Paul Ekman: Outsmart Evolution and Master Your Emotions

  • Published on Aug 1, 2013
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    Renowned psychologist and emotion-guru Paul Ekman describes how introducing conscious awareness to facial expressions can help one override and control their emotions.
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    Transcript-- One of the most amazing discoveries, it completely surprised me, and that's what I like most in research is when you learn something you didn't you were going to learn. That's very different from research where you prove something you think you already know. You have to do that too 'cause maybe you were wrong, but when you discover something you didn't expect, that's really exciting.
    And what we discovered, published this more than 20 years ago, made the front page of the New York Times. We didn't kill anybody. What it did was show that if you put on your face one of the universal expressions you will turn on the physiology of emotion. You will begin to experience that emotion. So the face is not simply a display system that tells you what's happening inside me. I can self generate any emotion by making the movements on my face.
    Now some of them are harder to make than others, and wouldn't you know it the one that's the hardest to make is the one that turns on enjoyment 'cause a smile alone won't do it. You have to be able to activate one of the muscles around the eyes and only about ten percent of the people we've tested can do it.
    We are just beginning to use this discovery of how you can self generate emotion to teach people how to become more aware of what they're feeling at the moment they feel it. Because it is my belief -- and I want to underline the word belief 'cause I can't prove this -- it's my belief that the way in which emotions evolved it was to deal with things like saber-toothed tigers. The current incarnation of which is the car that's suddenly lurching at your car at a high speed.
    You don't have time to think. You have to do and make very complex decisions, think of what you do to avoid that car you make split seconds estimates of speed and angle and what you need to do with your feet and your hands. And if you had to think about what you were doing, you'd be dead. So it's a system that evolved to deal with really important things without your thinking about it.
    So that means that sometimes you're going to be very inconsiderate, very thoughtless, sometimes your emotions aren't going to fit the situation and you're not even going to know it until someone says to you, "What are you getting so upset about?" And you think, "Oh, my God. That's right. I'm really afraid. I don't know why. Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I misunderstood the situation."
    Well these exercises that we're giving people -- moving their facial muscles, concentrating on the sensations that they then experience to make them more aware of an emotion when it arises, so that they will feel it at the moment and then can say, "Did you really mean to ignore me when she put the toast on the table? No. That was just an accident. Or maybe I shouldn't jump to the conclusion that she doesn't care about me at all. And why doesn't she care about me?" That whole business, it takes the way in which we can improve our emotional life is to introduce conscious awareness into the process and that will take practice and nature did not want you to do that so you have to do it yourself.
    Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd

Comments • 695

  • Allanzo
    Allanzo Month ago +1

    I want to be more serious. I get really self conscious with my facial expressions.

  • Ali Sobut
    Ali Sobut 4 months ago

    I have read 4 books by Paul Eckman and I am a die hard supporter of his research. The show called "Lie to me" on Netflix is based on one of his books called "Telling lies". I highly recommend his work for those of you who are interested to know what this guy is about.

  • Aliona Aliona
    Aliona Aliona 7 months ago

    I apologized before ... may the video be translated into Indonesian ... I would love to learn from Tuan Ekman based on the video

  • Hodda Taheri
    Hodda Taheri 8 months ago

    Dr. Ekman. I know that this is up and coming and we have so much to learn from this. I would personally like to learn from you and your programs. I am not guaranteeing that I'll blow your mind with results but I am so very passionate about learning the reasons and the drives that get us to do these seemingly unnoticeable behaviors. I would love to learn and maybe become part of a team that helps to work on the tweaks and find the magic of how human bodies interact so seamlessly. Please feel free to email me at
    Your encouragement or guidance will mean the world to me. Thank You, for opening up lines of communication where most wouldn't dare to search for them.

  • Danny B
    Danny B 8 months ago

    This video is important. Show it to everybody.

  • David Katuin
    David Katuin Year ago

    I think you have to understand what an emotion is first . Provoking is not controlling.

  • Peter Gama
    Peter Gama Year ago

    I looked this up because I realised that changing facial expressions changes the way I feel iv Been using this in daily life I just wanted to see if it is actually common.

  • Puddin' Tang
    Puddin' Tang Year ago

    You pointed out the muscle around the eyes being important in activating enjoyment. I think, think... I may have figured out the muscle. Its a struggle to do it. Lol. My whole face is contorted, but it evokes the emotion. Just started trying this. Will see. Ty

  • Micky Antiforms
    Micky Antiforms Year ago

    "Nature did not want you to do that" some respect for your mother! If nature did not want you to do that it's because was trying to save your ass. If you'd smile while facing a tiger you would be dead gone. I don't get all the modern mess with emtions and feelings, they trying to transform people in machines. If you feel sad just feel damned sad, if you corrupt your emotions you may be happier im long term but you may lose different things in the process...

