How Are Facial Expressions Used As Nonverbal Communication?

Facial expressions convey how someone feels about something. Facial expressions are used to show anger, grief, happiness, contempt, fear and confusion, among other feelings. Facial expressions occur when the muscles on the face are moved and can be either voluntary or involuntary. During a conversation, someone may say one thing and convey a different meaning by using facial expressions. Facial expressions often occur with movement of the eyes or mouth.

Nonverbal communication involves the transmission of visual cues between speaker and listener. Nonverbal cues often speak louder than words because people believe what they see. Facial expressions are important for both the speaker and the listener. The listener must decide whether to believe what is being said or what is being conveyed through nonverbal communication. The speaker must be careful about showing facial expressions because nonverbal communication can easily be taken the wrong way.

A speaker should ensure her facial expressions closely align with what she is saying. This increases the likelihood that trust and clarity are established. Facial expressions are one of the primary aspects of nonverbal communication. People often adopt facial expressions based on the social situations they experience around them. One of the most effective ways to learn how to recognize facial expressions is to first understand how micro-expressions work. Micro-expressions are small facial expressions that occur briefly whenever someone is feeling an increase in a particular emotion. Learning how to understand various facial expressions is essential to understanding nonverbal communication.