It can feel pretty awkward when you’re unwrapping presents on Christmas morning and all eyes are on you as you open a gift you really don’t like. Even worse? When the person who gave it to you is watching with anticipation to see your reaction. Sure, we’re always grateful to get presents, but sometimes it’s hard to hide your disappointment.
Luckily, body language expert Inbaal Honigman has a step-by-step guide to faking excitement about a present you really don’t like:
- First, raise your eyebrows and widen your eyes without blinking.
- Then, “send your limbs and facial features far and wide,” and put your shoulders up with your hands on your hips and elbows out.
- Relax your jaw and open your mouth slightly making an O shape.
- Next, look at the gift-giver and hold their gaze as you raise your voice higher to thank them.
- Finally, clasp your hands together at your chest, narrow your shoulders and lower your eyebrows. Honigman explains, “With an ‘awwww’ etched all over your face, use a deep, faux-sincere voice to express your thankfulness.”
- And remember - surprise doesn’t last long, so do all of these steps quickly and drop the act after a couple of seconds, or you’ll look like you’re over-exaggerating your reaction.
According to the body language expert, surprise and gratitude are the two main emotions you want to convey when opening gifts in front of the giver. “So when you need to fake your body language, your key effort has to go into matching everything up,” Honigman explains. “Your words, your posture and your facial expressions have to send the same message.”