  • Ricardo Alexander

    How come it takes a human this many of yrs of there life to utilize the psych of the soul,mind,and body. Reality is not real if it's designed by human with being. Serving two God's can be troubling if one overrules the other vice versa. Conditioned realities plagarized by lower level human denies the freedom of the being. Controlled thoughts generate one's reality but a copy cat is looked at the same sociological sociopathic way.This means that the amount of humans out here have no control over the being of there self. If you fall in the category of being inflicted with mental environmental conditioning which caused you to become a target of human decontamination of the being connected to the spirit mind controlling the ATP. thought category with only tools to one frequency is human decontamination of the spirit. If you can control the physiological ATP movement then you can train the thought to connect with the vision just like moving your limb. I could only imagine why humans have been confined to a lower state of fleshly over control. Temptation mixed with this mental breakdown being the conclusion after long age of work and worriation. If you have not accomplished the controller of the EAGLES EYE TO MANNERFEST THE POWER ELEMENTAL INSIDE YOU. THEN ACCOMPLISHMENT OF SELF HAS NOT BEEN MET. THERE ARE MANY RICH PERSONS THAT HAVE NOT THE TRUE POWER OF SOUL SPIRIT CONTROL BUT LURE MASSES BECAUSE OF CONTROLLED CONDITIONINGS.

    • Ricardo Alexander
      Ricardo Alexander Year ago

      Utilization of ones own controlled usage of synaptic physiological mannerfestation is godbound to the condictioning by the humans in this date. The lack of trust in self deteriorates the frequency controlled emotions to generate impulses. Humans we as the being of gender equality is of a extreme matter amongst the masses of out of controlled people.

    • Ricardo Alexander
      Ricardo Alexander Year ago

      Science describes one structure in words like Superior distal from inferior.

  • Barry Kort
    Barry Kort Year ago

    "Cognition, Affect, and Learning" ~ TinyURL.Com/Cognition-Affect-Learning

  • valar
    valar 2 years ago +1

    Master your emotions like a fisherman masters bait.

  • Mary McClung
    Mary McClung 2 years ago

    Start here... and see what you think for yourself.

  • The Original Gamer
    The Original Gamer 2 years ago

    I'm in the 10%. That makes me happy. :D

  • Mike R
    Mike R 2 years ago

    Mega like to this video! Thanks for sharing.

  • William Magann
    William Magann 2 years ago

    Any more l'm very leery of these type of claims. Remember the "power posture" research claims that now the original researcher states are unsupportable? It is tough to believe just about any of these "scientists" / "social scientists" when it has become very clear most are actually extremely bad at their jobs. I don't know who to believe anymore.

  • Sarvam Jagadidam
    Sarvam Jagadidam 2 years ago +3

    "She..." But this video is only useful for men. The problem is that the woman is not a rational creature. She is emotionally irrational. Hence, attempting to explain emotions rationally to any female is a futile endeavor.

    • Brian M
      Brian M 2 years ago +3

      What a disrespectful human being, do you not feel shame for yourself?

  • clarkewi
    clarkewi 2 years ago

    This is an amazing subject. A new science - controlling your emotions thru controlling your facial expressions.

  • Alan Hill
    Alan Hill 2 years ago

    As an actor, I'm learning nothing new. Thespians, spouses, politicians, con-artists, et. al. have known this for centuries. No "big thinking" here.

  • Jax Santos
    Jax Santos 2 years ago

    Should talk faster

  • Leighton Maarman
    Leighton Maarman 2 years ago

    Where can I find the full interviews?

  • Joe Soap
    Joe Soap 2 years ago

    How do you stop the flash to cant all you can do is slow ot down by taking evasive action. Cut the cord to stop amygdala hyjacking. Thank you for your insight and wisdom.

  • BigHeadAstro
    BigHeadAstro 2 years ago

    I have felt so much, that I can't feel shit anymore.

  • ku lu
    ku lu 2 years ago

    Holy shit this guy looks way younger than he actually is

  • HC BEATs
    HC BEATs 2 years ago

    he said "unconsiderate" instead of inconsiderate

  • mushroom mario
    mushroom mario 2 years ago

    Never trust a guy that won't shave his head when mostly balding

  • Orlon Arsino
    Orlon Arsino 2 years ago +1

    I'm still having a hard time understanding this guy. So what is the basic goal? To not let your emotions control you so you can think logically?
    please someone help

    • TSkeptic
      TSkeptic 2 years ago

      Orlon Arsino I guess the problem exist because of moderator of this channel put wrong titles to videos, it might be for clickbait I don't know. Not only for this guy there are many like this. Although I love big think, I hope they will change their title habits.

