Sunday, August 2, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3265: Donald Trump, Exaggerated Mouth Movements and Narcissistic, Hyper-Alpha Personalities - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





If you contrast these two videos of Donald Trump on David Letterman's Show - other than the obvious aging of both men - one thing should jump out. Note the mouth and lip movements of Mr. Trump. They are much more dramatic in the 2015 video vs. the one from 1987.

Hyperbolic mouth and lip movements are exhibited by those who perceive themselves to be the alpha - superior in some capacity compared to those with whom they're speaking. It's a commonly overlooked signal of arrogance and patronizing emotional mindsets.

Most of the time this condescending nonverbal phenomenon is contextual. For example, if a college professor was speaking to a lecture hall full of freshman - he or she may very well display such dramatic facial movements. Yet an hour later when the same person is speaking to a colleague who is their intellectual equal, this illustrator would be noticeably absent. A further important distinction is seen when a person uses such excessive nonverbals on a long-term basis. Chronic displays of hyperbolic mouth, lips and other facial movements, with rare exception, are reliable signals of narcissistic personality disorder.

Of course some people may say, "That's just the way Mr. Trump speaks. It's idiosyncratic to him." And while this is true for a small subset of people - it's not so for Donald Trump. For not only are his mouth and lip movements exaggerated - but in some cases they are wrong configurations relative to words being spoken (e.g. melodrama). And when we contrast these videos of Mr. Trump taken approximately 28 years apart, although we can see its subtle signs in the earlier video, it's obvious there has been a considerable progression toward these magnified movements.

Not surprisingly, narcissism often grows with wealth.





Most of the time this nonverbal signal is quite subtle (such as in the college professor example cited above). But you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who exhibited these particular mouth, lip, facial exaggerated movements more than Donald Trump.























These two images are from an interview with NBC's Katy Tur on 8 July 2015.





















See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3264: Hillary Clinton, Likability, Perceived Trustworthiness and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3167: Bruce Jenner's (pre-Caitlyn Jenner) 20/20 Interview, Part II - Confidence, Vulnerability and Sincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2982: Politicians Should Never Do This If They Want To Be Elected - Hillary Clinton's Body Language Faux Pas

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3227: Bobby Jindal's, "... I am tanned ..." remark - What does his Body Language tell us? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3210: Matteo Renzi, Christine Lagarde, Barack Obama and Up-Regulating Alpha Emotions 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3025: Vladimir Putin, Alpha Hand Signals and "The Claw" 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3148: Tidal's (Re)Launch - Jay Z, Kanye West, Deadmau5 & Madonna - Four Different Standing Configurations - Four Different Thought-Emotions 
 
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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3264: Hillary Clinton, Likability, Perceived Trustworthiness and Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





The above video was Hillary Clinton's first national interview since declaring her candidacy (published on 12 July 2015). In political circles Hillary Clinton's likability has long been a topic of discussion and debate. While there are many components which will establish and grow a person's likability, the majority of these are nonverbally conveyed. Along with vocal qualities and other paralanguage parameters - these characteristics are extremely under-appreciated and thus too little attention is given in an effort to study and improve these attributes. Likability has a profound influence on the level of trust people have toward one another - and the relative lack of her perceived trustworthiness is a huge problem, some would say the biggest problem, standing between Mrs. Clinton and the White House. 

There were several nonverbal signals Hillary displayed during this interview which were not only not rapport building - but rapport destroying. One of these, along with other some simultaneous signals, is discussed here.



Mrs. Clinton has a pronounced pattern of having her head and neck close to vertical when listening to a person speak, ask a question, etc. However when it's her turn to talk and particularly when she's answering a question which requires some defense, Hillary leans her head and neck backwards (and sometimes her whole torso too).






This backwards head/neck tilting configuration sends signals of arrogance. Recall the old colloquial, "looking down your nose at him" - a strong signal of a patronizing emotional tone.



In this moment condescending feelings are heightened even further with the addition of bilateral partial eyelid closure despite the presence of an upward contracted forehead.

These three nonverbal signals clustered together have a particularly strong distancing effect.






