Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 593:
When Disparity exists between Face and Hands -
What to Believe?

When you see contradictory Body Language signals - how should this influence your interpretation? Here, Texas Governor Rick Perry gives us the "Thumbs Up" - which in the many countries and his native U.S. is a universal gesture of optimism during the recent CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. His face however, belies his real feelings (at this moment). His mid and lower face are significantly tightened. Specifically, his lips are thinned and stretched laterally (a signal of anger) while also displaying a slight inward lip roll (anxiety-anger and actively focusing on controlling this). Perry's mouth/lip signs are being subconsciously controlled, while his thumb display is quite conscious. Certainly, debating in a nationally televised political event with worthy opponents is no easy task. I don't know where any politician gets their thick skins; but obviously these nonverbal signals are not congruent. The subconsciously dictated behavior always reflect the person's true emotional state in real-time. Thus, it is extremely difficult to fake one emotion when you truly feel another.