Friday, June 29, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1910:
Natasha Smith Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square -
Post Assault Interview

Natasha Smith is an incredibly brave woman. As a British journalism student who was on assignment in Egypt recently, her work took her to Tahrir Square. Tragically she was savagely attacked and sexually assaulted by many men there - and then rescued by others who put their own lives' in harm's way. 

Here is a portion of her interview within the above video with accompanying nonverbal analysis:

2:19 - 2:28:  In this segment, note Natasha's left eyebrow elevated throughout - a clear body language signal for disbelief/incredulity. She can't believe that she gets special treatment because who she is and others are being ignored in large numbers.

"There's been all this fuss because I'm British, and I'm young and I'm a girl. But this is happening to women elsewhere constantly."

In this next portion (2:29 - 2:42); note Ms. Smith's Central Forehead is Contracted (CFC) throughout - which is a nonverbal signal of pain - either emotional or physical (although this must be accompanied by a mouth expression of pain, fear, or sadness - if there is even a trace amount of a "smile" - it's a false smile - beware - a CFC with a smile is a huge warning sign). This pain may be being experienced actively, being relived in the memory, or felt secondarily via empathy. Along with this CFC, the medial (closer to the center of the face) portion of her eyebrows are elevated, while the lateral portions (closer to her ears) move slightly downward (depress). Here the brave journalist is displaying strong empathy for the acts of violence, emotional trauma and lack of justice she feels towards other victims. 

Also note that for a very brief moment (2:41*), a microexpression of anger is displayed as her eyebrows not only pinched closer together, but also depressed, particularly medially.

"And we don't hear about that - we don't hear stories of Egyptian woman or African women or women across the World who ... who will often ...often suffer these attacks and worse (left eyebrow shoots up again for less than a second in disbelief), worse attacks and they'll be no (*) justice done."

This is a very illustrative interview for the emotions and body language signals of incredulity and  empathy as well as a microexpression of anger. Ms. Smith is a very courageous woman and her professional voice, insight and deep emotional understanding of others will serve her and the public well.