    • gh15
      gh15 2 years ago

      same here, the Guy didnt explain shit

  • UCzDwella201
    UCzDwella201 2 years ago

    Emotions are derived from evolution. In the small duration of our lifespan, we don't just create the ability to control such a primordial intuition.

  • Turnips Pickled
    Turnips Pickled 2 years ago

    Yeah I came here looking for a way to stop having emotions.............. This was useless

  • Some Person
    Some Person 2 years ago +3

    This youtube channel needs more of this guy.

  • hemen kalita
    hemen kalita 2 years ago

    better take narcotics. easy and proven.

  • phi dnb
    phi dnb 3 years ago +1

    fuck it, even if you smile all the way through you probably won't get happy. I honestly advise so to give a damn about your own facial expression. I felt bad for a long time, didn't like me because people kept telling me my eyes somehow are looking though them or be hostile in a way. But i never was hostile then but just honestly curious and tensed about what they were going to say. And i don't want to pretend to be happy still, but i want to be honestly if so. Just when the moment hits you - then you forget about your own expression and express not what you want to (no further manipulation) but really give something out, giving a true signal of your inner state into the outside which then will reflect and come back in an honest way. Otherwise false emotion and play is the only thing you can get.
    This just is some philosophy of mine... in the hope of helping anyone who tries not to harm and harms himself just because of that. Feel good you jaunty soul!

  • Flabber Gasted
    Flabber Gasted 3 years ago +1

    I have been using fake smiles all my life and have found that people do read your eyes before anything else most often. And if you aren't smiling with your eyes they realize you don't mean the smile. And I figured out how to fake smiles a long time ago. I often have to try to project the feeling of a smile to my eyes. It's difficult to explain. I've always found it kind of easy to read what other's are feeling and what to do and how to act to get the best reaction out of them. What to refrain from doing and what things please them the most and how you present yourself around them. I've learned to do that to fit others simply by reading their feelings and their body language. I met a psychiatrist once and asked them what they could tell about me. She told me that I was really good at faking a smile right off the bat. And that she is also very good at it so she recognized it. And that I'm often times very upset and I try not to show it. Which is true. And she could read it because she knew how to by feeling the same way and learning about it. I think I know what he is trying to describe on the muscles to use around your eyes when using a fake smile. It's is the bottom lid area and the outer corner of the eyes as well as a slight squint to your eyes. Kind of feels like you are lifting your eyes into a smile while also projecting kindness and happiness to that person through your eyes.

    • Deuki Ray
      Deuki Ray Year ago

      Flabber Gasted sometimes, I get lucky and align the joke in my head, perfectly with my interactions. My eyes are smiling but it's genuinely not for that person.

  • Taylor The Warlock
    Taylor The Warlock 3 years ago +74


    • palewine
      palewine Year ago +4

      You've got to do the eye thing too! Remember him talking about that too?

    • MrMosdefOne
      MrMosdefOne 2 years ago +6

      Or let's change things around a bit to trick your brain. Take a step back and try to detach the hate (just for a few seconds) and realize how fortunate you are to be able to experience any emotion including hate. Thanks Buddhism :)

    • Khairin K
      Khairin K 2 years ago +9

      LOL "guy"...This "guy" is like a celebrity in psychology

    • Semi-Charmed- Kinda-Life
      Semi-Charmed- Kinda-Life 2 years ago +4

      Taylor The Warlock , think about what ur grateful for. Feel how lucky you are right this second. 😌

  • Intuitivelogic
    Intuitivelogic 3 years ago

    lol I just discovered this a few days ago

  • MrChubs209
    MrChubs209 3 years ago

    then why do I smile on but feel like dying inside?

  • Marat Yousif
    Marat Yousif 3 years ago

    I want to feel no emotion... Like Decim from Death Parade.

  • cl0udedm1nd
    cl0udedm1nd 3 years ago

    Yeah you should like totally not watch those videos when youre high

  • Ketu Dedeffo
    Ketu Dedeffo 3 years ago +6

    I cannot control my facial expressions. And 70% of them don't go with my exact emotions. I tried to type this up and got nothing. It also effects my social life which sucks

    • JulianRoyale
      JulianRoyale 3 years ago

      This is me, can you please tell me where did you read about this fact? I would be interested to learn more.

