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Your First Impression Starts with Your Face

August 13, 2014

DOMINANT FACEYour Dominant Face is the face you wear when you don’t think you are communicating with anyone.

[Our use of the term “dominant,” relates to its definition “predominant,” rather than the “controlling or exerting authority,” definition.  Your Dominant Face is the facial expression that you “wear” more than any other when you are not communicating with others.]

A Good Dominant Face is simply a hint of a smile – as if that person is having pleasant thoughts.  Most people have Bad Dominant Faces.  Walk through an airport, or a mall and you’ll see loads of Bad Dominant Faces.  Good ones are rare, which is one of the reasons we’re drawn to them when we see them.  As you can see from the photos below of Dustin Hoffman, there is a subtle difference between a Good and a Bad Dominant Face, but in terms of Instinctual Trust, that difference is huge.

A Good Dominant Face is a vital part of charisma.  In fact, the Dominant Face of a charismatic person is the primary element that (for observers) defines the character of his or her charisma.  Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and Idi Amin all had terrible Dominant Faces.  Ted Bundy was one of the rare evil charismics who had a good Dominant Face.  But in general, when you see a charismic with a bad Dominant Face, look out.

There’s a reason why the most famous and most viewed painting in the world is so.  It’s because she’s wearing a perfect Good Dominant Face and people from all over the world – from every culture, are instinctually drawn to it.


For those observing you, your Dominant Face reveals who you really are.  Instinctually, we trust Good Dominate Faces and distrust Bad ones.  This begins at birth when we respond to pleasant faces and slight smiles – and are frightened by frowns and by big exaggerated smiles.

Actors with Good Dominant Faces: George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore.

Politicians with Good Dominant Faces: Christine Todd Whitman, Russ Feingold.

Actors with Bad Dominant Faces: Russell Crowe, Michelle Rodrigues.

Politicians with Bad Dominant Faces: Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney.


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