In this context, another distancing amplifier is a sideways turn (rotation) of the head/neck in conjunction with the backwards tilting.












Prolonged eyelid closure also amplifies an arrogant attitude, further distancing the middle third of the electorate - those who may - or may not be considering voting for Hillary in 2016. 







Words alone will not make others trust you. And skilled body language is not simply a few hand gestures used here and there at the right times. If Mrs. Clinton wants to win the White House next November, she simply must nuance her nonverbal behavior to a much greater degree.


See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3263: Barack Obama on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" - The Sarcastic Bobble Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3127: Hillary Clinton's Press Conference and a Body Language Down-regulator of Sincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3169: Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez regarding the Death of Freddie Gray 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3207: Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3134: Ted Cruz to Announce his Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Race - Why He Will Never Win 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2952: Kmart's "Not a Christmas Commercial" - No Place for Arrogance 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3019: Bill Cosby, Rape Allegations, AP Interview 

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3263: Barack Obama on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" - The Sarcastic Bobble Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)



President Obama appeared on The Daily Show last week. Of course there was a multitude of body language signals displayed by both men. However one displayed by Barack Obama when Jon Stewart asked about the Nuclear Arms Agreement with Iran - is very revealing, fairly common and yet rarely discussed.

Beginning at 7:21, Mr. Obama continues, ".... and when you hear the critics talk about, 'Well, it's a bad deal, we coulda, coulda got a better deal', you then ask them, 'Well what represents a better deal? What is it that you think, ah, could happen?' Typically they're vague and the fall back on, 'Well, if you'd, ah, beat your chest a little bit more and [pauses] .....' "

When he says, ".... more and ..... (and during a bit of the pause afterwards), we see Mr. Obama's whole torso oscillate back and forth. Though to some this may look like an example of a "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" (SRHW) - it's not. This is its nonverbal cousin known as a "Sarcastic Bobble" - which has similar but important physical and emotional distinctions. The Sarcastic Bobble involves primarily the torso (although of course, there is a secondary head movement) - in contrast to the SRHW which usually (although not always) is primarily a head-neck phenomena (see links below). In addition, the SRHW is typically expressed with a more rapid movement (higher frequency) vs. the Sarcastic Bobble.

The Sarcastic Bobble, as its name suggests, is a sardonic body language expression which mocks another person or group. In this context, Mr. Obama is belittling many in the American Republican Party - who oppose the Iran Nuclear Arms deal. To nuance this further, the Sarcastic Bobble is usually seen when mocking: hubris, naïveté, over-simplification, inexperience or lack of insight. It's important to note, this illustrator is, of course, SUBJECTIVE with respect to the person expressing it. Not surprisingly, the Sarcastic Bobble is not rapport-building, but rapport-destroying. It should essentially never be used during negotiation or when trying to build coalition - except perhaps to point out opinions regarding a third party who is not present.

This behavior cannot be accurately captured in a still image - please view the video to appreciate it in a dynamic context.



See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3262: Donald Trump, Breast Pumping and Donald's "That's Disgusting"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2506:  Barack Obama, the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and  Retaliation Against Syrian Poison Gas Attack  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2561: President Obama's Self-Righteous Jaw Wiggle

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1923:  Hillary Clinton's Body Language re: Syrian Government -  The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2982: Politicians Should Never Do This If They Want To Be Elected - Hillary Clinton's Body Language Faux Pas  Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3169: Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez regarding the Death of Freddie Gray

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3141: Carly Fiorina "Higher than 90%" Chances She's Running for President  

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3262: Donald Trump, Breast Pumping and Donald's "That's Disgusting" - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





Donald Trump faces yet another controversy which highlights his low empathy quotient. A few years ago during a deposition, a member of the opposing counsel (Ms. Elizabeth Beck) asked to take a break so that she could, in private, use a breast pump. A partial description of her point of view of this incident is included within Jimmy Kimmel's video (above). Ms. Beck recounts Mr. Trump screaming, "You're disgusting! You're disgusting!" She also describes the Trump's face growing red and him displaying what is a "Finger Point, Hand-Chop" followed by "he ran out of there". This verbal-nonverbal cluster display is indicative of anger - not disgust. Mr. Trump has a habit of mislabeling emotions.

