Monday, October 24, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 387:
Missy Franklin's Surprise and Disbelief

Here, Colorado teenager Missy Franklin, is shown at the 2011 FINA Swimming World Cup Championships in Berlin, Germany just after she set a World Record in the 200 Meter Backstroke (short course). Her eyelids are opened widely here (and in the split second prior to this, they were  opened even more so) compared to a normal resting state. This is highly consistent with the emotion of surprise. Covering of the mouth conveys a disbelief when witnessing or hearing of something extreme. It can coexist with and can be a signal for - the momentary difficulty of emotionally processing such extreme events. It may also, of course, be seen in a negative context, and was a very common body language sign seen displayed during the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks.