Most of us would say that a face says a lot about a person. Many would also agree that the way we look determines the way others react to us and consequently treat us. So while it is true that how we look determines a lot in our life, it is also true that life can affect the way that we look!
There are certain facial characteristics that give the impression of sincerity or innocence â€“ large or wide eyes for instance give that impression, while having very thin lips gives the impression of negativity.
We also tend to associate a strong, square jaw with determination or a high forehead with being clever or aristocratic (therefore the term â€˜low-browâ€™ for something of little intellectual value).
This perception based on a personâ€™s outward appearance can start early in life â€“ a round faced, chubby child is more likely to be cuddled than a leaner, more serious faced child.
According to British psychologist Professor David Perrett, our looks inform our personality. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because the way others respond to the way we look, actually determines our sense of self.
In his book In Your Face: the New Science of Human Attraction, the professor examines the theory that few people may classify themselves as extrovert due to the fact that they are self confident. This self confidence may come from the fact that they have an approachable looking face and they have always found people to be affable and friendly towards them.
Consider another way that our face reveals a lot about us; about what we are and where weâ€™ve been. According to Perrett, we â€œGet the faces we deserveâ€ as we get older. This is because our feelings, our experiences and our reactions tend to leave their mark on our faces.
If our dominant expressions have been laughs and smiles, and if life has been generally good to us, this is likely to reflect in the creases at the corners of our eyes, or laugh lines bracketing out mouths. If it was as more stressful life one led however, then this could engrave a permanent scowl on the face, worry may carve deep frown lines onto a forehead.
Another example of the way in which our faces tell our stories is this â€“ married couples who have been together for a long time, look similar. They may not share the same set of facial features but they seem to age along similar lines, probably because of shared experiences. Rather than looking alike, long married couples tend to reflect the same personality traits.
Also consider the fact that there can be some very serious consequences of looking a certain way â€“ according to Perrett, studies have demonstrated that faced with a baby-faced defendant, juries are more likely to convict in matters that involve ignorance, and less inclined to convict if the matter relates to swindling.
So indeed the face says a lot about a person and if you are a valuable social partner, then it may just show!