A good laugh uses 100 muscles from our face and the rest of the body. Do the eyes also enter this equation of laughter?

It is well known that eye contact and smiling eyes can greatly facilitate our communication. Can we do anything to make our eyes look their best when they smile?

Eyes are one of our means of communication. They reflect our state of mind when talking to a person. They are capable of transmitting taste or aversion to that person. But the truth is, we don't even realize it. Because this whole communication process is mostly unconscious. The communication we make with our eyes is a bridge that facilitates the transmission of information.

When we meet a new person or when we are in a work context or in so many other daily situations, it is important to appear spontaneous affability. We want to create an environment conducive to dialogue, and our eyes play an important role in this mission. If we can get them to smile in a natural and relaxed way, we will be able to overcome any strangeness. Let us imagine, however, that we are in the midst of a tense situation. How do we act in such a context? Well, the truth is, we have to train. Train to try to forget the worries and tensions of the situation in which we find ourselves and concentrate, at least momentarily, on making our eyes smile. Some communication specialists even advise people to practice in front of a mirror. 

A genuine smile

Are all smiles genuine? Mr. Paul Ekman -a North American researcher who studied the way people smile- observed what active facial muscles are when we smile. Through this study he was able to identify about 19 different types of smiles. Only one of these nineteen ways of smiling corresponds to genuine joy. The remaining 18 are reproduced as a matter of education, because we are nervous, because we are ashamed or because of anxiety.

Our orbicular muscle is the real responsible for honest laughter. The orbicular muscle of our eyes makes them compress together and display the lines of laughter in the corners of the eyes. Ekman even gave a name to this kind of smile. In honor of neurologist Guillaume Duchenne, who was the first researcher to focus on this muscle, in 1862, Ekman gave it the name of Duchenne smile.

Do you think you can now distinguish the genuine smile from the rest? 

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