Monday, December 31, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2250:
Deal Reached on "Fiscal Cliff",
Barack Obama's Body Language
and the "Split-Finger Fastball"





This morning Barack Obama gave another speech regarding the Fiscal Cliff. It he expressed optimism - and after a report in the late afternoon pointed towards failure, it appears with less than three hours to go some semblance of a deal has been reached. In his speech this morning, the President displayed a nonverbal illustrator which he uses well - the Split-Finger Fastball (note the video above at 0:42). This body language gesture derives its name because of its similarity to the hand configuration adopted during that particular baseball pitch. It is a very good alpha-beta hybrid. A less aggressive cousin of the "Dominant Spider", it has the advantages of being assertive, authoritative and confident without being overbearing (e.g. over-alpha). In contrast, far too many politicians and others in leadership positions use the index finger (forefinger) point without knowledge or empathy skills of just how cross-culturally offensive and rapport destroying it is.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1871: Barack Obama Explains His "Private Sector is Doing Fine" Comment - The "Dominant Spider" vs.The "Split-Finger Fastball"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2161: Body Language of the Third Presidential Debate -  Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - What Did They Do With Their Hands When They Weren't Talking?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2132: Variations on a Theme - The Palm-Forward Dominant Spider (The Claw) vs. The Split-Finger Fastball

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2078: Mitt Romney's Taxes and Harry Reid's Accusations

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2121: Mitt Romney's 47 Percent, his Body Language - and the Hidden Video

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2052: Dialing Up Empathy and Sincerity - Mitt Romney's & Barack Obama's Response to  Aurora, Colorado "Batman Shooting"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1915: Mitt Romney's Response to Supreme Court's Decision on "Obamacare"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2061: David Cameron Defends London Olympics against  Mitt Romney's Remarks - Alpha Dominance and Illustrators - Matching Hands and Feet as Sincerity Amplifiers



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Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2249:
The Most Misinterpreted Facial Expression of 2012 -
McKayla Maroney's "Not Impressed"
Body Language-Facial Expression

























The most misinterpreted facial expression of 2012 was indeed McKayla Maroney who is shown here (with the facial expression in question) during the medal ceremony for the gymnastics Vault. The World-Class gymnast won a silver medal at the London Olympics in this event  (Ms. Maroney, of course, also contributed to her team's Gold medal performance). Although there can be no doubt that she is disappointed not to have won a gold in the vault - which based on her peak 2011 achievement when she won the World Championship in the vault was what she and many expected - her asymmetrical lip purse facial expression in this image was and continues to be dramatically misinterpreted. And that's what body language is all about - accurately discerning what a person is feeling-thinking in real-time.

Most everyone, including the press has completely misinterpreted her facial expression. Examples of these MISTAKES include of course "not impressed", contempt, disgust, pouty and scowl. There are multiple memes of her all over the internet and she has made the most of this mass misunderstanding (demonstrating a great self-marketing understanding). McKayla has even posed with Barack Obama in the Oval Office - where she and the President memed herself. However few if any of these memes even remotely resemble(d) the body language-facial expression which this world class gymnast's language displayed that day on the medal platform in London.

McKayla's asymmetrical lip purse expression in this Olympic moment is a classic nonverbal indicative of openly (non-secretively) deciding on a course of action. There is no disgust, contempt, sadness, scowl, pout, anger or any of the other negative emotions falsely assigned being displayed here. The next time you're in a restaurant, look around at those who are gazing at their menu's - or in any grocery store - you'll see a multitude of examples of McKayla's expression in a short time.

This is yet another example of how body language, emotions and motives are completely and routinely misinterpreted. The Emperor's New Clothes in a 21st century, internet-viral scale. 

