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How to Read a Man's Facial Expressions

by Sarah Casimong, studioD

A man’s face can say much about what he’s feeling and thinking. Facial expressions such as surprise, anger and disgust are universal, according to the American Psychological Association. Regardless of the language he speaks, you may be able to figure out what he’s feeling. To read a man’s facial expressions, you must take notice of all parts of his face and put the pieces together. Pay attention to facial features to see what he may not be saying.


When a man sees something that grabs his attention, his pupils will dilate, according to The Body Language Handbook: How to Read Everyone's Hidden Thoughts and Intentions; Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch. This usually indicates sexual attraction, but dilated pupils can also mean a range of different emotions such as curiosity and fear, so be sure to examine the context of the situation. Usually, fluttering eyelids indicate attraction because the eyes tend to blink more when excited. However, fluttering eyelids are not as exaggerated as in cartoons, so pay closer attention to subtle blinking. There’s also something that people refer to as “bedroom eyes,” which includes droopy eyelids -- caused by increased blood flow that occurs around the eye area during arousal (Reference 1, p. 103). Blood flow also increases around the lips and cheeks, resulting in softer and rounder looking eyes (Reference 1, p. 120).

Stress or Deep Concentration

Usually, when a man closes his eyes for longer periods of time, it shows that he is stressed or making a decision that requires extra effort (Reference 1, p. 101). “The Body Language Handbook” by Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch, notes that shutting eyes is a psychological response -- the body’s way of responding to stress (Reference 1, p. 101). Stress and deep concentration can also be indicated by squinting eyes (Reference 1, p. 101). This is accompanied by knitted brows (Reference 1, p. 91).

Anger or Disapproval

To spot disapproval, look at a man’s eyebrows and lips. When lips are pursed or pushed forward, or the mouth forms a sneer, this usually indicates disapproval (Reference 1, p. 118). Anger and disapproval can be spotted when the eyebrows are pushed together and downward, and sometimes form a straight line (Reference 1, p. 115). Eyebrows pushed together in anger are also accompanied by bared teeth -- a way animals show their weapons of offense (Reference 1, p. 118).


Recognize when a man is being taken off guard by looking at his mouth and eye areas. Usually, his eyebrows will be raised. This is a natural instinct and even blind people react this way when surprised, according to Hartley and Karinch (Reference 1, p. 88). Raised eyebrows are also accompanied by a slack lower jaw, which indicate shock.

About the Author

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".

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