When a person expresses contempt, their mouth, specifically their upper lip, makes a quick, involuntary pull to the side. I knew someone who often expressed contempt. It was written all over his face. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what that particular expression meant. I saw it cross his face when he spoke about different people and situations. I always noticed it, but I just couldn’t define it. That expression always made me uncomfortable.
Reading Micro-Expressions in People’s Faces
After watching “Lie to Me”, a mystery series about a man who could read faces, I understood that my friend’s sneer was a universal facial symbol for displaying disrespect and contempt.
Lie To Me: Contempt
It pains me now to realize that my friend had contempt for the people and situations he spoke about. I pretended that his gossiping and revealing of other people’s secrets were relegated to other people (he didn’t like, who had offended him, etc.). He would never do that to me, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.
I had to look up the word contempt. I knew it wasn’t good, but I didn’t realize how ugly of a word it is.
Contempt: an attitude of disrespect accompanied by intense dislike
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.” ― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Speaking of TV Shows
Here a clip about a TV show called, “Lie To Me”. Last time I looked, it was available on Netflix. It lasted three seasons. I was very disappointed when it ended.
I learned a lot by watching Dr. Cal Lightman, Deception Expert, get inside the heads of his suspects to solve the mystery of who committed a serious crime.
What was great about the show is that the fictional Dr. Lightman analyzed everyone in his personal life too…without the same level of appreciation or success.
Lie To Me: explanation of how to read contempt on someone’s face
What’s your experience with people expressing contempt or disrespect?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment about your experience with people expressing contempt or disrespect in your professional or personal relationships.
Photo Source: Lie to Me micro-facial expressions contempt, Truth Hurts Lie to Me