See also:


Analysis # 551: Openly Weighing a Decision

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2248:
Barack Obama's Body Language regarding
the Republicans & the Fiscal Cliff on
"Meet the Press"





When it comes to body language, nuance is crucial. How good are you at spotting subtle nonverbal displays which - if seen and accurately interpreted - will give you a dramatic insight into the minds of others? Most people are nowhere near as observant as they believe. And almost none have an even rudimentary nonverbal vocabulary.

During the 0:53 - 1:04 segment of this video, the Mr. Obama says, "The way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected - that seems to be their only over-riding, unifying theme." Within this segment, for about 3 seconds (beginning at about the 1:00 mark), the President's head tilts back as he says, "...that seems to be their only over-riding, unifying ..." This backwards head tilt is a subtle nonverbal signal of contempt for the Republicans

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2236: John Boehner & the Fiscal Cliff Plan B Failure - Body Language of Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2245: The Fiscal Cliff Grows Closer & Tempers Fray -  Barack Obama's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2235:  Barack Obama and John Boehner - The Fiscal Cliff and Contrasting Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2224: Barack's Body Language - It's (NOT) good to be back in Michigan  President Obama Campaigns for Fiscal Cliff Resolution

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2223: Dick Armey's Body Language and the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228: Jay Carney's Body Language - Contempt disguised as a Sniff .... for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2246: Harry Reid vs. Mitch McConnell on the Senate Floor - Their Body Language Betrays How they Feel about Probability of Fiscal Cliff Deal 



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Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2247:
Barack Obama's Body Language on Meet the Press
"That was the worst day of my Presidency"





In his "Meet The Press" interview this morning, Barack Obama displayed a classic body language-facial expression cluster. Near the end of the above video Mr. Obama says, "...you know that was the worst day of my presidency and it's not something that I want to see repeated." Immediately prior to this statement, during a verbal pause (0:53 - 0:55 segment), the President looked down to his right, partially closing his eyelids and clenched his jaw. His lips also initiated an Inward Lip Roll (ILR) - but because his jaw/teeth were closed tightly, this ILR could not be completed - thus there is a "bunching up" of the tissue around the lips (peri-lip tissue) - and his lips grew very thin - stretched in a near-perfect horizontal line. Simultaneously Barack's chin wrinkled and his masseter muscles (jaw muscles) bulged outward. This nonverbal "cluster" (multiple body language displays which are simultaneous or very nearly so) is a classic beacon for anger-frustration. The President, of course, was not responsible for what happened - yet, like anyone in his shoes, since it occurred on his watch, he feels a greater anger, frustration, and responsibility to prevent a similar event than he otherwise would. 

Note: The President is described at looking "down to his right" during the above described segment. This is the quadrant where 95+% of right-handed people look during moments of significant emotion (usually sadness or anger). I have noted before, that although it's common knowledge Barack Obama is left-handed, his brain "behaves" more similarly to that of a right-handed person - and thus his eye-movements are also consistent with the classically (normally)described right-hander's as well. This raises the very real importance of "norming" when assessing body language. Therefore the President is right-handed - but he has ambidextrous tendencies.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2138: President Obama's Anger-Frustration During Debate -  An Under-Appreciated Body Language Signal

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2167: Colin Powell Endorses President Obama - His Body Language Display of Anxiety, Contempt & the  Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1163: The Importance of "Norming" in the  Evaluation of Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238: Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2233: Body Language, President Obama, 20 Children  and the Tongue-in-Cheek





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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2246:
Harry Reid vs. Mitch McConnell on the Senate Floor -
Their Body Language Betrays How they Feel about
Probability of Fiscal Cliff Deal





After meeting with President Obama Friday afternoon [along with Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and John Boehner (R-OH)], U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Harry Reid (D-NV) went back to the Senate floor to address their colleagues and the American people regarding a possible eleventh hour fix of fiscal cliff financial mess. Their hand positions betray their relative feelings regarding the specifics of the Bill - which are as yet undisclosed.

