Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 345:
Dialing Up Her Alpha

This is an image of Ms. Sharon Bialek immediately after her press conference two days ago when she accused Republican Presidential Nominee Hopeful, Herman Cain of unwanted sexual advances - which she alleges occurred in 1997. This particular hair-adjust-behind-the-ear gesture (HABE) is extremely common. It belongs to a set of behaviors known in the Body Language world as a Manipulators, Adaptors or Pacifiers (MAPs). These terms are synonyms and in general, are types of self-touching. They are indicative of increased anxiety at the particular moment of and immediately preceding their display. The hair-adjust-behind-the-ear is seen almost exclusively with women and gay men although straight men will occasionally exhibit it. Specifically, when you see the HABE maneuver, the subconscious is calling on the psyche to "dial-up" the Alpha personality qualities (e.g. Less Beta and more Alpha). The emotional mind is trying to be more assertive. This is a fantastic and very consistent signal telling you the person perceives themselves at a disadvantage, less confident, and out of their element. While MAPs do not indicate deception, their frequency increases at times of deception - especially hand-to-face MAPs. Never self-touch, particularly your face when speaking. Interestingly, audience members will perceive speakers as less credible when they commit MAPs. The HABE has several more stereotypical male analogs. Would you recognize any of these masculine displays?