How have NTs survived with their smiles covered behind masks

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SabbraCadabra
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10 Oct 2021, 10:52 am

cyberdad wrote:
smiling is cultural
Australians as a rule don't smile as much as Americans...

Honestly, not a lot of smiling here, either.
My best friend is super extroverted, and he used to smile and say hello to everyone he met...a good amount of people, especially in wealthier communities, wouldn't give him the time of day.


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ResilientBrilliance
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10 Oct 2021, 6:55 pm

Fnord wrote:
[color=black]A smile is imposed on others, not something people value for themselves. How many times have you been told to smile by someone wearing a scowl?[y/color]

This is true especially when men tell me to smile. But it's possible the person started scowling because I committed a faux pas by not smiling?

theprisoner wrote:
Not everybody wears a mask, especially now, but even back during the height, i saw plenty of people that didnt, or half-assed improperly wore a mask. It takes more than a virus to rock the NT world.

I think those people are mad at "being told what to do." Do you think they refused masks because they dislike their facial expressions being covered?
babybird wrote:
I remember thinking at the start of having to wear a mask how important it is for me to still engage with people in a none verbal way and so I have used eye contact and smiling with my eyes quite a lot when wearing a mask. With this I'm talking about at places like supermarkets at the cash register etc.

I'm presuming this is something NTs may have done unconsciously whereas for me it was something that I knew I had to do consciously.

You started making eye contact because of face masks? Impressive. I feel like my lack of eye contact is now much more noticeable since face mask requirements.



cyberdad
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10 Oct 2021, 11:56 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
smiling is cultural
Australians as a rule don't smile as much as Americans...

Honestly, not a lot of smiling here, either.
My best friend is super extroverted, and he used to smile and say hello to everyone he met...a good amount of people, especially in wealthier communities, wouldn't give him the time of day.


I've visted three states in the US - California, Hawaii and Arizona. In all three states people do what I can only describe as a whole face/body smile. Very warm and inviting. My parents had American friends, same.

In Australia in the 1980s American trainers in hospitality/tourism courses actually had to train our students how to smile



SabbraCadabra
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11 Oct 2021, 8:09 am

ResilientBrilliance wrote:
I think those people are mad at "being told what to do." Do you think they refused masks because they dislike their facial expressions being covered?

A lot of Antiva protesters will hold signs that say something about needing to see smiles again.
Especially angry Karen moms who think their school kids are "suffering" because of it.

cyberdad wrote:
I've visted three states in the US - California, Hawaii and Arizona. In all three states people do what I can only describe as a whole face/body smile. Very warm and inviting. My parents had American friends, same.

I guess Michigan just isn't a very smiley state... :shrug:


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11 Oct 2021, 10:59 am

People don't read just your mouth, they look at your eyes, your body language. People laugh and you can still see them smile because their eyes crease and so do their cheeks when they smile. People raise their brows as well. Some people get bunny noses as they smile. Your tone of voice as well.


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ResilientBrilliance
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11 Oct 2021, 8:03 pm

Joe90 wrote:
This is why I don't believe those ''mind in the eyes'' tests are an accurate way to test how well you can read facial expressions, because although the muscles around the eyes tell a lot about emotion, you still can't be 100% sure without the whole face present. All I see in those tests is just a pair of eyes staring at me.

I often heard NTs complain that they can't always tell how someone is feeling when wearing a face mask, even though they can still see the eyes (unless it is very obvious, like a person is frowning hard or something). So that's enough evidence for me to prove that those mind in the eyes tests aren't accurate at all.

Personally I've never heard that complaint. From what I can tell, they adapted quickly to having their faces covered.

cyberdad wrote:
smiling is cultural
Australians as a rule don't smile as much as Americans...

This is a good point. I feel like here in America smiling is a really, really big deal.
Arathors wrote:
Eyes are very important in the smile; they're part of how people discern fake smiles from real smiles. A real smile - also called a Duchenne smile - uses muscles around the eyes. It can be faked, but most people don't think to do it because they're too focused on the mouth aspect. They just don't think about it, because picking up on the eye muscle contractions is automatic for them. As a result, they say a fake smile "doesn't reach your eyes", even if they don't know anything about Duchenne.

Facial expressions can be difficult for me sometimes - more so with masks, of course - so I look for crinkles around the eyes, without furrowing of the brow, to distinguish a "real" smile. But it's not foolproof. The right side of my face is less expressive than my left; I've got less subconscious muscle control over it. So I'll deliberately smile more with that side of my mouth to even things out, because otherwise my smiles look like smirks. But getting a Duchenne smile on that side is difficult for me, even if I mean it. I can look in a mirror and do it, sure, but not at speed in a conversation.

I've heard about detecting fake smiles. It seems like I naturally don't place much importance on eyes.
I've been seeing new advertisements online and in real life (like at my local library) where the people wear masks and I assume are smiling behind their masks.
Here's an example:
Image
The smile in the example below is obvious to me. It looks like the woman might even be laughing.
Image
It just amazes me that even in masks smiles are very obvious to NTs. Otherwise they wouldnt have ads with people wearing masks. The smiling eyes must really jump out at them.



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11 Oct 2021, 8:21 pm

CinderashAutomaton wrote:
I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum as face-blindness; Sometimes I can't stand looking at people's faces because there's just too much information there, for me.

Facemasks do hide some information but not enough to hide smiles usually unless it's just a very slight smile. The biggest tell is the cheeks around the cheek bones and right under the eyes. Aside from that, there's also eyebrows and ears. If their mask is pressed against their face tight enough, you can also see the mask move outward on the cheek near the sides of the lips.