Note that both of Harry Reid's hands are very visible, gripping the lectern - and more specifically are forward on it (during 0:27 - 0:40, 0:44 - 0:46, 1:22 - 1:35) rather than what is usually seen when the lectern is touched (holding the sides closer to one's torso). This signals his relative optimism - both in the proposed plan itself as well as its chances in passing into law. Reid is being assertive, showing alpha emotional tone and displaying confidence

In contrast, Mitch McConnell has left hand in his front pants pocket (during 0:37 - 1:02 and 1:21 - 1:22). This body language akin to a "turtle with his head in his shell" signaling less optimism towards the bill passing and/or the Kentucky Senator feels that the plan currently in the works is not one that he and his fellow conservatives will think is fair or favorable. A man (or woman or child) with his (her) hand(s) in his pockets is not relaxed - although he probably wants you to think so. Rather he's in a moment of emotional dissonance - part of him wants to be there - but another part does not. It's a non-assertive, beta, lower confidence nonverbal. While some people may "do this all the time" - and this may be viewed as being normal behavior for them - this is a particular signal which tends to transcend the principle of body language "norming". If you want to show confidence and be more confident - keep your hands out of your pockets!

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2074: Mitt Romney and Senator Kelly Ayotte - What Body Language Tells?

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 831: Santorum's Hands and the Alpha-Beta Hybrid

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1143: Santorum Video Analysis - R2E2 and other Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2208: President Obama & Mitt Romney in the Oval Office -  Multiple Body Language Tells

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 913:  Low Confidence, Low Trust and Demure

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1712: Negative Nonverbals and The Recency Effect -  President Obama's Campaign Ad "Go" 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2245: The Fiscal Cliff Grows Closer & Tempers Fray -  Barack Obama's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150: Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate
 


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Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2245:
The Fiscal Cliff Grows Closer & Tempers Fray -
Barack Obama's Body Language





The fiscal cliff is closer with each passing hour and President Obama, who normally rarely shows any anger, displayed some yesterday during his press conference. Barack Obama is very skilled at the use of nonverbal hand illustrators. For example, he makes good use of both the two-handed & one-handed basketball steeple, the loose-fist-thumbs-up point, the claw, the split finger fastball, etc. during this appearance in the White House Press Room. However when photographers and others were making excessive noise, his he broke into an index-finger point (2:02). This indicates a momentary heightened alpha state in emotional-tone in a person who seldom uses this nonverbal and should, to the astute body language observer, indicate a shortening of his fuse. This somewhat subtle but highly significant nonverbal signal indicates anger.

Anyone can spot extreme changes in emotion. However everyone should endeavor to nuance their ability to see inside others' emotional brains - for therein is great advantage.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152:  Second Presidential Debate - 6 October 2012 - Barack Obama's Duping Delight - Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" - Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2160: Index Finger (Forefinger) Pointing in Politics - The Third (and Final) 2012 Presidential Debates - Body Language of Being an Alpha Male without Offending 

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1224: Two Handed Index Finger Point 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1918:  Vladimir Putin - Pointing with Pen Surrogates  Sharp vs. Blunt 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1652: Crude Oil, Speculators and Counting with Thumb First 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2777: Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, John McCain and John Boehner

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1705: Fran├žois Hollande & the French Presidential Election  The Pistol Steeple and Emotional Dissonance 

Negotiation Secret # 339: Dwayne Wade to David Stern, "Don't Point at Me! I am not your child!"




