Some days you don’t feel like teaching. You walk in to the classroom, and you know that there will be people staring at you. And they all want something. And you don’t want to give them anything. No love, no understanding, no empathy. We all have days like this. But you can’t tell them all to go home and cancel class. You have to find a way to still continue building and maintaining a positive classroom experience.
You have to figure out a way to not look angry or upset. This is often done with a smile. But not any type of smile. You need to smile with the Duchenne Smile.
According to a 2014 article in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior titled “The Duchenne Smile and Persuasion,” authors Hall and Gunnery quote Ekman (2002), defining a Duchenne Smile as:
The Duchenne smile is an expression that includes activation of the zygomatic major muscle which pulls the lip corners up into a smile, and activation of the orbicularis oculi muscles which raise the cheeks to create crow’s feet around the eyes.
Here is some random guy from LifeHacker describing it:
So basically this is a smile that involves your eyes and raises your cheeks. Research shows that this type of smile has a TON of benefits for those able to use it. According to the same Hall and Gunnery article:
Mehu et al. (2007) found that people showing Duchenne smiles were rated as more generous and extroverted as compared to people showing non-Duch-
Woodzicka (2008) found that in a job interview context, people who produce Duchenne smiles are rated as more hireable and competent than people who display non-Duchenne smiles.
Bernstein et al. (2010) found that people prefer others who are displaying genuine (or Duchenne) smile as opposed to non-Duchenne smiles after they have
faced social exclusion.
This article discussed how the Duchenne Smile can actually be created deliberately by many people. When discussing deliberate facial expressions that are somewhat forced, we can often feel like we are being “fake” or “manipulative.” But there are certain times where our intentions are genuine but we might be tired or have had something happen that is effecting us. The Hall and Gunnery article concludes that even if we force it, the Duchenne Smile is consistently more persuasive than other facial expressions and types of smiles.
The final concluding thoughts were that Duchenne Smiles lead to pleasantness, and pleasantness typically leads to more effective persuasion. So if you can create a smile like this on demand, do it! If not, then try to learn how.