Smiles signify a lot of different things, but we assume that they mean one thing the most. That one thing being happiness! However, that is simply not true. Smiling can actually mean a variety of different things as there are a variety of different smiles that people wear on a daily basis. Not every single one of them means the same thing. How are you supposed to know which is which though? Don’t worry, we are here to help with that! To help you better understand the wide range of smiles there are and what they mean we will go over them below!
The Smirk Smile
A smirk is definitely a very famously known type of smile that people do all the time. A smirk is also known as a sarcastic smile. It is not a genuine smile and should be taken in with caution. A smirk can mean many things. The person doing is may have a sense of smugness over something. They may also know something that you don’t know. Being arrogant and egotistical often go hand in hand with smirking.
The Pursed Lip Smile
A smile doesn’t always mean good things. In fact it can be something used to express great displeasure. A pursed lip smile does this exactly. You will see the bottom lips curve up, but the top lip stays in a straight line and the smiler will purse their lips, too. This is done when someone is delivered bad news or is about to deliver bad news themselves. It could also mean that they are just in a terrible mood.
The Half Smile
A half smile means that someone is half happy. They aren’t all the way thrilled, but they are definitely getting to that level. This is a smile often done when someone is feeling sad and is trying to cheer up. It is also done often when someone is daydreaming about something. This smile only covers half of a person’s mouth. The other half will stay downward and seem a little unhappy. Usually these smiles are done when trying to convince another person that the smiler is doing fine.
The Duchenne Smile
Duchenne was the son of a French pirate and a neurologist. He was curious about how facial expressions worked and went on to experiment with them. He ended up discovering around sixty facial expressions in total, but the most famous was a silly smile. This smile could be described as a goofy grin that spread from ear to ear. This type of smile commonly leaves crows feet because of its prominence. It’s a smile that is usually related to authentic happiness and joy.
The Fake Smile
Indeed smiles can be ultimately faked. It is done on a daily basis. This is a noticeably faked smile that starts quickly with an upturn of the lips. The lips will stay closed for the most part. However, there are times where the person might show their teeth, but this is usually done when they are speaking through gritted teeth. You can tell this person is unhappy with having to smile, but they will tough through it anyways.
The Qualifier Smile
This is a smile often done when someone is delivering you bad news to you. Such as you aren’t going to make it onto a team or you didn’t qualify for something you were expecting to. A cashier might do this smile to someone while giving news of an item being unavailable. How can you tell this specific smile from other types of smiles? Often it is a forced smile that does not reach all the way up to the eyes. The lips will curl up only slightly and the person doing this smile will tilt their head to one side or the other. The head tilt is often a sign of sympathy to let you know they feel sorry that you are getting denied at this time.
The Full Toothed Smile
This is the smile that we see more often than not. This is the genuine smile that displays someone’s excitement. Their front teeth will show and their lips will be pulled back. This is just one of the many smiles that signify happiness. But this one is more of an excited smile. A purely chill happy smile is different. It is usually done with lips closed or just partly open. However, if you see someone grinning from ear to ear with all their teeth showing, as well as their eyes squinted up, they are probably super pumped for something that is going to happen or that has already happened. You might find them to be laughing or giggling, too.
The Embarrassed Smile
Yes, we often tend to grin widely when we are feeling deeply embarrassed by something. This is a normal type of smile, but you will catch a hint of nervousness making an appearance on their face. You can tell by the way someone uses their eye brows while smiling.Their eyebrows will crease, but their smile will stay. They may also blush, meaning their cheeks will fill with blood giving off a rosy appearance. The last thing that you might catch when someone is smiling because they are embarrassed is that they will dip their head down and to the left. It will be almost unnoticeable, but it is something that humans like to do when they are feeling this specific emotion of humility.
The Bared Tooth Smile
This smile isn’t as common as we’d like to think, because generations of evolution have kind of weeded it out of our expressions. But this is a more primal type of smile. This smile is when someone is scared, protective or displeased. They will pull back their lips and expose all of their visible teeth. This is something that animals do. Animals such as chimps tend to smile like this when they are scared. The smile is a fearful reaction and usually signals submission of some sort.
The Sad Smile
We definitely like to think that smiles are a true way to show happiness. And they certainly are, but that is not the only thing that a smile identifies. There is a smile that tells us when someone is not in a good mood. They may be experiencing feelings of misery or discomfort. This smile is something people do when they are trying to put on a ruse about how they truly feel inside. You may notice that although the corners of their mouth are upturned, as if they were smiling, there is a grave look of sadness peeking through the expression.
The Flirtatious Smile
The flirtatious smile is often mistaken for a smirk, because it is done with some level of smugness. However, you will notice this is a flirty smile because of other gestures the person makes towards you. They may wink at you, raise one eyebrow at your or use some other form of prominent body language to let you know that they are trying to get your attention romantically.