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Friday, December 28, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2244:
Taylor Swift's Body Language, Botox &
Anger on 60 Minutes




Taylor Swift shows many body language signs in this 60 Minutes interview. What follows are a few of these tells. At the 4:36 - 4:39 and again during 4:56 - 5:00 mark, Lesley Stahl presses Taylor Swift regarding the Kayne West incident in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards. Stall recounts this moment to her audience and says Swift "she threw a little vulnerability at me" and even mentioned that "...look at her, she's biting her - lips..." Here she certainly misread Taylor's emotion. Stahl was closer but still missed the mark when she described Taylor's response as a "gentle steeliness". In nonverbal terminology this display was an Inward Lip Roll (ILR). It is an anxiety-related body language-facial expression - which more specifically is a signal that the psyche is calling on inward strength to avoid the display of a negative emotion - most commonly anger (which is what Taylor Swift was feeling). Less often it is seen with significant sadness and is often exhibited as a person fights back tears or just prior to crying (ergo, it was very frequent in the post-Sandy Hook School Shooting interviews). It is also a body language which is seen when there is mental focus during a physical act

The drink taken by Swift at the 4:30 - 4:33 mark is an anxiety-related stalling nonverbal which gives the singer time for emotional composure and to formulate her specific response.

During 1:44 -1:46, after Stahl recounts Swift's multiple verbal reminders of her own lack of a boyfriend, Swift laughs, then covers her mouth. This is a clear nonverbal signal of embarrassment - either from the laughter itself, or, here - from Stahl's attention to Swift's preoccupation of her relationship status. 

Note also during the 2:08 - 2:10 segment as she says, " ...I'm good though, I'm good being alone, like I have a routine ...." and raises her forehead to give emphasis to her statement. This is known as an Illustrator. Although most mentions of illustrators in the nonverbal communication literature are hand & arm related, this forehead emphasis signal is an extremely common example. However note that the bottom half of her forehead does not contract with the top half. And upon closer inspection the top half, while it contracts, is hypo-reactive. Short of a very specific bilateral trauma (surgical or otherwise), the only explanation for this is Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA). Here Botox renders the forehead under or non-expressive - and significantly less communicative. Botox's benefits should be weighed against this rarely mentioned "side effect". The few who consider it often dismiss this effect as minimal - however they run the risk of ending up like a character in Swift's songs - misunderstood,  apathetic and wooden.

"Rationalization is the great human sport" (King).

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1171:  Not So Fast Swift .... Taylor's False Surprise

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238: Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's  Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2229: President Obama and a Body Language Signal of  Holding Back Grief, Tears & other Negative Emotions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2232: Vicki Soto, a Hero, Body Language  and a Mother's Love & Affection -  Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1859: The Prince is Angry at the Queen's Jubilee 

Negotiation Secret # 146: Anthony Weiner's Inward Lip Roll

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 377: Big Ben's Body Language - Rothlisberger's Inward Lip Roll with a Bitter Smile





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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2243:
The NRA, Asa Hutchinson's Body Language,
Speaking out of the “Side of the Mouth”
and the Importance of "Norming"





In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut - Former congressman, DEA Administrator and U.S. Attorney Asa Hutchinson has been asked by the National Rifle Association to lead its plan to put armed guards in every American school. In the above interview Mr. Hutchinson speaks to CBS News anchors Jeff Glor and Rebecca Jarvis about this idea. The importance of "Norming" in the assessment of body language is showcased here. Asa Hutchinson consistently speaks with a conspicuous bias to the right side of his mouth - not just throughout this video, but in all videos - and has probably done so throughout his life. For him this is normal behavior. If we did not take the time to evaluate past speeches, television appearances, etc. and assess the prevalence of this nonverbal display, we would make false conclusions regarding his facial expression and the corresponding emotional states. 

If a person only occasionally speaks out of one side of their mouth, this is a strong sign of insincerity. There are often components of anxiety present as well. To the body language beginner, this asymmetrical speaking style can resemble contempt. Contempt looks somewhat different though and although it can be a prolonged nonverbal display, it's usually is seen in short bursts, even microexpressions.

