There seem to be many different human emotions, but all of them come from the same seven basic ones. Lets go over these emotions, the emotions that can flow from them, and how theyre often expressed.
1. Anger This is an intense emotional response that can also be called wrath. When someone acts hostile, they are usually angry. Anger often occurs whenever someone feels hurt or violated in some way. It is usually expressed through the face with furrowed eyebrows, the upper lip pulled up in a pursed and tightened way. For some people they will become red, make even shake, and they may wave their arms around as they raise and simultaneously deepen their voice.
2. Fear Sometimes fear can come out as anger, but typically the expressions are different. The brows will be pulled together, the eyes will be widened, and the mouth is often stretched out and even wide open. Often someone who is afraid will freeze, but sometimes theyll also be jumpy and shaky and look as if theyre going to run away.
3. Disgust This is something people will try to hide. Usually, when someone is disgusted about something they will wrinkle their nose, loosen their lips, and pull their eyebrows down. This can happen if its something gross like a babys diaper, but also can happen if its something emotional.
4. Contempt Often when someone is having contemptible feelings for something, they can look very neutral – at least when it comes to their eyes (although they may grow more like steel), while the mouth is more of a straight line with one corner pulled up slightly. Often contempt and anger go together.
5. Joy When someone is feeling joyful, they will smile with their whole body. They usually smile with their eyes, even activating their crows feet, and they smile big, raising their cheeks high and showing their teeth. Other words for joy are happiness, satisfaction, and contentment.
6. Sadness When someone is sad, usually their entire face points downward, from the eyelids to their mouth, into a frown. If they are devastated, they may take that expression even further, with their entire body looking as if it has a million pounds on it.
7. Surprise When people are surprised, their whole demeanor is open. Their eyebrows are up, their eyes are wide, and their mouth may hang open. They might even let out a jump and a squeal, both when they are surprised in a bad and a good way.
When you learn these expressions, start paying attention to people as they converse. Watch people at the park, when youre in other public places, and among the people you know. As you do so, youll get better at decoding the emotions that they dont even know theyre displaying to you on a regular basis.