Emotional Masks

Who’s the best at hiding their emotions?  Well, take a look at the video below, which delineates the most popular society at masking their emotions.  It is not Brits as one might suggest.

Dr.  David Matsumoto, microexpression expert, comments on why this might be so prevalent in Japanese society.

He suggests that because it is such a populated country, people need to cooperate with one another to live amicably.

Instead of seeing anger or sadness, Japanese people neutralize those emotions to live harmoniously.  This can be seen in the Japanese martial arts as well, where control over one’s emotions and actions as well as having an acute observation of their opponent is crucial for victory.

This is tantamount to America’s poker players who try to mask their emotions at all costs and benefit from being able to read their opponents emotions/body language.

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One response to “Emotional Masks”

  1. Keith D. says:

    Poker as a martial art– fascinating! LOL

    I think another interesting aspect of this is that as people in Japan mask anger or sadness with a smile or a neutral expression in public– since making an emotional expression causes one to actually feel that emotion– not only is the Japanese way more polite per se, but there may actually be a tangible benefit to their society as a result. Personally, I think we saw this personified in the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster earlier this year. Compare the average “man in the street” reaction there to the way we handled hurricane Katrina, or the Rodney King/Mark Fuhrman incident and resulting riots in L.A. for example. You simply don’t see those kinds of responses in Japan.

    Whether or not their way is ultimately more healthy on an individual basis is still up for debate, as suppressing negative emotions regularly may create undue stress or long-term health problems, but that’s a subject for a different (and worthy) study.

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