Mr. Hutchinson has this speaking idiosyncrasy. He makes this expression nearly continuously at least to some degree. For him, this particular nonverbal does not signal contempt, anxiety or insincerity. With the help of a speech therapist, this habit can be minimized and unlearned. Such would be a wise course of action, particularly in children and those early in their careers. For even though few people can read body language accurately, all things being equal - most everyone is left with an uneasy feeling when they are spoken to out of the "side" of the mouth in this asymmetrical fashion. They often won't even notice this sign, they are simply left with a "gut feeling". In this case their gut feeling would be wrong. So one may not have ill-intent or ill-will, but such body language will give people the wrong message.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1163: The Importance of "Norming" in the  Evaluation of Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1889: Vladimir Putin & Barack Obama at the G-20

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2191: Anne Hathaway's Impersonation of Katie Holmes on SNL -  "Norming" Katie and Variations on a Theme

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238: Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2233: Body Language, President Obama, 20 Children  and the Tongue-in-Cheek



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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2242:
Rihanna & Chris Brown at Lakers Game
Body Language of Dominance, "Ownership",
Narcissism and Submission


























On Christmas Day for the first time Rihanna and Chris Brown displayed the fact openly that they are back together as they watched the Lakers defeated the Knicks, 100 to 94. This after Chris Brown plead guilty to acts of domestic violence (felony assault) against Rihanna for which he is still on probation. While every man, when walking hand-in-hand with his significant other occasionally walks ahead or faster - and the fact Rihanna is wearing 5 inch stilettos perhaps slows down her walking speed, this body language is very troubling

Albert Camus once said, "Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend". This quote springs to mind when seeing Brown's body language. One who, when holding hands, consistently walks in front (which thus takes into account the exceptions, e.g. in a hurry, etc.) signals a strong nonverbal signal of alpha personality and dominance. More troubling still it is a body language tell of narcissistic personality disorder.

Understandably, whoever allows her/himself to consistently/often to be led in tow, as Rihanna exemplifies here, signals a very beta, submissive, overly-demure personality. More to the point (and here through very obvious retrospective insight), displays a body language signal of she-who-will-be-"owned". This, and other similar post-abuse "return-to-the-one-who-beat-you" behavior, follows an unfortunate but well-established statistical pattern.

Among other things, this body language is a warning signal that violence will again rear its ugly head. The recidivism of domestic violence is very high. So to any girls or women who may read this - beware of this nonverbal, lest you too become a victim.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 341: Body Language of Narcissism, Parking and Cell Phones

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1912: Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye Matt Lauer's Body Language of Insincerity

Nonverbal Communication, Negotiation and Dating Secret # 111: Body Language and the Great Phone Tell 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 113: What Blagojevich's Body Language can Teach Us

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 359: Last Stop for the Cain Train - Herman's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1874: Body Language of a Bad Handshake - Political Prevalence

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1503: The Body Language of the Conventional Steeple vs. The Basketball Steeple -  Seeking a Balance
























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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2241:
Body Language of a Senator's Mug Shot -
Michael Crapo's DUI




















United States Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on Sunday 23 December for DUI in Alexandria, Virginia. Crapo was pulled over after allegedly running a red light. His blood alcohol level was tested at 0.11 (anything 0.08 or over in Virginia is considered intoxicated). Subsequently he has released a statement of apology to his family and constituents - and states he is taking full responsibility for his actions and is expected in court on 4 January 2013. 

In the above arrest photo "mug shot", Senator Crapo's body language-facial expression displays subtle disgust. We cannot say what or who at which his disgust is directed - however it's a safe bet it's towards himself. His slight nostril dilation (flaring), subtle mid-face tension as well as his mild backwards tilt (chin-protrusion) is a nonverbal cluster of disgust.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1841: Disgust in Response to Rep. Barney Frank's "Hoodie" Joke

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1496: Tiger Woods' Body Language of Disgust & Biofeedback

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2045: Body Language of Disgust in New Delhi

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2164:  Mitt Romney's Disgust Display regarding  President Obama's Relationship with Putin and Russia -  ".... I'll give you more flexibility after the election ...."

