Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1834:
Signals of Emotional Processing & Emotional Overwhelm

Sammie Hicks is a ten year old girl who lost her hearing in both ears as a toddler. Recently she underwent a cochlear implant which has allowed her to hear in a near-normal capacity. This video shows the moment when the implant was switched-on and her body language-emotional response immediately afterwards. Her tears are met with a sudden mouth covering and eye covering - first to a lesser degree and then more dramatically. When people experience or witness something dramatically good or ill, it takes a while to emotionally process this new information. This is often nonverbally expressed with mouth and bilateral eye covering (a variation of a Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier aka MAP). In Sammie's case this is experienced directly, but it can be experienced secondarily via empathy. In fact, when you watched/listened to video for the first time you probably covered your mouth in a similar fashion, with your eyes tearing-up, contracted your central forehead, tilted your head/neck to one side and touched your upper chest/neck with your dominant hand - all clustered signals of strong empathy.

See also:

Secret # 1212: Sudden Mouth Covering

Secret # 221: Spontaneous Mouth Covering & Empathy