My sister, Karen, a screenwriter and a lawyer in California, was just in town for a visit. We got a chance to talk about her blog, which reveals that our thoughts run strangely in parallel.
Her blog, called Karenoia, discusses how the way we interact with people is often determined by the energy they project, and the internal tensions they carry. She postulates that we can sense energy levels in others, and that’s why sometimes they react to us in a surprising fashion. We may ask politely for directions, or for a towel at the gym, only to get ignored, or a scowl, or some response like, “Woah, give me a second before you snap my head off!” She writes that it is the vibes we carry inside (like the child that was never told she was loved enough) that somehow manifests itself such that others instinctively sense it, and are dominated more by that energy than by words or intention.
I would argue that it’s the energy that we carry that determines our facial gestures and our facial expressions. Someone that doesn’t like themselves very much, for example, might avoid the direct gaze of someone looking at them straight on and asking a question.
Someone with a lot on their mind, including their job status, the economy, and the health of a parent/child/sibling/friend, might also look worried, distracted, or inattentive. It is not their energy that we sense, we “intuit” by reading their facial expressions. Of course, like everything else, it’s worse now, because in addition to dealing with you, most people are dealing with incoming and outgoing text messages.
This has to be an evolutionary phenomenon that has enabled us to read the expressions of others: love, tenderness, as well as hostility, and even evil. Look at the faces in the pictures: which is the friendly one? Which is the one you want to avoid? Which is the one that looks sad? We don’t intuit the energy, it is projected in our faces for all the world to read.
I recently wrote about subliminally invasive cosmetic surgery—surgery that is so minimal in its scope that it is below the threshold of conscious perception and escapes unnoticed, even to someone that is used to seeing you after a satisfactory period of recuperation. Ideally, and in practice, this does happen, and is particularly true these days, where most procedures can either be done in the office or in an ambulatory surgery facility with relatively quick recovery.
But does subliminal awareness of the way people look play a role in our lives? It does. I am certain, most of the time. We want our movie stars to be beautiful and handsome, and ageless of course, or we discard them, or make them play roles that are not the hero/heroine. We like our generals and our CEOs to be tall, strapping, gray haired, and handsome.
With recent research showing that patients who get Botox for cosmetic purposes often have an elevation in their mood. It is time to ask the question, “Do the muscles of facial expression, which get relaxed with Botox, create a positive change in outlook, and in the energy that one projects after getting it?” In other words, are there subliminal benefits that go beyond looking good and feeling good, that allow people to recognize that you have experienced a change in your mood?
So if we know that Botox can alter our emotional state, our “personal energy”, can this change in our expressions alter what our face says and what others read instinctively on our faces? I believe the answer is yes.
Check out my sister’s blog and I’ll see you back here again soon.