“For people who suffer from Moebius syndrome, which is the inability to move facial muscles, they often explain how they have to tell themselves to be happy or sad…The happiness or sadness doesn’t occur naturally to them. They are intellectualizing their feelings.” – Dr. Eric Finzi
I came across this gem today, and I guess it would be irresponsible of me not to delve deeper into it. I never understood this research finding (that has been handily refuted by my friend Kathleen Bogart, a psychologist who happens to have Moebius syndrome). If anything, I always almost wonder if I’m over-emotional in response to having limited facial expression. I am passionate, strong-willed and often too hard on myself. Definitely no one has ever accused me of lacking emotion in any way, shape or form! Do I intellectualize my feelings? Sure, but then again I pretty much intellectualize everything! I honestly think that has more to do with my upbringing and schooling than the fact that I have limited facial expressions.
And, for what it’s worth, people tell me I’m very expressive even with partial pareisis. So I think we just intrinsically learn how to be expressive in other ways, and I don’t believe that’s a negative or problematic way to live.