Intriguingly (particularly since this incident took place during a deposition), when in the context of being confronted with possible deception, a finger-point hand-chop is also highly consistent with lying. 




Those people who say, "Mr. Trump speaks his mind", may be surprise to discover that of the four video examples Kimmel includes within this video (when Trump is saying, "... disgusting ..."), only the one shown here (left) also includes a facial expression with some component of disgust (although most of this expression is feigned disbelief).


When the verbal language and the nonverbal language are in disparity - it's the nonverbal which always projects the truth. Twenty-five percent does not sincerity make.




Disgust with contempt (here contempt is the greater of the two)






















Disgust in the context of a poor social smile (aka pseudo-smile, false smile, fake smile, etc.)

Note the asymmetry of Trump's mouth. Asymmetrical facial expressions are very often insincere. Exceptions to this good rule-of-thumb include those seen during partial emotional suppression - as well as when the emotion is beginning or ending.







This image also captures disgust with contempt - again in this example, contempt is the greater of these two similar emotions.














A great example of pure disgust.






















As do icebergs - so often social smiles have a much greater underlying emotional component. This poor false smile attempts to camouflage a very large disgust component.

Always remember, sincere smiles are pure - while social smiles are mixtures.










This image captures Mr. Trump in a trifecta moment of disgust, contempt and bemusement.



















See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3261: The Killing of Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer and a Sociopath's Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3257: Donald Trump at the Texas-Mexico Border - Body Language of a Hyper-Alpha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2782: Hillary Clinton dodges a shoe - Body Language ... and Not 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3218: Jeb Bush Formally Announces His Candidacy for President 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3245: Gov. Scott Walker Jumps into the 2016 Presidential Race - Body Language Amplifiers and Misdirection 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3200: Martin O'Malley announces Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Race - Body Language of Emotional Processing 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3172: Jameis Winston, the NFL Draft, Body Language and Predicting Violent Behavior 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3131: Kim Jong-un, his Uncle Jang Song-thaek and a Warning sign of Potential Violence 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3261: The Killing of Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer and a Sociopath's Smile - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





Today Jimmy Kimmel unloaded on Dr. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota Dentist who killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe recently. In his monologue, Kimmel said what a lot of people were thinking. 

From a nonverbal communication perspective, Walter Palmer gives us a very public example of an insincere smile. Now, the man is a Dentist, so perhaps he wants to show off his own teeth. Yet because of his presumably detailed knowledge of the human mouth and its surrounding and associated physiology - he should absolutely know that his smile, although a pretty good social smile (aka false smile, fake smile or pseudo-smile) - it is indeed INSINCERE.

Sidebar - what are two of the fundamental characteristics of a sociopath? (Antisocial Personality Disorder):

1. Chronic Insincerity

2. Chronically low or absent Empathy




















If we look closely at Walter Palmer's face we see his eyes are partially closed - which is required for a smile to be sincere (aka Duchenne Smile). Yet all partially closed eyelids are not the same. Upon closer scrutiny we can see that although there is horizontal wrinkling/creases of his lower eyelids, there is a lack of the deeper concave-up furrows which are transiently seen and are required in the context of a sincere smile (with a possible exception of his right eye on the lower image).

Moreover, even if such deeper concave-up furrows were present, the configuration of the Minnesota Dentist's mouth negates any possibility of sincerity.

Note the bias toward lateral vectoring of Palmer's mouth corners. Such primarily sideways movement certainly allows increased visibility of more teeth - but the relative lack of mouth upward movement is crucial and precludes sincerity. Again, this is a pretty fair social smile. Had this controversy concerning the apparent illegal killing of Cecil the Lion never occurred, most would look at this picture and say to themselves, "This looks like a fairly friendly guy".

