From the moment we open our eyes, we interpret faces. We take in shapes, tones and structures and we form impressions, incredibly consistent ones, about the character of others. Are they trustworthy? Nurturing? Will I be safe with them? It is truly incredible how innately we respond to a persons physical characteristics.
Face reading has its roots in the traditional Chinese practice of physiognomy and has been brought into a new practice by Mac Fulfer. It is incorporated as part of the Emotional Anatomy training and is now a key element of the way I get to know and understand others.
People get great delight in hearing what their features say about them and I often get asked to share insights with people as a bit of a party trick. I'm obliging because people are interested, but my real passion for the skill applies to the way it can change relationships. Helping people to understand each other better can have a very positive influence on relationship dynamics because it changes the way they see both themselves and the other person.
Let me share a little bit of my story here with you. I'm a pretty emotional person. I'm also very determined, I think a LOT, and I like to communicate. I bear some pretty significant scars from early childhood trauma, and I've had my fair share of professional 'growth' experiences. My husband (bless his soul) is about as linear, logical and pragmatic as you can get. He's a data guy. You know, ones and zeros. We are your classic case of opposites attract! Which is great when it's just the two of you and you can focus intently on each other, you've got the extra energy that it takes to operate in close proximity with someone who is your polar opposite.
HOWEVER. Cue the addition of small children and all that 'discretionary' energy you had is guzzled by the ever-demanding anarchy that comes with offspring. All of a sudden you're both sitting in your default positions and the space between you is measured in light years.
It can be so easy to believe that you're too different, the distance is too big and you just don't have the energy to 'make it work'. I get it. We've been there. Multiple times.
That is until now. Being able to see someone's innate characteristics, who they really are and who they are meant to be, reflected in their physical features, is very revealing. With cognitive approaches we tend to think that the other person is somehow more able to change themselves, that there must be some deficit that makes them behave a certain way and that if they just tried a bit harder they could make the shift and everything would be ok.
This is about revealing your true expression and leaning into that. Uncovering the ways in which you process information, engage with the world, make decisions, feel your feelings and think your thoughts. You are forced to work with who you are, as you are. The key difference between this and other more cognitive approaches to understanding behaviour, is that the body can't lie. It is the soul incarnate. Emotions and experience manifest. And you cannot argue with it. You can however, take the insights and work with them.
So what are the key tidbits that helped us out? Here are some excerpts from our readings:
"..Large, low ears which are left brain. You take in information carefully, you evaluate and analyze preferring wisdom over speed and do not like to be rushed.....Round, full forehead is right brain, you hate being micro-managed, rigid systems, procedures and mechanical approaches......access hairs at the start of eyebrows indicate an ability to tap into your unconscious data bank of prior experiences and get intuitive “hits” through unconscious pattern recognition, making you a good judge of character and quick to spot what others may have missed.....wide space between your eyebrows is a self-will pad. Once you make your mind up you are hard to stop, a freight train line …which would add that your focus is not just like a laser beam but more like a laser beam on the front of a freight train, once you focus on your goals, others should either get onboard or get off your track. You can be intense......large irises show an emotionally open and perceptive person.....full lips show a warm passionate disposition and gift of expression.....the line on your chin indicates that you are an over-achiever and believe you are good when you get feedback from external sources........"
".....very left brain and his face shows a left brain brilliance. His big ears tell me that he takes in information very carefully, can be literal in listening (listens to the words meaning more than the tone)......Big will pad between eyebrows…once mind is made up he is like a freight train…either get on board or get off the rails he is not going to stop....His angled eyebrows are also a left brain quality… mentally in control, thinks that he is right, may refuse to admit error, can be mentally intimidating, few people would be willing to cross a person who has them........ Analyzes carefully so often, he is right......Straight mouth with thin lips…reserved in speech, has more thoughts than he expresses..Eyes angle down…does not look at the world through rose colored glasses…anticipates problems and sees the problems that others might miss......Left brains can be brilliant but have a harder time establishing relationships that are more than transactional.....his round chin may be his saving grace in that he does consider others when he is taking action......curve line on his chin is a desirability line, also called an “over-achiever” line........ gets his feeling of worth from external sources.......However, he has such thin lips he may not talk about the experience, as he can have a tendency to keep things to himself and compartmentalise problems...."
We have me - emotional, intuitive, creative, intense, determined, warm, expressive and needing some validation.
And we have him - literal, determined, analytical, mentally intimidating, reserved, sees risk everywhere, finds deep relationships difficult, keeps things to himself and also needs some validation.
There were no surprises here for either of us, in fact there was a lot of agreement. The gems though, are these:
- We both benefit from some external validation (which neither of us would have admitted before), so we now have a daily practice of telling each other three things we appreciate about each from that day. It genuinely works wonders, because it meets both of our needs in a non-threatening way, that isn't driven by making up after a big fight beforehand.
- Knowing that he anticipates problems is great, and is a very protective trait. However, children are like walking risk magnets and they need to be able to take those risks and fail, in order to learn and grow. He spends much of his waking time preventing risks from being realised, and it's exhausting. Sharing this conversation means I can gently remind him to let it go, and he can know that I'm coming from a place of understanding his natural instinct, that it is not a fault but that it needs to evolve to adapt to the situation.
- Oh my god the poor guy is literally surrounded by feminine essence! Everywhere he goes is emotion, nurturing, sensitivity, communication, expression, creativity. And that was his path to take in this life. The universe brought him exactly what he needed to learn his lessons and grow, but holy shit is it uncomfortable for him! Understanding how innately masculine he is softens my frustration with his lack of expression, warmth and emotion. I know he's trying and that he will continue to try, even though it's pretty hard work :)
- Knowing that I don't like to be rushed is great! Now I understand why I get so frustrated by my children who are demanding something and I need a moment to figure out how I feel about it, and they don't get that concept, so they keep demanding! My responses to them have softened and I can just say, "give me a minute".
- For him, knowing how innately emotional and intuitive I am, helps him to know I'm not just being 'needy'. He softens and tries just that little bit harder to meet me in the middle.
Do you see? There are so many ways to know someone, and this is just one of them. It's fascinating to understand yourself and others from a place of physical manifestation. What does your face say about you? If you're interested in this kind of work then take a look at Emotional Anatomy and book a reading, you will be amazed at what you can learn about yourself.