out one custom most Americans wouldnot think twice about, their smile.Guide both explained to tourists that Americans smiled the strangers a lot.So, why do American smile so much and why is that so strange to everyone else?Americans seemed to smile even when there is not a very good reason to.When you see an American smiling, they might be feeling happy, confident or neutral.Sometimes, it is just a polite way to make someone else feel comfortable, thank servicefor the smile.Here your receipt.Thank you very much.In other countries though, smiling for no reason can make you seem kind of dumb.One researcher found in countries like Japan, India, South Korea and Russia smiling faceswere considered less intelligent than serious ones.His theory is that there is a connection between a countries level of instability and findingsmiling stupid, after all how can you be so confident and happy when the future is uncertain,that might help explain stereotypically frowny places like Russia, where smiling in photosis not really a thing.When McDonald’s went to Russia in the nineties, they had to coach their employees on how tosmile.Another aspect of body language which I want to cover in today’s module, is the way headnods and shaking of the head is understood.A number of head related gestures fall into clear categories of accepted meaning and noddingof head and shaking of the head is also a prominent nonverbal way of communicating ourfeelings, emotions, messages, etcetera along with a smiles and head positions nod is considered.Normally, a positive gesture to signify an affirmation or yes and a shake of a hand isnormally considered to be a no in most cultures right.A double nod tells the speaker to increase the speed in tempo of this speech.Multiple head nods or a single slow nod may cause a disruption in the speakers rhythm,because a speaker may suddenly be attracted to this type of a nod.In excessive and rapid head nod can rush a response on the part of the speaker and thespeaker may feel that it is a nonverbal queue to hurry up his or her responses.An inappropriate head nodding or too rapid a head nodding is perceived normally as arude behavior.It is also understood as an attempt to dominate the conversation.It takes the focus of this speaker and transfers it on to the listener.A polite and attentive nod is also related with good listening skills.This is one of the ways in which we signal to the speaker or the person we are talkingto, that we are engaged in whatever they are saying, we are engaged with them and theyshould continue further and if used correctly, we find that it allows the speaker to fullyexpress his or her thoughts in a satisfying manner, providing immediate feedback.Head nod suggest a particular sense of likability or its absence.At the same time, we would find that they are also associated with judgments of interpersonalcompetence and several researchers have found out different aspects related with these interpretationsof head nods and shaking of the head and I quote some of these researchers.Matarazzo and Wiens have examined the interactive processes, which are inherent in interviewsand found that head nods by the interviewer, increased average duration of utterances bythe interviewee.In a study by Clore et al., which they have conducted on college students to rate morethan one hundred nonverbal behaviors in terms of how much liking or how much disliking,they communicated to them.The nods and shakes were highly rated by the participants in a study of career officers,who were undergoing a micro counseling training course.Dickson found that interviewer’s use of head nods was a significant predictor of theirinterviewing competence, as rated by experienced judges.In a more recent research this co field has noted that head nods by the listener increasethe total verbal output of this speaker, that suggest that this speaker is encouraged bythe attentive head nods of the listener.Head nodding also plays a very important role, when we want to take leave after the dialogueis over.Particularly, when we want to pass on this idea that we are accessible to the other personas well as we are supportive in our relationship, the head nod becomes important at the terminationof the dialogue.It is also a signal to others that you want them to continue and it is also widely usedby professionals, the world over to encourager and motivate their clients to self-discloseat length.In various professions you would find that nodding is deliberately thought as an art,while listening to others.So, the reinforcing effects of the head nod gestures have been well documented and itsfrequent use can be seen during almost all social and professional encounters as an indicatorof attentive listening and agreement with the content.In this video we can look at interesting summarization of the significance of nod and shake of thehead.The nod and shake, the probably most common two signs we use in our daily lives are thenod and the head shake; yes and no, agreeing and disagreeing and besides the directionof the motion up and down or left and right rhythm and speed are also very important.A slow nod is used when we agree with something we see or listen to.For example, someone is holding a lecture about body language and we share his opinion, that seems about right.If we disagree, we tend to slowly shake our heads, “No, I do not think so.”Head shake with the higher rhythm can be seen when the higher stage of disagreement is reached,“No that is just bullshit.”And the same goes for nodding the fast rhythm means “Yes, please.”Something I can often see in meetings, when I propose an urgent solution for certain problem.Nodding can also be used during a conversation both by the speaker and the listener.If we listen to a person and nod as a sign of “Yes, I understand or I am listening,please continue.”It shows that we are paying attention and are interested in what the speaker has tosay.And as the speaker we can use well placed nods to help influence the listeners to agreewith us.For example after making a statement or asking a rhetorical question is not that what wereally want, we not to suggest the listener yes, it is.My opinion, the let us call it listeners nod to show interest is very effective.I may constant use of it especially, in conversations, I am digging for informationIf we show a conversation partner that we are interested and approve what they say,they tend to get more talkative.They talk about the background of things or existing links and furthermore.It opens the door for some digging questions like; that point I do not completely understand,because we already build up interest, the question seems legit, we need more information.If we sat there quietly for ten minutes and asked the same question, we make the impressionthat we did not even pay attention.Nodding in order to influence people that is called, this one inception not worth.Let us also briefly look at the head tilts and inclines and what exactly do they suggest.We find that our head is a very significant body feature, because we have a flexible neckstructure.It can turn, it can just forward; we can withdraw our head, we can tilt it sideways, forwardand backward and all these movements of the head, our various tilts suggest a particularset of emotions to the other people.It is common for people to tilt their heads either towards the left or the right handside, while they are watching something of interest or they are listening to somethinginteresting.Normally, it is considered to be a sign of mild