It’s always best to flash a genuine smile, don’t you think? However, it’s hard to tell when the difference between real and fake happiness.

Unfortunately, people aren’t as forthcoming as we once thought when we were younger. They rarely ever show us a genuine smile.

They sometimes tell lies and try to hide their deception with body language as well. Many times this body language betrays them, but unfortunately, most of the time, we can’t even tell the difference between a lie and the truth.

The truth is those with a higher level of empathy can detect these things much better than the rest of us. When it comes to a genuine smile, it’s actually rare to experience. Sometimes even expressions are just as deceiving as words. Sometimes smiles are just fake, and we don’t even catch it until much later on.

Dr. Paul Ekman, a professor at UC San Francisco, helped scientists differentiate between the genuine smile and the fake one, all using facial recognition coding software. This system showed that certain facial muscles were always present during the genuine smile and absent or forced during the fake counterpart.

The fake and the genuine smile

Why do people flash fake smiles? Well, this occurs for a number of reasons, one being the awful truth that they just don’t like you. On the other hand, a genuine smile puts your mind at ease. You know by this indicator that the person in question truly appreciates your presence.

Are you confused? Are you wondering now if your friend or family member gave you a genuine smile? If so, let’s look at a few ways to tell the difference between the two.

1. The eyes sparkle (a real smile)

When a smile is real, the eyes will let you know. It’s true. When someone is truly happy or if they are enjoying a joke, their laugh will reflect genuine joy from within.

The eyes of a happy person will seem to sparkle or twinkle from excitement. This is one way to know that the happiness displayed is real.

2.  Lowering eyebrows (a real smile)

The orbicularis oculi muscle around the eyes will be affected by a genuine smile. This muscle, during a real smile, will cause the eyebrows to ever so slightly dip down towards the eyelids.

It’s subtle, but it’s one of the most telling indicators that someone is truly happy or entertained. The absence of this tiny movement most surely means a fake smile is present.

3. Wrinkles in corner of eyes (a real smile)

The absence of wrinkles in the corners of the eyes means the smile is only utilizing the lower facial muscles. No genuine smile only uses the muscles of the mouth, and so no “crow’s feet” may surely indicate that the person smiling is nowhere near happy. They probably just want you to leave them alone.

A real smile will cause a number of small wrinkles to appear at the corner of your eyes. This means true contentment.

4. Cheeks raised (a real smile)

When you feel genuinely happy or excited, your cheeks will rise. During the fake smile, however, it’s easy to control this motion, and most of the time, it will be absent. The only time your cheeks will rise, during a smile, is when you purposely remember to make this move in an attempt to fool someone.

5. Straight-lipped smiled (fake smile)

When you pull your lips into your mouth and smile, it’s usually because you are angry or being smug. You are far from being happy or even the slightest bit amused. The smug smile is one of the most well-known fake smiles there are.

6. Showing bottom teeth (fake smile)

Showing the bottom teeth on purpose is a strange sight, and it’s a move used by those who are trying to deceive. A smile which shows a large area of the bottom teeth is being displayed because the smiler is trying too hard to look enthused.

However, there is a small chance that the person smiling just has a large mouth, and they are accustomed to showing both top and bottom teeth in their entirety. So, you must be cautious when passing judgments on this one. Pay attention to their past behaviors to weed out the truth about this one.

7. Forced open eyes (fake smile)

Again, a genuine smile will show movement in both the top and bottom portions of the face, hence the semi or fully closed eyes during the smile. So, if the eyes are wide open, more than likely, the smile is fake.

Can you detect a genuine smile?

I bet life gets pretty difficult at times when trying to figure out if someone is deceiving you. When it comes to smiles, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between a genuine smile and a fake version, simply because having a true friend is important.

If you are unsure about the way someone is smiling at you, then read over these indicators. Pay attention to their whole face and learn the truth about the fake smile.

After all, you will want to only surround yourself with genuine people with genuine smiles, people who will support you and display honesty. That’s why knowing the difference is so important. It’s okay if you fail at this. It does get easier with practice.



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