There’s a specific facial cue you’ve probably become very familiar with over the past year or so. Because you see it almost every day on the news. Your face and your stress may show it as well.
I’ve always called it “Stress Mouth”. Some refer to it as “Disappearing Lips” because when the bottom lip pushes upward and the top lip pushes downward, both lips disappear. Recognize it?
You see it when someone is uncomfortable with the questions they are being asked. You see it when someone is being scolded, or when given information they don’t want to hear. You’ll also see it as a person grows angry.
When a CEO lets an employee know she found information contrary to the information the employee provided her with, you may begin to see a lighter version of Stress Mouth on the faces of others in the meeting as well.
Most of the time their eyebrows will be up at the same time, giving them the look of a small child that just got caught doing something they know they shouldn’t be doing. You may also see the bridge of the nose being squinched up just a bit. That suggests they may be empathizing with the person who’s in trouble.
So the next time you’re checking out the news, a Congressional hearing, or see someone being questioned in a courtroom, look for one of the biggest facial cues that tell you someone is under a great deal of stress… Stress Mouth.