Indeed, those who have "a good smile" are usually envied and - all other things equal - considered more attractive and friendlier. Additionally, those who project good social smiles when needed (e.g., posed professional photos and in advertising) are common. Yet to slice this nonverbal nuance even thinner, others who display an insincere smile in many contexts - and relatively chronically - are suspects for being sociopaths. Such behavior is by definition chronically insincere. These are but two photos of Walter Palmer (statistically, a small sample size) are posed for advertising (e.g., not candid, daily, random moments).

What is your gut reaction to Palmer's smile now that you know what he has done? Is your assessment of his sincerity influenced by whether you are sympathetic to wildlife - or you're a hunting enthusiast? It should NOT be. There is objective value to learning body language. It's a profoundly valuable objectivity tool which, when learned and used accurately, allows for much greater nonpartisan evaluations, when as human beings we all are inherently biased the vast majority of the time.



See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3260: Cara Delevingne vs. Emila Clarke in an Eyebrow-Off (plus some Schwarzenegger and Gyllenhaal) Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2508: Anne Frank, Sincere Smiles and Emotional Comfort

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1858:  What the Eyes Do - Transitioning from Mild to Severe Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2733: A Neuroscientist who's a Sociopath

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3133: The Red Flag of Robert Durst's Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3010: McStay Family Murders - Body Language Signs of a Sociopath
 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3260: Cara Delevingne vs. Emila Clarke in an Eyebrow-Off (plus some Schwarzenegger and Gyllenhaal) Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





Last month Cara Delevingne and Emila Clarke had an "Eyebrow-Off" on The Graham Norton Show. Now Emila is a bit older and with more acting experience - yet the contrast in their forehead and eyebrow expressiveness is profoundly different in this highlight - why? Because Cara Delevigne's forehead is fairly heavily treated with Botox.

The assertion that Botox treatments in relative youth will prevent wrinkling as one ages, has little scientific basis. Those who most enthusiastically endorse such "treatments" are the physicians who financially benefit from these procedures. However the reason it is discussed here is to contrast the diminished expressiveness with those who are treated vs. the untreated.
 


Left eyebrow elevation in a nonverbal signal of doubt.











 


Both eyebrows are drawn together and vectored downward. Also there is a slight lip pursing, a suppressed smile together with nasal flaring.

This projects signals of anger mixed with a plan of action.






Now certainly any good actor can elevate their eyebrows without (or barely) contracting their forehead - however those who undergo Botox injections do this far too often. It's a result of upper eyebrow over-action which comes about when the forehead is trying to be contracted and it's unable to do so. Consequently, those with Botoxed foreheads will often give the appearance of fear or rage.





Incredulity mixed with a mild amount of Contempt















The left eyebrow this time - with more disbelief















Emotional pain associated with empathy













Sadness with a component of fear

Fantastic Elevated Central Forehead Contraction with inner eyebrows vectored upwards.

Mouth slightly opened with corners directed down





Actors who are treated with facial Botox are doing themselves - and their audiences a great disservice. The same is true for the rest of us. Emotional expression is fundamentally human. Those who seek to be less expressive when it's normal and healthy to convey emotions - are chasing low empathy and sociopathic role models.

In the words of Julia Roberts, "I want my kids to know when I'm pissed, when I'm happy and when I'm confounded."


On a side note, another fascinating body language tell is seen earlier in this video. Notice that after Jake Gyllenhaal jests, "My mom said, 'Your eyebrows are BIG! That's not MY son!' " - Arnold Schwarzenegger twists the ring on his right hand. Gyllenhaal's innocent humor gave the former California Governor anxiety - bringing back memories of the very public and painful disclosure of his son via an extra-marital affair. Twisting of a ring is a very common nonverbal MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) and anxiety tell. The timing of Gyllenhaal's Joke - followed by Arnold's act - is suspiciously circa simultaneous. They are linked in cause and effect.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3259: Barack Obama responds to Mike Huckabee's Holocaust Reference

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3133: The Red Flag of Robert Durst's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3074: A Body Language Tell of Bad Actors and .... 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3116: Leonard Nimoy and Disbelief - Body Language of Spock 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2244:  Taylor Swift's Body Language, Botox &  Anger on 60 Minutes 

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3259: Barack Obama responds to Mike Huckabee's Holocaust Reference - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





Earlier today, while in Ethiopia, President Obama was asked about Mike Huckabee's Holocaust reference. The former Arkansas Governor and 2016 Presidential Candidate had said over the weekend that President Obama's president’s policy would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Mr. Obama went on to criticize several republicans and his accompanying nonverbal signals provide some excellent teaching moments.


