The Angry Face vs. The Happy Face

It is said that when you put up an angry face, you use much more facial muscles than when you have a happy face. But is it true? Is it really easier to smile than to growl?

Here's a side by side comparison. What muscles do you use?

Muscles used in an angry face
GRRRR....

When you're angry, the following muscles are activated:

  • Eyebrow frowns - your eyebrows are pushed down in the middle, and pulled up at the sides.
  • Nose wrinkle - your nose is pushed up as your brows furrow.
  • Nostrils flare - your nostrils get wider and are pulled up.
  • Eyes wince - your eye muscles are pulled together, making your eyes feel tense.
  • Lip snarl - your upper lip is pulled up, showing your teeth.
  • Lip corners depressing - your lip corners are pulled down, to illustrate your dislike.
  • Jaw clinching - your jaw muscles tense up, making your teetch clinch and grind.

There are other muscles in play too, but these are the major ones. Which brings the total to 7 active muscle groups when you show your angry face.

Muscles used in a happy face
Smile!

Now, let's compare that to the happy face...

  • Forehead relaxing - your forehead muscles relax, bringing your eyebrows up a little.
  • Eyes smile - the outer corners of your eyes begin to wrinkle as muscles push them together. Only when you really smile!
  • Lips smile - your lip corners are pulled up, showing your lovely smile! :-)

This brings the happy face to a total of 3 major muscle groups.

End score...

Angry 7 - Happy 3

Yes, it's really true... looking angry does use a lot more muscles than looking happy.

So, don't strain yourself. Make your life easier... smile more!

 

Back from Angry Face vs. Happy Face to Facial Expressions

Back to Body Language Homepage



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