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How to Read the Micro Expression that Reveals Surprise

Learn how to read the micro expression for surprise in this body language video from Howcast.


In terms of the emotions that are displayed on the face, surprise is probably, it’s the quickest. It happens in less than a second, so one of the things people tend to do is delay surprise and when they’re delaying surprised, it’s often feigned or not real. So one of the things you want to see it happen quickly. Surprise happens quickly, under a second, so all of a sudden somebody tells you something and they get surprised and then that emotion fades, right? That facial expression fades, so when you see surprise happen relatively slowly, or happen In a delayed fashion, it tends to be fake. Like, ‘oh, my god, really!’ it’s like exaggerated, they’re not truly surprise by the content of what you’re saying. If they were truly surprised, it would register, you would see surprise, you would see all the different indications. So first, you would see the raising of the eyebrows, right, see the eyebrows essentially get raised, they’re raised and they create these little slight arches in the brow. The second thing you’re going to see is, the mouth is going to slightly open, ok, so the mouth is going to slightly open; it won’t be forced, it’ll be relaxed, like that. The third thing you’re going to see is, you’re going to see the eyes open up wide, so essentially what you’re going to usually see is what’s called the sclera around the eyes, which is the white around the eyes. So like when it looks together, it’s like, it’s surprise, they’re genuinely surprised by what you have to say. It comes and goes, all right, it can linger, but the point is, for the most part, you see it, and then it tends to go away. If it’s slow and, ’oh, my god!’ it’s not really surprise. It happens quickly.

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