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 273:  Anger and Disgust in Azerbaijan

Negotiation Secret # 72 & 73: Christine Legarde's Disgust & Incredulity




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Monday, December 24, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2240:
Body Language of Extreme Joy-Happiness of Basic Needs -
Aleksander Gamme's - World Explorer





The unabashed and extreme joy felt and displayed by world explorer Aleksander Gamme as he discovers different food treats in supply stashes is infectious. It is very human, even if you don't speak Norwegian, to smile and laugh as does Aleksander with each new find. Laughter and joy are contagions as are anger, fear, and sadness. We laugh more at a funny movie - or cry at a sad portion - when there are more people in the theater. A sincere smile expressed to a pre-verbal infant virtually always results in a like expression "mirrored" back to us. Much of this behavior can be explained via the presence of a class of brain cells known as "Mirror Neurons" - and collectively they comprise the Mirror Neuron System (MNS). A better name be Empathy Neurons - for they play a very large roll in this crucial human quality and emotional phenomenon. The relative lack of mirror neurons or even subtypes of the MNS will most certainly in the not-too-distant future be able to be quantified and explain specific disease and learning disabilities. 

Merry Christmas and thank you Aleksander.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1717: Why is Yawning Contagious? What is its connection to Autism? and Empathy?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2196: Cross Species Body Language Contagious Yawning of Dogs Mirroring Humans An Indicator of What Dog Lovers Already Knew - Canine Empathy

Sincerity Secret # 20: Fiero Feels Good, Caroline Wozniacki & Our Mirror Neurons

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216: Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language - Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 2091: Sincere Smiling (a la' Blake Lively) and Laughing - Reduces Anxiety and  Heart Rate, Boosts Immune System and Relieves Pain

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2139: Drew Brees, Johnny Unitas, 48 Straight and Sincere Smiles

Relationship Secret # 2: We are Programmed to Smile Back 

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 353: Brad Pitt's Smiling Eyes - Sincere and Insincere Smile

Dating & Romance Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1010: What Makes the Twinkle in Her Eye? a' la Rashida Jones





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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2239:
John Boehner's Body Language-Facial Tic of Anxiety vs.
Another Facial Expression of Contempt





Many people have inquired about John Boehner's very rapid "smile-like" expressions recently. In the context of negotiations with President Obama regarding the "Fiscal Cliff", he has received more press than usual of late. One of these very evanescent facial expressions appears in the above video at the 0:06 mark. Note its symmetry - with equal elevation on both corners of the mouth. If one were inexperienced at reading nonverbals - or had not watched the U.S. Speaker of the House very much, they may mistake this rapid expression for what is known as a "duping delight". While we all display the duping delight expression occasionally - and Mr. Boehner is no exception (see also: Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2236: John Boehner & the Fiscal Cliff Plan B Failure - Body Language of Duping Delight), this particular expression is something different - a form of a facial tic. John Boehner displays this body language-facial expression very often (and is seen many times in the above segment). It tends to increase with Mr. Boehner's anxiety.

Note another very rapid, but asymmetrical pseudo-smile the congressman makes at the 0:07 mark. The quick "smile-like" elevation occurs much more predominantly on the left side of his mouth. While this asymmetry/mild difference may seem insignificant, this second particular expression conveys a very different emotion - one of contempt. This extremely rapid contempt display is one of many examples of emotions conveyed via microexpressions. Most of the Ohio republican's mouth movements (other than speech) in this segment are consistent with his anxiety-related idiosyncratic facial tic and not contempt related. However this body language is one exception.

See also:

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 457: Salman Rusdie and a Contempt Amplifier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1890: Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa - while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking  "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2172: Governor Chris Christie's Body Language of Contempt -  Microexpressions and Subtle Displays 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228: Jay Carney's Body Language - Contempt disguised as a Sniff .... for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff 

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 931: Harbaugh's Fear and Anxiety 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1901: Maria Sharapova's Anxiety

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1876: Noomi Rapace Body Language - Anxiety & False Mastication




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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238:
Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's
Boyfriend's Body Language -
Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy






Sandy Hook Elementary School Teacher Lauren Rousseau is one of the six adults who were killed in last week's mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Ms. Rousseau's boyfriend Tony Lusardi is interviewed by CNN reporter, Poppy Harlow. Like any highly emotional moment, this video is laden with many nonverbal signals. 

