Even though your teenager currently seems unable to speak to you, they actually are capable of communicating — through their glares. You may be thinking, “I thought my teen’s glares just meant they thought I was the dumbest person on the planet?” Well, we’re happy to tell you that you’re absolutely right. Yet, not all glares are created equal.

Though these sinister scowls may seem indiscernible to new parents of teenagers, there are subtle differences that can provide clues to your young adult’s needs, as well as to their thoughts on the moderate to severe levels of your mental incapacities. Incessant jags of glaring are inevitable — use this guide to help you pick up on the patterns in order to possibly survive those exciting and volatile adolescent years.

The You’re-Bothering-Me-With-Your-Existence Glare

The most common of all young adult glares. It can be thrown your way after you say “Good morning,” tell a dad joke, breathe, or when your teen is sad, happy, tired, awake, asleep, or listening to Ariana Grande on their earbuds in the dark while staring aimlessly at the ceiling.

What it Looks Like: An intensified eye-roll that eventually fixates on your stupid skull.

The Defensive Glare

You may get an eye-full of this one after gently accusing your child of any type of negative behavior, which they, in turn, vehemently deny.

What It Looks Like: A standard glare, commonly accompanied by rare verbal exclamations such as, “Thanks for not trusting me, Mom!” Or “I hate you!” followed by a dramatic exit. Try not to be alarmed or feel guilty. They did do it.

The Diversion Glare

This glare will likely occur when your teenager has friends in the house that are planning to partake in activities that would make your grandmother slap them upside the head. A common scenario might include your child and one friend asking you for help with getting food upstairs while the rest of their crew sneak contraband through the downstairs window wells.

What it looks like: May first appear as an intense faux smile; however, facial muscles that have been weakened from lack of use will eventually give way to a twitchy panicked stare as soon as you start walking towards the basement door.

The Make-You-Uncomfortable-So-You-Leave Glare

Parents of teens with love interests will encounter this one regularly when their child is entertaining their special guest. This imagined glare is meant to make you turn and run as soon as thoughts of checking on the pair (“Again, MOM?!”) enter your mind.

What It Looks Like: You can’t actually see them because they turned off all the lights, but you can hear their eyes ferociously shifting from side to side, and it’s not pretty.

The Melancholy Glare

Your teen has been moping, sighing, and dragging around the house for days. Yet when you attempt to talk to or console them, tiny shards of ice burst from their pupils straight into the skin between your fingers. We suggest refraining from eye contact during this time.

What it looks like: Victoria Beckham.

The Death Star Glare

The most dangerous of glares, this one may “show its face” amidst any of the situations described above. However, it’s most often noted during mid-summer going-away-to-college shopping excursions.

What It Looks Like: No first-party descriptions of this glare exist, but it appears that flames and possible laser beams are emitted directly from their eyeballs. Also, you’ll be dead by morning.

Final Note

If your child has been a teenager for less than six months, be aware that you can’t spoil them with attempts at affection or personality modification. Letting them “glare it out” is the best alternative and usually only lasts 5-10 years. Don’t worry, though; once your child hits their mid-20s and needs money and a place to live, their (and your) smile lines will be glaringly obvious again.