Here President Obama is biting his bottom lip (0:16) as he responds to former Governor Huckabee referencing the Holocaust. Depending on the other nonverbals with which it is clustered, lip biting can have several different meanings. In this context, Mr. Obama's lip biting signals a hesitancy to speak as well as a very careful word choice (anyone who listens only to this passage would easily discern his reluctance).



This moment showcases an excellent example of incredulity (although this is certainly not the only facial expression associated with disbelief). Note the President's forward head tilt clustered with an elevated central forehead contraction (CFC) with a mild mouth pseudo-smile. This is seen during 0:42 - 0:43 as he mentions Ted Cruz's (who he didn't mention by name) suggestion that he's the leading state sponsor of terrorism.




At 2:18 we see the President express a clear example of a facial expression of contempt for Mr. Trump as he speaks about the businessman's questioning heroism of John McCain.

What is the secondary emotion displayed here?






See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3258: Hillary Clinton speaks out on "inaccuracies" of private email controversy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2596: What Motivates Ted Cruz's Regarding Anti-Obamacare, Body Language Tells on Jay Leno

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3250: Donald Trump regarding John McCain: "He's no hero" - Body Language Tells us what he really thinks

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2641: John McCain with Protesters in Kiev, Ukraine - You Feel Safe There?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2508:  Surfer Kelia Moniz and a  Classic Flirtatious Body Language Display

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2951: Miss America 2015 - Sincerity, Surprise and Botox


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3258: Hillary Clinton speaks out on "inaccuracies" of private email controversy - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





On Thursday night, The New York Times published a story suggesting that Hillary Clinton was the subject of a criminal probe regarding her use of her personal email account during her tenure as Secretary of State.

On Friday morning, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD, ranking member on the House Oversight Committee) then went on record saying, "I spoke personally to the State Department Inspector General on Thursday, and he said he never asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email usage.  Instead, he told me the Intelligence Community IG notified the Justice Department and Congress that they identified classified information in a few emails that were part of the FOIA review, and that none of those emails had been previously marked as classified."

Early afternoon on Friday, the Justice Department released a statement saying, "The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a CRIMINAL referral."

Rep. Cummings' Team then posted the following statement, "We note that none of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings, but some included IC-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network."

About 90 minutes later, Hillary Clinton as show in the above video says, "First, I wanna say a word about ah, what's in the news today. And ah, it’s because there have been a lot of inaccuracies and as Congressman Cummings made clear this morning, maybe the heat is getting to everybody. We all have a responsibility to get this right. I have released ah 55,000 pages of emails. I have said repeatedly that I will answer questions before the house committee. We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right and I will do my part."

Now, since this website and post are critiques of body language and not of politics, forget for a moment your political leanings and conduct a thorough thought experiment. Also assume she is innocent of any wrong doing. If you were Hillary Clinton's chief adviser - and if you could rewind this moment and have her conduct herself any differently, would you? Your answer should be unequivocally, "Yes".

Throughout her whole statement, Mrs. Clinton has a barely contained smile. This is an awful expression to project in this context for at least two reasons. If you believe Mrs. Clinton is innocent, her partially suppressed smile transmits a smug emotional tone. Smug may be okay if you're a staunch supporter, however if you're even slightly biased toward Mrs. Clinton having done something wrong (deliberately or otherwise) with regards to her using private email accounts and/or private servers while she was Secretary of State, then her gloating (smiling out of context) by some will be misinterpreted as guilt (e.g. a thinly veiled variation of a duping delight).




From a political view-point, such smiling out of context will only serve to decreases her "likability" and increase her "unfavorables". Additionally and most importantly, such mass-misinterpretation will amplify the problem of a public perception Mrs. Clinton has regarding trust. This was a fundamental fumble of crisis management. 



