Body Language Across Different Cultures

How different are facial expressions and body language across cultures? Hand gestures might have regularly various interpretations, but the most reliable signs of emotions are part of our nature. Research on blind persons from birth has proven that they show exactly the same facial expressions as others. This is the best evidence that the way we communicate with our face is part of our human DNA.

There is a belief that Japanese persons don’t show emotions. This is one of the many myths around body language. From our experience and research this is not true.

Watch below video showing how the participants of our training in Japan and the Philippines show micro expressions (facial expressions shorter than 1/2 second):

Conclusion
Japanese people do show emotions through facial expressions in exactly the same way as persons in other cultures, however they tend to mask their micro expressions with a smile or show it more subtle. For a trained eye it’s clear the same muscles are being used. This might help you during your next negotiation in Japan.

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