Trying to “read” whether a person’s intense emotion is positive or negative? Studies (Princeton U, NY U, Radboud U, Hebrew U) suggest you read the body language. Facial expressions among people undergoing fleeting peaks of intense pain, joy, grief, or anger look surprisingly similar. In fact, when you compare extreme pain to extreme pleasure, it’s difficult to tell them apart by facial expressions alone. Even expressions on the faces of winning athletes may not express a “positive” emotion, rather a sign of competitive dominance. The body never lies, however. More information and often more accurate information is revealed through body language. It may be more like “read my hips” than “read my lips.” When you’re trying to figure out whether a person is exhibiting intense positive versus negative emotion, get in the habit of looking at: (1) what's happening in the environment, (2) the person’s body language, (30) the face.