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Mixed Emotions
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Mixed Emotions

People often show mixed emotions. That is, they may combine several feelings. For example, if a good friend said bad things about you, you might feel angry, sad, confused, and many other feelings all at once. People express emotions in different ways, and it is not always clear from a face what combinations of emotions a particular person is feeling. Sometimes different sides of the face may also show different feelings.

People may show emotions that don’t match their real feelings. Sometimes this may be on purpose and sometimes it may be that they are not sure what they feel. An example of showing a false expression on purpose would be a person who has been caught stealing but denies the truth. He presents an honest, trusting face to convince you that he is honest, even though he knows he is not. He is using his face to lie.

Another example of someone whose face does not show a true feeling is someone who received an award that he felt that he did not really deserve. He may be smiling and feel he should be happy, but he may not really feel happy inside. He is not trying to lie with his face, as is the thief, but just confused by what he should be feeling in that situation and what he really feels. There are TV shows and books on how to read false expressions on faces, but the markers can be subtle and difficult to see and most people cannot tell false from true emotions in others, or sometimes even in themselves.