Is there any point in smiling if no one can see it behind a mask?
Yes, because a lot of information shows up in the eyes and the eyebrows. That’s according to psychologist Paul Ekman. He studies facial expressions, and says a “true enjoyment smile” shows up in the crow’s feet or laugh lines area of the face, with the eyes narrowing and crinkling. With a fake smile, only the mouth moves. And when people smile in a way that makes their eyes crinkle, they’re perceived as more sincere, trustworthy and positive. For example, when a baby smiles, you still know it even when their mouth is covered by a pacifier. People can also “hear” when someone smiles because it changes in the shape of the mouth when they speak.
Body language expert Janine Driver also recommends keeping your 3 “power zones” open – the throat, belly button and groin area. Blocking them by crossing your arms, covering your throat, or turning your body away, blocks connection. Keeping them open increases your approachability and likability. And that’s important when wearing a mask.