Facial Expressions and Social Exclusion

The possibility of being excluded from social relationships makes people more aware and responsive to cues signaling their potential rejection. It has been discovered that people who require higher levels of belonging are better at recognizing potential risks of exclusion in the facial expressions and vocal tones of others. These facial expressions, such as a genuine smile, act as social cues, showing connections between individuals. However, a fake smile disguises negative emotions toward an individual. “Knowing whether a facial expression is conveying an honest affiliation signal should help rejected individuals identify targets who are likely to offer the greatest opportunity for reconnection.”