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Trustworthiness Shown in a Face?

A friend sent me a sales article about some university studies conducted on what kind of features on a face are perceived as trustworthy .

It was very interesting from a face reading point of view. Basically, the studies concluded that certain facial features are seen as more trustworthy than others. Reading through the list, the combination translates to largely non-threatening, even-keel traits. Even somewhat "baby-faced."

But what is a bit frightening about these studies is the fact that some of the worst con men, underworld figures, and serial killers have been babyfaced, handsome, . . . and sometimes quite charming. They are able to seem "normal," and even vulnerable. They use their "harmless" appearance to take advantage of the trust it engenders.

Bottom line, don't assume a harmless appearance means harmlessness. Nor that a more angular, contoured face means untrustworthy.  Face reading will give you insights into typical behaviors. Combinations show behavioral patterns. What they do with those patterns is determined by the inner character -- soul strength.

Face reading will tell you how someone will operate, but not what the motives are. That information would be more in the realm of body language, micro expressions, and handwriting analysis.


If you want more blow by blow details, here's the basic behavioral tendencies (in italics) of the "trustworthy" features.

Characteristics of a 'trustworthy' face:

  • A fuller, more rounded shape to the face -- this is typically someone who is more relationship savvy
  • Jaw line is softer in appearance -- less oriented toward taking charge or taking over in a blatant way
  • Eyebrows are thinner and less imposing -- less sure of oneself, less passionate, more in control of oneself
  • The eyes are more rounded and larger  -- more open to people, less guarded and skeptical
  • Eyes also appear brighter -- curious, interactive, intelligent
  • The nose is more refined in shape and the nostrils are smaller -- more socially adept and will seek input before acting
  • Larger mouth with thinner lips -- more extroverted and less sensual
  • Smooth face with no facial hair -- more socially conforming, less coarse and tough-seeming
  • Warmer, brighter complexion -- warmer personality, more high energy

Any thoughts or questions you'd like to share?


Thank you for sharing my

Thank you for sharing my article Sandra. I hope your readers found it useful and I really appreciate it.


Thanks, Gary for your

Thanks, Gary for your comment. I certainly found your article useful and very insightful!

I agree with most of the

I agree with most of the points in the characteristics of trustworthy people. I have seen many of these traits in people whom I trust. I am not clear with the 'Warmer, Brighter Complexion' and 'No facial hair' traits. Please could you brief on those.

Hi Santosh, Thanks for

Hi Santosh, Thanks for commenting.  Did you click on the link in the article?

My understanding of the meaning of the "warmer, brighter complexion," is a complexion that has more red/gold undertones tones and is more pale versus one that is darker and/or has more blue/green undertones. Katie Couric, Gweneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Redford, and Brad Pitt are some examples that come to mind. 

The "no facial hair," refers to a moustache or beard in any form and even heavy eyebrows. And where does that leave us with Santa Clause and Abe Lincoln? Hmmmm!!

Keep in mind that these are several characteristics that tend to be seen as more trustworthy or untrustworthy.  I found it interesting that the research into perceptions tend jive with the face reading traits and wanted to share it. People are more intuitive face readers than they know!