5 Mouth Body Language Gestures to Spot in Your Next Convo

The model smile is the type of smile that actors, models, and celebrities will do on the red carpet. It’s a big smile but one that doesn’t necessarily indicate genuine happiness.

The bodel smile

Fake smile

The fake smile is generally used to be socially accepted and keeps our channels open, signaling we are open to communication1. You might also see a polite but fake smile from acquaintances you meet at an ugly sweater Christmas party.

Closed-mouth smile

A closed-mouth smile is often considered in the primate world as a submissive display. People who are particularly shy about their teeth will often do the closed-mouth smile.

Slight smile

Psychologist Ronald Riggio says “a slight smile that accompanies direct eye contact, with a slow glance away, but still holding the smile” is a strong sign of seduction. Look for this cue if you make eye contact with a potential partner at the bar or club.

Mouth shrug

The mouth shrug is basically the upside-down smile that nonverbally says, “I have nothing to say about this.” And in close quarters, it may be used by itself and then carries the same message as the full shoulder shrug. The message is “I don’t know,” “It’s nothing to do with me,” or “I don’t understand.”


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