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Joined: Mar 26, 2011
Posts: 3112

18 Apr 2011, 4:11 pm

Do you use facial expressions?

I have read that people with asperger's don't usually use facial expressions, which is one thing that (although most other symptoms fit) makes me wonder if I do have an ASD as I tend to be fairly expressive with my face these days.

I do remember that when I was a teenager people were always telling me to cheer up (even when I was lost in my own thoughts and quite happy) because I looked as miserable as sin to them or I didn't always smile. This drove me nuts and I went back home to my mum one day and said "What am I supposed to do, walk around grinning like a cheshire cat all day?". After this I made a point of grinning at people although there are times I still get told to cheer up so I must occasionally forget lol.

However when my sense of humour pops out I can suddenly become very animated with exaggerated facial expressions for which I blame Lee Evans as he is one of my favourite comedians and I tend to mimic things I like...such as his mannerisms on stage, including the vocal tones he uses as well.

Do people with asperger's use facial expressions?

When it comes to other peoples facial expressions...yes I can read them if they are obvious or exaggerated but not so well if they are subtle. Also some facial expressions can look so similar to each other that it can sometimes be hard to define which emotion they are actually for. Yet I have had people tell me that my own face is errr, a little animated, so I obviously use facial expressions myself lol.

I am curious as to whether others use facial expressions etc.


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Joined: Jan 04, 2011
Posts: 258

18 Apr 2011, 4:41 pm

I used a lot of angry facial expressions two nights ago but that was psyching myself to stay with it while I was dancing with a hurt leg.


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 16768
Location: My house

18 Apr 2011, 5:01 pm

Yes I do use facial expressions. I used to get told a lot to smile and at work I would get asked what's wrong and then it started to irritate me because I do not like people asking me the same stuff over and over.

I don't know if mine are normal or not.


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Joined: Apr 19, 2008
Posts: 1249

18 Apr 2011, 6:03 pm

I use normal facial expressions, I think, though it's hard to judge your own expressions unless someone is giving you feedback. My AS is very mild, though, other than in social interaction.


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Joined: Jul 08, 2009
Posts: 5140
Location: My own little world

19 Apr 2011, 10:21 pm

I use facial expressions........... I'm very expressive. I've been told that /been laughed at because I have some strange ones. ...........


Joined: Nov 10, 2010
Posts: 1868

19 Apr 2011, 10:35 pm

I've been called stoic, wooden, too serious, etc., so I'm guessing not. Although I do smile or laugh when I genuinely think something funny or cute, apparently it isn't enough? I feel really awkward faking it, so I don't.


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Joined: Feb 24, 2007
Posts: 20096
Location: The Gem State

19 Apr 2011, 10:46 pm

I don't know how to properly use facial expressions. The majority of the time, my facial expression is totally blank. People continually ask me "what's wrong?" and always assume I'm lying when I say "nothing", so then I really do have to lie in order to get them to stop pestering me. People have told me that my default expression seems sad or angry, and that it's obvious that I fake my smiles in all of my photographs.

However, I do smile genuinely when something truly makes me happy.


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Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Posts: 424

19 Apr 2011, 11:20 pm

I sometimes get asked why I'm so sad.

It's funny though... I feel my face as being flat, but when I look in the mirror and observe it, I find that I'm capable of extremely animated expressions with no effort at all. That means my emotions are showing through my face without my being aware of it. Darn!


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Joined: Mar 18, 2008
Posts: 5252
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

20 Apr 2011, 12:21 am

I have been told that I look unhappy when I was just trying to think hard about something. I have been told that I have an unusually expressive face. So I guess that I have facial expressions, but they are a bit abnormal.

"Like lonely ghosts, at a roadside cross, we stay, because we don't know where else to go." -- Orenda Fink


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Joined: Nov 16, 2006
Posts: 1265
Location: 10 miles south of sanity.

20 Apr 2011, 2:15 am

Sure, I use facial expression. Just the wrong ones at the wrong times. I have also been told that I make a lot of odd facial expressions. I don't really know what my face is doing most of the time. I only know what my face looks like when I am staring at that jerk in the mirror. far as I am aware I have no face at all. It's weird.

I think I know. I don't think I know. I don't think I think I know. I don't think I think.

Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

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Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 195
Location: Phoenix

20 Apr 2011, 2:50 am

To me, all facial expressions are manual; I don't seem to use any if I leave my face on automatic. I pretty much smile all the time nowadays. If I don't, people start asking me why I'm so mad.

Once, I was just watching a coworker do something and he saw me and asked, "What's with the death glare?" I could've sworn my expression was neutral at the time, so I guess I still have a ways to go with my expressions.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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Joined: Apr 14, 2011
Posts: 80

20 Apr 2011, 6:54 am

I tend to remember funny things very frequently or think thoughts that amuse me, making me smile. It's the only expression I can really do, though, and I often smile at inappropriate times.

Female, undiagnosed, 34/50 on the test 80 percent of aspies get 32 or more on, NT score 54/200, Aspie score 164/200.


Joined: Apr 04, 2011
Posts: 6066
Location: UK

20 Apr 2011, 7:01 am

The amount of times I've heard "Cheer up love, it might never happen" is ridiculous. What am I meant to do, go round grinning like a cheshire cat all day?
Yes, I seem to have limited facial expression. I'd better start practicing. :) :D 8O :? :cry: :cyclops: :hmph: :P


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Joined: Nov 18, 2008
Posts: 8291
Location: Sydney, Australia

20 Apr 2011, 7:06 am

Depends on my level of stress. I can have flat affect when around too many people. When comfortable with people I can use more facial expressions. I'm usually exaggerating my facial expressions. I copy from actors that play characters in shows I like and I can hold the same expression for much longer than I should.

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Joined: Apr 13, 2014
Posts: 13

14 Apr 2014, 10:34 pm

I was always that kid, right up until around the time I graduated high school that was always asked, at least once a day, "What's wrong?" In fact, my friends liked to say I had a perpetual blah or evil expression, and others found me unapproachable because I had "resting bitch-face". My mom always complained that I didn't smile enough--which I thought was ridiculous; why should I walk around smiling if I had nothing particular to smile about? This changed though, probably when I started dating my now husband, who for some reason brought out a cutesey side of me. Coupled with my job in retail (where you're forced to smile and put on a lovely performance for your customers), and my then obsession with Anime, I grew expressive. Very expressive. People now say I'm very animated and cartoon-like with my facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures/body movements. I still flat-line around my family & childhood friends, but everyone else seems to think I'm a very expressive person. I've always reasoned I became like this because I have a hard time getting people to understand me, so I exaggerate my expressions for it to be more obvious. But now I think maybe this is due to my possible autism. My facial expression can be so exaggerated now that some times its misleading or just portraying the wrong thought/emotion. My husband misunderstands me all the time. Also, I too have a tendency of copying other's (like actors, or cartoon characters) facial expressions and sayings, when its something I like.

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