At several times between 2:06 - and 2:23, Mr. Lusardi displays an Inward Lip Roll (ILR). The lips entirely disappear as they are gently to moderately forced between teeth which are "biting down". The inward lip roll is a very common nonverbal display indicating the psyche's attempt to suppress negative emotions - usually either grief/sadness or anger. It's often seen when people are attempting not to cry. The ILR can also be displayed during a relatively focused physical action.

At several times during this interview, e.g. during the 2:28 - 2:30 mark, Mr. Lusardi's grief grows and his central forehead is momentarily contracted (CFC). The central forehead contracts (with a relaxation of the peripheral forehead) when a person is in emotional pain or physical pain. Intriguingly, this pain may be experienced directly, as in a grieving boyfriend - or indirectly via empathy, as Poppy Harlow displays with her own CFC during the 2:31 - 2:33 mark. She further displays her desire to comfort Mr. Lusardi and her anxiety that this creates, as she rubs her own thigh during this same time. Empathy for another person's pain is one of the most fundamental characteristics of what it means to be fully human. 


Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231: A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2232: Vicki Soto, a Hero, Body Language and a Mother's Love & Affection  - Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2229: President Obama and a Body Language Signal of  Holding Back Grief, Tears & other Negative Emotions 

Nonverbal Communication Exercise # 2012: Got Empathy? An Appeal to Asma al-Assad  Diplomacy through Unconventional Channels

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1499: Bill Clinton's Empathy for Eric Fehrnstrom and  Mitt Romney ... What's Your Sincerity Quotient?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1525:  Up for Auction, Up for Interpretation -  Edvard Munch's "The Scream"






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Friday, December 21, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2236:
John Boehner & the Fiscal Cliff Plan B Failure -
Body Language of Duping Delight




At the 0:57 mark of this video, John Boehner (R-OH) displays a great example of a "Duping Delight" nonverbal. It is very brief and indeed is one of many emotions conveyed through what is known as a microexpression (Ekman). If you freeze-frame during this segment (it may take several attempts to get the exact moment), a very evanescent smile can be seen. In its cluster-context, this body language-facial expression strongly suggests that he is withholding some information. Thus it implies that the Speaker of the House believes that his "Fiscal Cliff  Plan B" failed for different reason than the one of which he spoke.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 140: Duping Delight Microexpression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2050: George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox News - Microexpression of Contempt and  Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2093: Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye - Matt Lauer's Classic "Tongue-in-Cheek" and Duplicitous Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152:  Second Presidential Debate - 16 October 2012 - Barack Obama's Duping Delight - Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" - Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2182: Jennifer Granholm & Newt Gingrich the Day After the 2012 Election - Governor Granholm's Duping Delight and Suppressed Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216: Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language - Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2187: Paula Broadwell with Hearsay on Benghazi Attack - Excerpt from University of Denver Speech and a Body Language form of "Duping Delight"
 














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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2235:
Barack Obama and John Boehner -
The Fiscal Cliff and Contrasting Body Language





Use of the hands as "Illustrators" during speech can go a long ways to detecting and projecting sincerity - as well as confidence. It also contributes very significantly to developing rapport. Comparing yesterday's two press conferences - the President's (a portion of) vs. The Speaker's brief press conference, both provides significant contrast.

Note how Barack Obama uses his hands in conjunction with his speech. No over dramatic movements are displayed, in either speed or amplitude. Nor is there any self-touching (Manipulators, Adaptors, Pacifiers - aka MAPs). One particular nonverbal Mr. Obama uses a fair amount here is termed a "Basketball Steeple" - with his hands held and moved as if holding an invisible basketball. This sends signals of confidence, authority, with open-mindedness. Moreover, it's extremely rare to see any president displaying a "Conventional Steeple" - which when used, must be very briefly - lest is send signals of arrogance and condescending emotions. Neither man used the conventional steeple in either of these videos.

