Life with masks and working behind shields

In life it is about love and connection. It is about the connection with others, fellow human beings, friends, family and our beloveds. The most important is the deep connection to others, people like us, neighbours, colleagues, the community we live in, we act, we work and we share our life. We need social contacts and the reassurance which comes back out of it.

Communication happens as we know consciously through language, the turning towards someone, to gain attention and to pay attention to someone we speak to.

A normal exchange we need for our social growth and personal development.

Being seen and looking at someone gives us a necessary feedback, which gives us confirmation. Social and family values gives us orientation and reassurance, we experience belonging and we learn to feel acknowledged and appreciated.

A huge part in our growing up has the nonverbal communication.

One sight in the eyes of others is often enough to know, that something is not ok, not tolerated or that something got my agreement. For sure, we need confirmation.

A simple smile creates trust.

While in contact with strangers a smile can be seen as an invitation: I am here for you, I am willing to listen, I can take care and help you solving problems. There are a lot of situations in life we can send out this nonverbal message: With clients, patients, with collegues in our team at work.

Now we wear masks

Since a lot of time now we are seperated from each other more than ever. Wearing masks and being apart because of shields at our desk are still new to us.

Now we wear masks

Even acustics is worse then before, we have difficulties to understand each other.

Some people feel safe due to wearing the mask, to some it is a burden. These guys can not adept easly at wearing it all the time. Which gives them more stress. Some people feel dishonorable, deprived of their natural dignity. That gives them additionally bad feelings.

Apart from the fact that we suffer of the actual situation, it is clear that the new behavior we have to learn will affect our social interactions in the future. We will loose the ability to recognize mime and facial expressions and to read it properly and interpret the origin meaning. Research shows that babies who don´t get the attention of their mother show immediately signs of neglicence. The litlle one´s show their despair right away. That is our natural behavior. They look for the attention of their mom with all possible actions they have in their historical repertoire. If they fail, they give up and start crying. There are videos with the title `still face`. Be aware, it is heartbreaking!

We can lose mime in the future

Which mime and facial expressions are not to be seen, if two thirds of our faces are covered with a mask?

Some feelings are visible in the area of mouth and eyes. Much emotions express in both parts of our face, they depend on each other. Some feelings are mostly to see in the lower area, where mouth, chin, chaws and the nose is located and can get lost if it covered by a mask.

Joy for example, if this is just slightly expressed is not easy to make out. The mouth and lips just move a little bit and therefor not all muscles are involved to the fullest. The polite expression can be missed out. That´s a pity, because we are dependent of these expressions of other people.

A big smile, the full feature of joy reaches the eyes through the muscle movement and is visible even while wearing a mask. The eyes sparkle and the little wrinkles in the edges of the eyes summarize.

We recognize sadness from squeezed eyebrows, frowned and the sad look from the eye itself.

Eyebrows high and squeezed together show the face full of sorrow. These two expressions are to see and to understand without the mouth being visible.

Eye contact might be a usefull assistance here. The direct gaze into the eyes of others can help to understand the other one and to clear up misunderstandings. Sure to be careful if you meet people of other cultures. Not every culture accept the direct look into the eyes.

How can I approach to others in this precarious time?

I can willfully use more body language and mime to show others, that I am willing to listen, to look for direct eye contact without missing to respect others accordingly.

Body language is used subconsciously more in the upper area of the body. As well I can add it deliberately.

In case of having bad news for someone, I can and I really should express my compassion through my eyes, my voice and appropiate words. I can help myself with using more gestures and take more time for the person in need in that very moment. As well I can offer real help, suggest a call, or simply ask what is it what would help you right now. What else can I do for you?

A smile can create a miracle. If I express the willingness with my face to help or to understand the other person, it is often the best I can do for him.

Another valuable possibility is to create the inner space within myself to be there for the other one. I can create the inner attitude within me to take care. I can create the space to be by the side of the one who could use some support.

Even it is just for some minutes, my interest to accept people in need is appreciated.

This energy doesn´t need any words.

A smile can be an invitation….

Where our feelings are seen in the face

Upper area:

Eyes/Eyebrows/Forehead

Sadness: Downwards turning upper lids, eye without glance

Fear: wide eyes, the pupil is down within the eye, the sclera is to see above

Surprise: wide open eyes, the pupil is to see in the middle surrounded by the sclera

Anger: Tension in the lower lids, they are slightly squeezed up

Sorrow: Eyebrows are squeezed together and turn up

Fury: Eyebrows turns down, tension in the lower lids

Lower area:

Mouth, lips, chin, cheeks

Little joy- a small smile. Mouth corner turning upwards

Little Fury, fear: Lips are pressed together.

Little bit of anxiety: Tension in the lips.

Contempt: One mouth corner turns up.

The feelings in the lower area are not easy to detect while the face is covered with a mask.

In both areas:

Disgust: Narrow eyes, upwards turned nose, wrinkled up nose

Tremendous Disgust: Extremly narrow eyes, extremly wrinkled up nose

Disappointment, being saddish: Mouth corner turns down

Deep sadness: Mouth corners turn down, the whole mouth turns down, downwards turning eyelids. Tears.

In my Youtube channel you find a video about wearing a mask.

Stay healthy everyone..

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