Thursday, November 3, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 271:
Disgust with very little Mouth Component

It is useful to teach body language, as with any subject, one subtopic at a time, but nonverbal signals in the real world rarely occur in isolation, but in clusters - simultaneously or very close in time, with verbals and many other distractions thrown in. Here, Bruce Willis' contempt is difficult for some to see, primarily because he is displaying very little mouth component - the right side is only slightly elevated. What's more visible though is his mid-face tightening, specifically his nostril dilation. His nares are dilated, but more so on his right. This is highly consistent with contempt (unilateral) - and disgust (bilateral). Another subtle and almost never looked for signal seen with both of these emotions is the tightening of the "mustache area" (MA) - Bruce's MA is fairly tense. The closing of his eyelids along with the lowering and coming together of his eyebrows are indicative of disgust and contempt too, but also anger. In this context, the eyelid and brow changes primarily represent anger - since so little lower facial component of disgust-contempt are present. Although this is close to Willis' "Tough Guy" cliche look - there is real emotion here.