There's also much beyond the face, too. Tone of voice, word choice, expressiveness of their speech and body language, how inclusive they are of you to their own world, how invested they are in yours, how easily they laugh, and more.

Rather than smiles and expressions, the worst part is probably the loss and increased difficulty of physical closeness and intimacy. Nothing makes ya feel quite as distant as being near someone and having to hold back your impulse to physically interact with them.

Is this tied to face blindness? I've wondered if I might have face blindness. I do have aphantasia and can't picture faces in my mind's eye. So you're saying you see microexpressions TOO well? Are you on the autism spectrum?



cyberdad
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11 Oct 2021, 8:38 pm

Yeah their smiles are very obvious to me even with the masks.



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12 Oct 2021, 2:51 pm

Awesome 1971 song 'Smiling Faces Sometimes' by 'The Undisputed Truth' (LINK) is telling. Lyric sample, "a smile is just a frown turned upside-down."

LINK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiling_F ... s#Overview



ResilientBrilliance
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12 Oct 2021, 8:32 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
A lot of Antiva protesters will hold signs that say something about needing to see smiles again.
Especially angry Karen moms who think their school kids are "suffering" because of it.

I was unaware of this. They sound like outliers to me. All the NTs I've observed have seem unbothered by not seeing smiles.

League_Girl wrote:
People don't read just your mouth, they look at your eyes, your body language. People laugh and you can still see them smile because their eyes crease and so do their cheeks when they smile. People raise their brows as well. Some people get bunny noses as they smile. Your tone of voice as well.

I've never paid much attention to eyebrows while smiling. I think I only raise my eyebrows when I'm really excited. I think when I smile normally, my eyebrows don't move up.

cyberdad wrote:
Yeah their smiles are very obvious to me even with the masks.

The above examples are obvious to me only because the people look like they're squinting. Their lower eyelids are really prominent plus the squint and that is what looks like smiling to me. I don't really notice the eye creases like some posters have mentioned. I always thought eye creases were like literal wrinkles/ lines aka crows feet. And only some older people would show those wrinkles.

Since making this thread, I practiced really focusing on squeezing the outer corners of my eyes. My smile does look happier but also a little phony and over the top. If I squeeze the outer corners and relax my eyebrows a tad it looks happy and realistic I think. The weird thing is I don't think I naturally crease the skin/muscles around the outer corners of my eyes that much when I smile...Now I'm worried something is wrong with me. I do have a formal diagnosis of depression which might explain why I don't smile like a normal person. And maybe not squeezing the outer corners of my eyes is why people in the past asked me why I look sad. Wearing these face masks has been quite eye opening (pun intended).
JustFoundHere wrote:
Awesome 1971 song 'Smiling Faces Sometimes' by 'The Undisputed Truth' (LINK) is telling. Lyric sample, "a smile is just a frown turned upside-down."

LINK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiling_F ... s#Overview

It's no secret to NTs that smiles can be fake. It's interesting they still place so much importance on smiling.



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12 Oct 2021, 8:37 pm

ResilientBrilliance wrote:
Since making this thread, I practiced really focusing on squeezing the outer corners of my eyes. My smile does look happier but also a little phony and over the top. If I squeeze the outer corners and relax my eyebrows a tad it looks happy and realistic I think. The weird thing is I don't think I naturally crease the skin/muscles around the outer corners of my eyes that much when I smile...Now I'm worried something is wrong with me. I do have a formal diagnosis of depression which might explain why I don't smile like a normal person. And maybe not squeezing the outer corners of my eyes is why people in the past asked me why I look sad. Wearing these face masks has been quite eye opening (pun intended).
.


Depression creates negative affect which makes it physically challenging to smile.



cyberdad
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12 Oct 2021, 8:41 pm

ResilientBrilliance wrote:
It's no secret to NTs that smiles can be fake. It's interesting they still place so much importance on smiling.


Again this is cultural/situational and individual. If you become familiar with a person smiling you learn to identify the subtle nuances that dictate whether the smile is genuine or whether there is an ulterior motive,

Kind of a composite measure through gauging the full body/facial reaction which can also include the tone of voice.



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12 Oct 2021, 11:09 pm

One good thing about wearing masks is people don't tell you to smile all the time.



cyberdad
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12 Oct 2021, 11:52 pm

Aprilviolets wrote:
One good thing about wearing masks is people don't tell you to smile all the time.


I notice checkout staff don't smile anymore, they think we can't see behind their masks (pardon the pun) :lol:



SabbraCadabra
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13 Oct 2021, 9:34 am

cyberdad wrote:
I notice checkout staff don't smile anymore, they think we can't see behind their masks (pardon the pun) :lol:

You wouldn't smile either if you were yelled at and cussed out all day.


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13 Oct 2021, 12:25 pm

Quote:
Wearing face masks is one of the essential means to prevent the transmission of certain respiratory diseases such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although acceptance of such masks is increasing in the Western hemisphere, many people feel that social interaction is affected by wearing a mask. In the present experiment, we tested the impact of face masks on the readability of emotions. The participants (N = 41, calculated by an a priori power test; random sample; healthy persons of different ages, 18–87 years) assessed the emotional expressions displayed by 12 different faces. Each face was randomly presented with six different expressions (angry, disgusted, fearful, happy, neutral, and sad) while being fully visible or partly covered by a face mask. Lower accuracy and lower confidence in one’s own assessment of the displayed emotions indicate that emotional reading was strongly irritated by the presence of a mask. We further detected specific confusion patterns, mostly pronounced in the case of misinterpreting disgusted faces as being angry plus assessing many other emotions (e.g., happy, sad, and angry) as neutral. We discuss compensatory actions that can keep social interaction effective (e.g., body language, gesture, and verbal communication), even when relevant visual information is crucially reduced.


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