Examining this video further, there were several high confidence nonverbal signs displayed by Mrs. Clinton. Did you catch them? Here are two:



Early in this video, Hillary Clinton grips the (lateral) sides of her lectern. More specifically, this is forward grip (towards the audience). John Kennedy was the first to do this frequently - although he did so because of pain associated with his chronic back injury. Bill Clinton later resurrected this nonverbal display to his advantage - for it projects confidence. It's extremely difficult for a person to use this particular body language (a MAP surrogate [Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier]) for more than a second or two if their confidence is low. Mrs. Clinton's confidence is high. In isolation this hand-to-lectern configuration conveys strength and assertiveness without arrogance or condescending emotional tones. She is well advised to use this more often (too few women use this body language display) - but WITHOUT the smug smile. Without a smile, such a nonverbal cluster would have projected an excellent alpha-beta emotional tone. Both signals together are however are hyper-alpha and thus she destroyed some rapport among the swing voters during this crucial soundbite.



At the very end of this video, as she says, "... and I will do my part", Mrs. Clinton displays a "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle".

A self-righteous head wiggle (SRHW) is nonverbal display characterized by a side-to-side movement of the head and neck (although there may be torso, whole body and jaw components present as well). It's usually of moderate to high frequency with varying degrees of amplitude. It's displayed by a person who in a high-alpha mindset with strong opinions and of high confidence. The accompanying vocal qualities are virtually always congruent with these emotions. There is no accurate way to capture this body language in a still image - so please view the video to appreciate it in a dynamic context.

There were several other high-alpha nonverbals in this video. What else did you see?

Take home point: Hyper-alpha body language is fundamentally polarizing.

Mrs. Clinton:  If you continue this and variations of it, the dems will like you more, the republicans will like you less - and you will push away much of the swing voters. Yes, be confident. Yes, be assertive. Yes, be strong. But never be smug, never arrogant. It's not just words which convey such emotions - it's profoundly and most importantly pivotal upon your nonverbal signals. And just "winging it" will decrease your likability and increase your unfavorables. Even Meryl Streep isn't that good.


See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3257: Donald Trump at the Texas-Mexico Border - Body Language of a Hyper-Alpha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3075: Franklin Graham (Billy Graham's son) Blasts Duke University for Muslim "Call to Prayer"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2506:  Barack Obama, the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and  Retaliation Against Syrian Poison Gas Attack

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3152: Hillary Clinton First Campaign Ad - "Getting Started"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3218: Jeb Bush Formally Announces His Candidacy for President

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3150: Rand Paul Announces His Candidacy for Presidency of United States - Body Language Truth Check 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3154: Marco Rubio's Body Language Tell 


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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3257: Donald Trump at the Texas-Mexico Border - Body Language of a Hyper-Alpha (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





Donald Trump jetted to the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday. The republican candidate who's leading most of the polls appeared in this video with the Mayor and the City Manager of Laredo.

It's of course common knowledge that Mr. Trump more than any other candidate - republican or democrat - spouts dramatic and aggressive language. What many don't realize however, is that his body language is also more invasive and provocative. Verbal and the nonverbal signals are intertwined. Assertive and hyper-assertive verbal language are linked to alpha and hyper-alpha body language. Passive and demure verbal language are also yoked with beta body language. The trick is (most of the time) to strike a happy medium. There are times of course, when projecting dominance and strength are important - but (surprise) Donald (way) over-does it.

What follows are five nonverbal hand-arm displays (Illustrators and one [Self-Pointing] sometimes also transitions to a MAP [Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier]) which are all common in political candidates (and other hyper-alpha personalities). These are much more plentiful (in the political context) prior to primaries - when republicans are running to the right and democrats are leaping left. After the primaries though, the nonverbal (and verbal) language is nearly always less extreme.



The "Dominant Spider"

This is much more common in males and is extremely frequent in those with narcissistic personality disorder.










"Palms Forward"

A refuting and dismissive illustrator


Much more common in those with impulse control problems









"Palms Down" illustrator

When the fingers are separated - the palms down is less alpha vs. when the fingers are together.









