Changing Perspectives in Interpretations of Facial Expressions – Treasure Your Life Now – Vol 8-22

by Sheila Finkelstein on May 30, 2012


Think acrosticRecently I was drawn to this T.H.I. N.K. acrostic that I saw on Facebook. The image posted was white on black. It did not seem to be appropriate to take that image, so I created another graphic.

I also did a Google search to see if there was someone to whom this is attributed. I could not find an original author.

Given our is focus now on relationships, I felt it too rich not to include this powerful/empowering suggestions/reminders in Treasure Your Life Now. The questions are such perfect reminders to pause and ask ourselves before launching into complaints, in particular, with those with whom you are close or anyone else, with whom you are interacting.

If you feel you are about to say something, especially when you are angry or upset, remember these questions, repeated should you want to copy and save.

Before you speak, pause, take a deep breath and THINK! Is what you are about to say True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?

Remember also that there are most likely many different interpretations that could be put on what you might be about to speak. This leads us into


red onion making faces


Angry image in a red onion


changing perspectives cut red onion is now smiling

Now, Coy? or Smiling?

All it took was a 90 degree shift. Same image, totally different feeling to the image and we now have a happy face.

Today’s Relationship Tip – What Face Do You Want to See or Be Known by
When you get right down to it, today’s photos are obviously a cut red onion. Yet look at the varied interpretations I brought into the different points of view as I personified it.

Some of my observations of the “faces” were in fact reflections of my own state or mood that day. When I finally committed to following my insistent mantra of taking photographs of what ever catches one’s eye, I shifted into the fun and play of it. Interestingly, after that the simple rotation of the onion reflected my new state. The latter resulted, in part, from my actually using the camera.

When we remember that so much of how we interact with a situation or another person is based on our own individual interpretations, we are reminded that this also holds true for the person on the other end. Very often all we have are the expressions on our faces or another’s and/or the tones of voice to which we may also add meaning.

For most empowering communication, I thus invite you to go back to where we started today and T.H.I.N.K. Are the thoughts you are having, even without speaking, “true“, “helpful“, “inspiring“, “necessary” and “kind“?

When with others, consider also what your own facial expressions might be saying to another. Are they what you want to be portraying? You might even want to ask what’s going on with the other person or what he/she thinks is going on with you.

For total fun, should there be a conflict situation and you get upset by the expression on another’s face, why not imagine it as one of these from the red onion. It might even bring a smile to yours and lighten up the whole conversation.

As always have fun and please post your experience in the Comment Section below.

Have You Yet Claimed Your Complimentary ReInvent Your Love Session?

It could be an opportunity to explore different interpretations – yours and his.
One of the things that comes up in ReInvent Your Love coaching sessions are the very different, and sometimes quite opposite, interests two partners have. I was therefore quite moved by a testimonial I received from Cindy Hively:

“Talking with Sheila was an experience of awakening my heart to the relationships in my life, especially with my husband. Her simplistic wisdom allowed me to look through others in my life from their viewpoint and get into their mind’s sight and what brings them joy, makes them happy, why they like what they like.

By wanting more closeness in my relationship with my husband, I learned to be truly interested in what makes him tick. Sheila taught me a great skill of asking questions and being present in moments with him.

Now…I feel like I have a new hobby, I have learned a few interesting facts about my be-loved over the last few weeks and it has indeed brought us closer to one another. Thank you Sheila for this gift!”

If you are interested in a 1/2 hour complimentary session with me, you can book one directly on my CALENDAR or go to RYL SESSION for more information.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire McCarty May 31, 2012 at 3:50 am

I love the comment today about regarding someone’s facial expression or body language for more information about how they are feeling. Isn’t it ashame that so much communication is done by email or text and this extra information isn’t available for evaluation? My friend’s humor sometimes throws me when it is included in messages. When I’m with her, I realize it is sarcastic fun, but otherwise, I’m caught off guard.


Sheila Finkelstein May 31, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for commenting, Claire. Interesting. Usually I think of email, written messages, being less “tainted” with “stories” and interpretations that we may add to them.

And, in fact, you’re reminding us that this is not so. Aside from the words.. especially if they can have double meanings, there is also even the way the writer presents his/her words. I remember someone who used to do all upper case letters because it was easier for him than using the Shift key. He was probably a “hunt and peck” typist.

Despite knowing this any time I got an email from him on a project for which we were working in our community, I interpreted his words as being sent in anger! Of course, I would get, at least, momentarily upset. And, it’s all part of our being human!

BTW, did you notice the heart in the third onion. One of our subscribers pointed out how a heart showed up when we shifted perspectives.


Morgine June 1, 2012 at 12:38 am

Communicating with Animals and Nature for almost two decades, I have learned humans are often very poor communicators. We often judge “a book by its cover” and make all sorts of assumptions when we see someone walking on the street, look at what they are wearing, how they are talking, their facial expression. Same thing when engaging with a friend. Many people live such “hurried lives” they do not take time to pause, breathe and use all their OTHER senses to feel in more deeply to what is going on, as an animal does. Someone’s facial expression may be due to something they are thinking about and have nothing to do with me! In emails there is no immediate feedback, nothing to see or notice and it can be even more difficult to feel. For me it is my least favorite way of communicating, like a letter. I wrote a letter once a relative misunderstood and refused to communicate with me for four years. I know that would have not happened if I had called and communicated the same thing! Yes yes yes to seeing and owning our differing points of view on the same subject!


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