    • Ketu Dedeffo
      Ketu Dedeffo 3 years ago +1

      +Smart Cat Collar Project Thanks I will try that

    • Smart Cat Collar Project
      Smart Cat Collar Project 3 years ago +5

      Some people can make themselves look like idiots or even insane, just because they pull faces for no reason while talking to other people. Maybe you should spend some time before a mirror. Or try to stay more connected with your inner core, your inside being, to stay calm and more aware of every of your facial move... learn detachment until it happens less and less.

    • Ketu Dedeffo
      Ketu Dedeffo 3 years ago +1

      Yeah, some people ask me "why do you look like you're going to cry?" I say 😭"I'm not gonna cry" and I still have until I notice it. It's weird

  • Sgt. Amazing Name
    Sgt. Amazing Name 3 years ago

    Thank Ekman :)

  • chronecro
    chronecro 3 years ago +1

    Being dishonest is good, we learned that through the media during the administration of Hillary's husband, Monica's ex-bf.

  • Pure Villainy
    Pure Villainy 3 years ago +1

    My sadness/anger is also gone for no cause. A close aunt passed away and I didn't feel anything. My parents separated a month later and I didn't feel anything.

    • DreamAway
      DreamAway 3 years ago

      +John Doe-
      I think it could be a lack a sadness toward a situation. So to say, you're not sad over the fact that you'll never see that person again or that you'll never get to talk to them. Maybe your glad that you got spend time with them while you still could and that you're not focused on that they're gone and dead. Perhaps it's a matter on what you're focusing on at the moment come later you focus on a different matter that was about the same moment before. Maybe then you would have different feelings. Just a theory.

    • John Doe-
      John Doe- 3 years ago

      +Pure Villainy lol thats a sign of denial and or depression. and just because you think your not depressed doesn't mean your not. I've seen people who say they are not depressed and they think they aren't becasue they say they aren't sad. But in reality they are so far in denial they made them self's believe it. But it always shows in the persons behavior, later on weather its they stop caring about there school work or stop caring about them selfs. worst part is they never realize why and stay in denial.

    • Mrfiufaufou
      Mrfiufaufou 3 years ago

      +Pure Villainy Could be just simply what I have with my relatives, not connected at all. Or it can be just the feeling you can have that day(not caring) and when ever your aunt comes to mind, you automatically link that 'i don't care' to that experience. Personally I don't feel anything for anything much really, but that is because I distant myself from the ordinary life and live in isolation.

  • White Fartt
    White Fartt 3 years ago +6

    If we view people that tend to "annoy us," assuming that we've amassed the adequate amount of wisdom to think "bigger," with an empathetic perspective, we can then really understand where they come from and be unhindered mentally and emotionally by their actions, which could stem from insecurities or the illusion of knowledge. The hardest task is the mastery of the self. But if 1 can achieve this state, then life will be so fruitful and fulfilling. Think bigger than yourself. It's as simple as that. All of the wisdom that have been passed on from generation to generation can be summed up in a simple phrase. Just think bigger than yourself. :)

  • TR1PpyNick
    TR1PpyNick 3 years ago

    1:20 you mean like pull your ears back squint?

  • sweet pota
    sweet pota 3 years ago

    this man right here is dumm!!@T.Ferris!!@

  • Axel The Red Panda
    Axel The Red Panda 3 years ago +7

    I can completely shut off 2 of my emotions, sadness and anger. it is very helpful but I don't know what caused it I didn't try to do it, just a month and a half ago I developed the ability to do this it is weird but amazing

    • ermeeez
      ermeeez 3 years ago +1

      Damn I wanna know how you did that

    • Ola Nordmann
      Ola Nordmann 3 years ago +2

      you need both sadness and anger, anger will protect you from emotionally attacks and sadness will help you change your life for the better.

    • toobasaurus23
      toobasaurus23 3 years ago

      I can do that also. But it detrimental in the long term; at least it was for me. Ekman is awesome! I study his work on his site. I've learned a lot, in how you can channel it, and to understand it in other people.

  • The little view Master Creepypasta

    What would you say if I can't feel so this isn't entirely true

  • mireazma
    mireazma 3 years ago +1

    I like Paul Eckman in a strange way I liked detective Columbo :)

  • Keenan Miller
    Keenan Miller 3 years ago

    667th comment ....didn't like that 666. Superstitious I know.

  • Kaima Moonfury
    Kaima Moonfury 3 years ago +15

    He's basically just describing meditation.

  • Ideya Koni
    Ideya Koni 3 years ago

    Conscious Awareness!!! 2thumbs up!

