Learning How to Read Emotions for People with ASD: The Emotion of Displeasure

Heather is not pleased with the TV ad she’s watching and we can tell this by the combination of two subtle signs. First, there is a slight lowering of her brow. We tend to associate this with being puzzled, but it’s also a general negative sign. When the brow is lowered the eyes become more narrow. When we narrow our eyes we are going into a defensive mode. The opposite of this would be when we are relaxed and the eyes open wide to the world around us.

When we are feeling positive our mouths are also relaxed and slightly open. Heather’s mouth is tight shut, as she presses her lips together. If we think back to our distant ancestors, we can understand how narrowed eyes and a closed mouth are physical responses to threat; preparations for fight or flight.

Heather also stretches her lips, playing with her mouth as she experiences a negative response.

Finally, look out for her blink, closely followed by the slightest of nervous twitches under her right eye.

Signs to note

  • lowers her eyebrows
  • presses her lips together
  • her right eye twitches slightly
  • stretches her mouth

by Dr. John Habershon

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.