Monday, October 10, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 405: Carli Bruni & Dagger Eyes

This is the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his actress-model-singer-song writer wife, Carla Bruni. We've all heard the expression, "If looks could kill", or "She is Shooting Daggers" at him, etc. Here Ms. Bruni is giving us a subtle to moderate example of "Dagger Eyes". Her eyes are opened wider than her non-angry eyes would be and her brows are also elevated. Her lips are stretched/thinned and her mid-face is subtly tightened as well. Ms. Bruni's nostrils are clearly slightly dilated too. All of these are consistent in with anger. 

Most everyone people can spot Body Language signals when they are exhibited in their extreme or nearly so, but I am uterly amazed at the number of educated, skilled and otherwise socially adept professionals who will continuously miss moderate, let alone subtle examples of Body Language. They are truly missing a gold mine of information, for it is in the detection and understanding of these milder examples that you will give yourself a profound advantage. 

Another similarly related issue is the brevity of many Nonverbal signals. Since this is a still image, and not a video - it's impossible to say how long Carla displayed this look. It may very well have been an example of a "Microexpression". Microexpressions are exceedingly common and by definition are very evanescent - as brief as 0.04 of a second. One of the reasons for this is that they are initiated by our subconscious - before our consciousness is even aware of our feelings. While about 1 in 300 people detect these microexpressions naturally, virtually everyone can be trained to recognize them.