Depending on the frequency and context, "Self-Pointing" may of course be indicative of self-deprecating emotions and messages. Trump however is using the self-point in a braggadocio manner here. During this press conference (during 4:53 - 4:54), he even refers to himself in the third person. In most scenarios, frequent self-pointing is highly correlative with narcissism.





Of the five examples shown here, the "Hand Chop" is the most frequently seen illustrator among alpha personalities - and there's certainly no exceptions when it comes to politicians (the palms down is a close second).








It's important to show strength, confidence and assertiveness yet without being hyper-aggressive, arrogant and condescending. Hyper-alpha body language will polarize. Those who already agree with you will be drawn towards your cause. All others will run in another direction.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3256: Katie Holmes on Jimmy Fallon - Body Language Tells

Ted Cruz to Announce his Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Race - Why He Will Never Win - Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3134: Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3154: Marco Rubio's Body Language Tell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3227: Bobby Jindal's, "... I am tanned ..." remark - What does his Body Language tell us? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3200: Martin O'Malley announces Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Race - Body Language of Emotional Processing 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3235: Jim Webb Announces His Presidential Bid .... and some Body Language Weakness 

Dating & Romance Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1010:  What Makes the Twinkle in Her Eye? - Rashida Jones 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3256: Katie Holmes on Jimmy Fallon - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





Katie Holmes was a guest The Tonight Show yesterday. As with most highly skilled actors, when they are "in character" - their anxiety tells are relatively minimal (although not absent). However when actors are not acting and thus "just being themselves" - their anxiety is just as frequent and obvious as it would be for any average person.

Ms. Holmes' conversation with Jimmy Fallon provides for us several excellent body language tells - what follows is a partial analysis.


During 0:06 - 0:10 (and again from 2:06 - 2:11), Katie is seen twisting her ring on her right hand. This is an example of a MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) surrogate display and is a very common anxiety tell.

It's referred to as a surrogate because the ring is a worn object - rather than part of the body.




During 0:29, Ms. Holmes displays a (bilateral) Hair Adjust Behind the Ears (HABE) configuration. More commonly this is performed on one side. Each example is indicative of anxiety (with the bilateral correlative with a higher amount).

Yet we can slice this thinner - this is an example of a nonverbal "Alpha Up-regulator". It is seen as the psyche is dialing up an alpha characteristics while down-regulating beta qualities. Put another way - despite the fact she has anxiety, Ms. Holmes is entering into an "Assertiveness Mode".


During the 1:22 - 1:24 segment, Katie reaches across her body with her right hand to scratch behind her left ear (on the mastoid process).

Reaching across the body is significant for increased "blocking" (temporarily forming a protective barrier) and thus a greater level of anxiety is signaled here vs. if she had scratched on the same side. Additionally, this specific nonverbal MAP has a high correlation with "honest anxiety" and a low correlation with deception. (e.g., this is rarely a lie tell).



During the 1:43 - 1:44 segment, we see another MAP surrogate (and anxiety tell) - very similar to the ring twisting showcased above - here Katie adjusts/fondles her bracelet.








These examples are shown in the context entertainment during a low-consequence interview. Yet these same tells are displayed repeatedly on the campaign trail, in the board room, the court room, in high-level negotiations and during virtually every sales scenario - and very often they are contradicting the verbal language. When verbal and nonverbal communication are not congruent - the nonverbal always is telling the truth. How many did you miss this week?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3255: Donald Trump and a Body Language Signal of Social Fear and Hesitancy

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1209:  Even Putin has Anxiety -  False Tie Adjust

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3078: Tom Brady, Deflategate, Deception and Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2408:  Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via  Senators Graham & McCain -  Republican Body Language in Response to  President Obama's National Defense University Speech

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2831: "Walking Contest", Anxiety, Mirroring and False Intimacy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3134: Ted Cruz to Announce his Candidacy for 2016 Presidential Race - Why He Will Never Win

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3002: How NOT to sit in the Oval Office - Mitch McConnell ... your Beta is Showing

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