How good are you at the game of Face Mask Emotion Mystery? Can you tell what people are feeling as they stand in line at the grocery store when all you see is their eyes and forehead? It has become a challenge to navigate emotions in a world of face masks.
There are multiple ways people make sense of the world. Some people need numerical data, such as: charts, graphs, statistics, percents, and numerical comparisons. Once they have that data they make informed decisions. Others need emotional data: expressions, nonverbal cues, connection, dialogue, and microexpressions. Face masks block emotional data.
How do we navigate and make informed decisions if we have limited emotional information?
The Gallup Strengths Finder Assessment identifies patterns of talents. When people perfect a grouping of talents, it can becomes a strength. People who consistently make good decisions with numerical data are often referred to as having the strength of Analytical. In addition, people who’s talents are in gathering and understanding emotional data are referred to as having the strength of Empathy.
If you have Empathy has a talent you might think of it as a “sixth sense”. You intuitively gather emotional data all day long: sad, happy, frustration, fear, confused, and many others. You use this data to navigate relationships, strategy and execution of tasks.
A face mask blocks all of us from seeing what other people are feeling. Our “mirror neurons”, those neurons that process emotional data, are starving for input. Pre-Face masks, you would encounter someone feeling sad and your mirror neurons would pick it up. You might even mirror a sad expression without knowing it. Mirror neurons allow us to empathize and connect with people at home, work and our community.
In the article Science of People, readers are presented with the challenge of understanding the range of emotions when we wear a mask. Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Captivate, guides us through how to read microexpressions both with and without masks. Her microexpression quiz tests your ability to differentiate these expressions.
Van Edwards video guides us through reading the emotions of our eyes, eyebrows, frown lines, head tilts and much more. It’s a face mask guide for gathering emotional data. https://www.scienceofpeople.com/masks/
Will having these clues to microexpressions help you to gather emotional data while we live in a world of face masks? Give your Mirror Neurons a little more data and you may actually feel your spirits lift.