June 21, 2016
In the current state of worldwide affairs, knowing how people feel is a vital skill. Knowing when people are lying, even more so.
While reading emotions might seem like a straight forward task, it is quite certainly not for most. If such were the case, why is it that so many people fall prey for the lies from politicians & people in power when it’s obvious to others they are lying? Why is most of the populace unable to read lies when a select few can do so at will? Dr. Ekman’s book answers those questions rather poignantly.
Transitioning to a quick sidebar that dovetails with this topic, the highly intriguing and groundbreaking show Lie To Me  brought to the fore the issue of spotting lies to solve crimes when coupled with reading microexpressions in individual’s faces.
What are micro expressions a curious mind might inquire? Excellent question.
Micro expressions are very brief facial expressions lasting only a fraction of a second. They occur when a person is either deliberately or unconsciously concealing a feeling. These emotions have universal signals: happiness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust and sadness.
Along with that, throughout the series, not only did Lie To Me feature still-frames of people acting deceitfully, but the show also began to cover various other aspects of people’s behavior in order to find dishonesty.
And it just so happens that individuals can be taught, or can learn by themselves how to spot these errant behaviors.
In plainspeak, in Lie To Me various methods of psychology were employed in order to ascertain whether or not people were being duplicitous. This is vital because it just so happens that the above show was in large part based on the work of behavioral psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman.
Getting back on track, Unmasking The Face – A Guide To Recognizing Emotions From Facial Expressions by Dr. Paul Ekman is an incredible book that details part of the knowledge that was used within the TV show referenced above.
Unmasking The Face helps individuals be able to pierce of the veil of lies that’s often cast upon them.
In his phenomenal and fascinating book, Dr. Ekman covers some of the tools and data available in order to determine people’s true feelings via their facial expressions.
At its core Ekman gives individuals the facial schematics to enable people to read the emotions referenced above. Along with that, the author also covers many of the psychological reasons why people carry out the actions that they do.
The author also notes why many people make mistakes in reading emotions at certain times.
In cataloguing facial deceit, Ekman also narrows down facial expressions to four reasons: cultural display rules, personal display rules, vocational requirement and the need of the moment. The author then proceeds to expound upon those four reasons at length.
Coupled with that, the three management techniques individuals employ, which are simulating, neutralizing and masking, are also covered in some detail.
Without a doubt, this book is foundational for a robust understanding of reading/understanding people’s behavior at a much more deeper/comprehensive level.
Given all that, the skills in this book should definitely become part of everyone’s repertoire.