Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Negotiation Secret # 56:
Surprise with a Touch of Fear

Photos of sincere surprise are unusual to rare. In the picture above, representative Debbie Halvorson is experiencing significant surprise as she talks to former President, Bill Clinton. With both surprise and fear the eyes go "White and Wide". That is, the eyelids open so wide, that the white part of the eye (sclera) is exposed above the iris (colored part of eye). With even more extreme surprise, we may have even been able to see the whites below the iris as well. Representative Halvorson's eyebrow and here entire forehead are also raised considerably - both findings consistent with surprise.

Debbie's mouth is primarily that of surprise, being so widely open, but the exposure of her teeth is significant for a partial component of fear. Mr. Clinton is telling her some unpleasant news that has elements of both emotions. Surprise is the shortest of all emotions, lasting only as second or two, and it is often followed by fear, anger, laughter, embarrassment, relief, disgust or some other emotion. This is what's happening here - surprise followed by fear.