  • Keksimus Maximus
    Keksimus Maximus 3 years ago +23

    I want to study and be whatever this dude is

    • Deuki Ray
      Deuki Ray Year ago +1

      Michael Crosby stop enabling

    • Michael Crosby
      Michael Crosby Year ago +1

      Stop being mean

    • Virginia Dunn
      Virginia Dunn 3 years ago +15

      That would be a psychologist, the title that appeared underneath his face within the first 3 seconds of the video you clearly weren't paying that much attention to.

  • realkeb
    realkeb 4 years ago +4

    I tend to just smile for no reason in the morning, not because i am happy, but because it makes me happy.

    • John Doe-
      John Doe- 3 years ago +1

      +AlterEgoKEB Smiling for the sake of smiling causes emotional exhaustion, and withdraw. But thinking of pleasant thoughts or change the perspective of which you view what you are doing and having happy thoughts because of that are a more effective way and healthy way or having the same affect.

    • Zedi
      Zedi 3 years ago +4

      +AlterEgoKEB thats a great habit to have brother, i plan to incorporate it into my routine.

  • Consumer Tool Reviews
    Consumer Tool Reviews 4 years ago

    The Flow State aka "the zone"

  • Benji Friedman
    Benji Friedman 4 years ago +1

    "it completely surprised me"
    as he shakes his head no

  • 誰にも 見れない ゆめ を みて

    Is it just me or is he just very likable? I kept smiling while he was talking.He just seems like a really calm and friendly person

  • Oglethorpe Zippelmeier
    Oglethorpe Zippelmeier 4 years ago +5

    Nature is not an entity so it cannot "want" or "not want" us to do a thing. It is not to be anthropomorphized.

    • Siyovaxsh En-sipad-zid-ana
      Siyovaxsh En-sipad-zid-ana Year ago

      Well, neither are we if you think about it.

    • Oglethorpe Zippelmeier
      Oglethorpe Zippelmeier 4 years ago +1

      @matepo1 Same thing.

    • matepo1
      matepo1 4 years ago

      +Oglethorpe Zippelmeier I think that was Personification rather than Anthropomorphization.

    • Oglethorpe Zippelmeier
      Oglethorpe Zippelmeier 4 years ago +1

      @AmirAli Tn Wow, your manners must have come out of the trash can.

    • Mir5
      Mir5 4 years ago +3

      @Oglethorpe Zippelmeier Wow. you must really be stupid...

  • Mr. Redsnake
    Mr. Redsnake 4 years ago

    I can do it :D

  • Miguel Ayala
    Miguel Ayala 4 years ago +5

    "Nature did not want you to do that"
    Excellent video, well spoken, & thought out.
    I respectfully have to disagree with the very last statement.
    We have, through years of experiences, good or bad, sculpted the tools (biologically, chemically etc.) necessary to survive. Vision, cognitive abilities, bio-mobility in oder to live long enough to transform the monkey mind into the poet. The poet then becomes the scientist, the scientist then becomes both part poet-scientist, then the poet-scientist becomes the pseudo-creator(demi-god) and so on. Sounds crazy but there seems to be a trajectory. (IMHO) We are barely scratching the surface on how we are going to communicate with each other, most efficiently, & I would not be surprised if it wasn't small acoustical noises.

    • John Doe-
      John Doe- 3 years ago +2

      +Miguel Ayala What ever you say smart one

  • Silvia Yiyi
    Silvia Yiyi 4 years ago

    I understand so well what you are saying Dr. Ekman...that my chest hurts...damn...I really need to excersice.

    • Silvia Yiyi
      Silvia Yiyi 3 years ago

      +abschussrampe I didn't even insulted you, how that makes me "Hiper aggressive" you can't take an answer so I'm aggressive 😂

    • Silvia Yiyi
      Silvia Yiyi 3 years ago

      +abschussrampe I'm not really! It's funny how you keep trying manipulation! You want to turn around roles now!? 😁😁😁 You trolled and expected to be answered right. So if you don't want to be answered don't comment. If you don't have any productive words to add. Just don't do it.

    • omegasrevenge
      omegasrevenge 3 years ago

      @Silvia Yiyi You are being hyper-aggressive, why are you so angry about a stupid joke?

    • Silvia Yiyi
      Silvia Yiyi 3 years ago

      +abschussrampe Ahjjjj please don't try manipulation. Next time if you want to be a comedian be funny not trying to minimize someone you don't even know, and just end up being a stereotype...and if you're used to use guilt, sorry, childish boring lines again...

    • omegasrevenge
      omegasrevenge 3 years ago

      @Silvia Yiyi Actually, I was simply trying to be funny, but like many other nerds instead of actually ending up funny I just offended someone.
      I will just go crawl back into the hole I came from.