and polite interest.A prolonged or deeper tilt creates empathy.At the same time whether our head is tilted towards the right or towards the left duringa dialogue, as a speaker or as a listener also passes on certain clues about our thoughtprocesses this aspect I would take up slightly later during this module.I would refer to Allen Pease again.He has suggested that there are three basic head positions, which leave a lasting impressionduring any interaction and that is the head up, the head tilts and the head down movement.Head up is a position, which is taken up by a person who normally, has a neutral attitudeabout what is being said.Normally, if it is not supported or modified by let us say hand in finger movements, thehead remains is still during the conversation and may be punctuated by occasional smallnods.So, when we introduce our hands and fingers in this particular gesture then it becomesan evaluator gesture and different shades are added to the basic meaning.Some of these we will look up when we will take up hand and finger positions and gestures.When the head is lifted high with the chin jetted out then it suggest a very strong self-confidence,a feeling of superiority, a sense of arrogance even and at the same time a fearless attitude.Pease has commented that people who adopt this posture in a subconscious manner exposetheir throat suggesting that they are not afraid of other people and in a way they suggestthat they are looking down their nose to you.Normally, it is considered to be a gesture of superiority and arrogance, but very oftenwe find that people who are highly self-confident and have a fearless attitude also often inadvertentlydisplay this particular gesture.Tilting the head is often considered to be a sufficient signal, because it exposes ourneck to other people.Charles Darwin was the first to note this association and he had suggested that humanbeings as well as animals tilt their heads to one side, when they become interested insomething and are not aggressive.We find that a gender based aspect is also associated with a head tilt.A studies of paintings, over the last several centuries show that women are often depictedmore using the head tilt in comparing to men.Women are often also shown in advertisements tilting their heads.Researchers tell us that it is three times as often as men in different societies, wefind that in women.It is commonly perceived as a gesture of sexual interest.Our neck tilt also shows how most people understand things on an intuitive level and in a businessnegotiations with men, if a head tilt is shown very often, it is often considered to be anact of submission or an indication that things would be sooner or later accepted by you andtherefore, women are often advised to particularly keep their head up and straight in all timesduring any negotiations.It also helps us to understand, what type of thought patterns are going on in the mindsof other people, during a presentation or while we are delivering a speech and we areable to look at our audience.When you see an audience tilting their heads and leaning forward using hand to chin evaluationgestures, you can understand that people are paying attention to the content.When you listen to the others then we use the head tilts and head nods and the listenerwill begin to feel trusting towards you, because you would appear as interested as well asnon-threatening.And now, we come to the point of discussing our right and left handed tilts of the head.If the head is tilted to the right, you will feel more open, as you are existing the creativepart of the brain.If your head tilts to the left, you are likely to be intellectually analyzing what is beingsaid.A 2006 study found that tilting your head to the right makes you appear honest and dependable,and tilting your head to the left makes you more attractive.So, the option is either to come across as an attractive person or is a more honest anddependable person.Tilting the head is often seen as a sign of trust, it is also perceived as a sign of empathy,as it is basically a non-threatening gesture.It can also be taken as a signature of submissiveness, as we have discussed in the previous slide.Princess Diana has also made this particular head gesture very famous.It is a flattering and photographic pose; however, some experts have also read it asa projection of his sense of melancholy.The head and chin down position signals a negative and judgmental attitude.It may also suggest that certain aggression is also present in the person, who is displayingthis particular position.Critical evaluation clusters are normally made with the head down and we find that theassociation of hand and fingers with this position either further aggravates or dilutesthese stands.If in dialogue a person continues to adopt this particular gesture or posture then ithas to be taken as a deliberate absence of response.The person does not want to get involved in the dialogue.So, professional presenters and trainers are often confronted by audiences who are seatedwith their heads down and arms folded in a cross.So, people who are experienced and people who have been trained to lower the defensesand other people will be actively taking certain actions to involve the audience and to gettheir participation before they actually begin either their dialogue or professional talksor presentations.We may use different types of icebreakers to initiate certain involvement in the personby somehow breaking this particular head down movement.So, if our tactics are successful, the audience would be able to raise up the head and thenext head position would be a tilt, either the right hand or a left hand tilt.That would be the beginning point of interest from the perspective of this individual.In this particular video the head tilts and their paintings have been displayed.Head positioning, head tilt.Besides the listeners, not there is another way, we can use the head to indicate interestand in conversation the head tiltIt is described as a sign of interest or says in a powerful way I am comfortable, I am receptive,but a good reason why actually I could not find.I showed a picture of the dog, because there is in my opinion where this sign originatesfrom.And the funny thing is we do not even know for sure why dogs do it.For me this one is one of the most controversial signs.The explanations range from being interested.So, the tilted head exposes the carotid artery on the side of the neck, it may be a signof submission and feelings of vulnerability.I do not know.Let me tell you what my experiences with the head tilt are; I was looking for an alternativefor the listeners nod, using it perpetually makes one look like a bobble head and afterapproximately one year of head tilting and noticed mainly two reactions.First, none at all.Second, confusion.The moment I tilted my head, I could instantly see the, what the heck is he doing expressionon the faces.And moreover, I barely noticed anyone else doing the head tilt especially, not for thesake of raising interest, but where we can see the head tilt in action is the television.For example, in the show how I met your mother; season two, episode seven.It even gets described by the protagonist; Ted had slightly tilted to give a sense ofvulnerability.There are several other aspects which have been left out of discussion.Many of them would be taken up when we will talk about the clusters of our movements,gestures and postures.Some maybe is still left out, but they can be taken up during our live sessions.