Monday, December 26, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 334:
Fear and Surprise - as Bulls Beat Lakers

On Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Chicago Bulls, 88-87. In this image of the Lakers' Troy Murphy crashing into the court side audience, there are two primary emotions on display. The lady dressed in black, with the long dark hair, immediately to Murphy's back-left (our right) has her mouth opened in the classic oval-round surprise configuration with a dropped jaw. Her eyes are closed in a protective reflex. Surprise is the briefest of all our emotions. If it lasts longer than a couple of seconds, it may very well have a feigned component - or perhaps is entirely insincere. Although it is difficult to see, the man in the white shirt to her left has his eye lids opened wide and his forehead and eyebrows are raised - also nonverbals indicative of surprise.

On the opposite side of Murphy are both a man a woman with their mouth's in a classic fear expression. It is very possible that just prior to this photo, they both exhibited surprise. The emotion of surprise is nearly always rapidly followed by a second emotion - e.g., fear, anger, embarrassment, joy-happiness, etc.