“Botox Stops You Reading People?”

I was alerted a few days ago to a programme on Radio 4 “All In The Mind” on reading facial expressions. What really grabbed my attention was this: it was said we subtly mimic  people’s facial expressions to tell our brain what the other person is thinking and feeling.

This gets more complicated when someone has had Botox treatment. On the one hand, the treatment eradicates wrinkles; on the other, it eradicates their ability to mirror other people. Their facial muscles are paralysed so they can’t synch with others. It stops them from being able to understand and empathise.

David Neal, Professor of Psychology from the University of Southern California who wrote the study which is published in “Social, Psychological and Personality Science”also said that we can interpret more difficult to read emotions by paying attention to what our faces are doing. Suspicion and seduction use the same facial muscles and can be hard to differentiate (unless the context is a give-away!). The researcher suggested in this case to focus on your own facial expression and this will give clear clues as to exactly what’s going on.

He also pointed out that being aware of and monitoring your own face and body language whilst you are negotiating with a decision maker is invaluable information to help you understand and read the other person accurately. You know what they’re thinking. It gives you a window onto that other person’s world which connects you to them in profound and unconscious ways.

Read Medical News Today and The 16 Types for more on the Botox study.


About anrah

Anrah is a business development consultancy specialising in helping senior women in engineering and science, their teams and doctoral students increase 'presence', improve communication and generate impact to win stakeholder buy-in at the highest level.
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