People with anxiety are more sensitive to changes in facial expressions.
People with anxiety disorders tend to be hypersensitive to changes in facial expressions. Adults with high levels of anxiety pick up on changes in other people’s facial expressions more quickly than individuals who don’t suffer from anxiety.
This hypervigilance is often counterproductive. People with anxiety disorders are more likely to misinterpret others’ emotions and misperceive others’ facial expressions. People with social anxiety disorder, for instance, are more likely to see signs of anger or disgust in another person’s facial expression—even if the signals aren’t actually there.
A person with social anxiety disorder might assume someone is feeling disgusted or angry when they’re actually feeling surprised. Misinterpreting social cues like facial expressions can lead to awkwardness and conflict in interpersonal relationships and communication; it’s a vicious cycle for people with social anxiety disorder.