Contrastingly, John Boehner barely used his hands at all. This works against him. It doesn't engender rapport or sincerity. It also makes a person less believable in addition to projecting less confidence - which, after Speaker Boehner withdrew his "Plan B" for the Fiscal Cliff due to lack of support, suggested the Ohio Congressman knew his plan lacked significant backing. Of course, just using one's hands and using them to illustrate well are at two ends of the body language spectrum. Many people gesticulate in a haphazard manner - which will backfire. The basketball steeple is but one of a multitude of nonverbal tools.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1503: The Conventional Steeple vs. The Basketball Steeple -  Seeking a Balance

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 901: The Over-used Steeple - Body Language Backfire in Berlin

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2063: Mitt Romney and Ed Miliband - Under Used and Backfiring Uses of Hands

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2223: Dick Armey's Body Language and the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228: Jay Carney's Body Language - Contempt disguised as a Sniff .... for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2224: Barack's Body Language - It's (NOT) good to be back in Michigan President Obama Campaigns for Fiscal Cliff Resolution 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2190: President Obama's Body Language - Press Conference 14 October 2012 - Defense of Ambassador Susan Rice

 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2234:
Leon Panetta, David Petraeus & Paula Broadwell -
Secretary of Defense's Body Language





Leon Panetta, the U.S. Secretary of Defense is asked in this 18 December 2012 video at the National Press Club, "As former head of the CIA, please explain why General Petraeus was forced to resign instead of a lesser punishment" - alluding to David Petraeus' extra-marital affair with Paula Broadwell. The SecDef then laughs openly and makes lite of the question. Few would spot however, the evanescent anger he displayed at the 0:02 mark. Although it was not as short-lived as a microexpression, it was brief. This moment is captured in the imaged below, and this body language-facial expression was formed just as he heard the initial portion of the question, "As former head of the CIA ...." His lips immediately morphed with a thinning and stretching in a horizontal line (almost disappearing). This nonverbal display is highly indicative of the emotion of anger. Secretary Panetta did not want to be asked about the CIA since he currently holds a different office. Once the question was fully asked however, he thought the question was considerably naive and thus truly funny. His laughter is very sincere.

See also:

Body Language Analysis # 1659: Leon Panetta on the U.S. Military Scandals in Afghanistan

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1859: Prince William is Angry at the Queen's Jubilee

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1060: Belichick's Body Language of Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 273: Anger and Disgust in Azerbaijan

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 817: Anger and Steroids in Milwaukee

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1863: Maria Sharapova's Body Language Lips of Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2138: President Obama's Anger During Debate - An Under-Appreciated Body Language Signal

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2189:  Jill Kelley's Body Language - Dialing Up Her Alpha ... 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2186: Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus, Body Language and the man who would be President ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2185: Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus, an Alpha Personality and a Telling Body Language Signal ....
 
Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2188: Paula Broadwell on Petraeus Relationship - Body Language of Prolonged Blink,  Hard Swallow and More Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2187: Paula Broadwell with Hearsay on Benghazi Attack -  Excerpt from University of Denver Speech and a Body Language form of "Duping Delight" ... 





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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2233:
Body Language, President Obama, 20 Children
and the Tongue-in-Cheek





In the video above of President Obama's eulogy for those innocents killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, he names off all twenty of the children, "...Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeline, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emily, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Benjamin, Avielle, Allison ....", he then says, "God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory ..." Just after the President says, "memory" (above at 1:15 and imaged at bottom of post) he displays a "Tongue-in-Cheek" nonverbal on his left side. 

The tongue-in-cheek is a facial expression-body language which, when clustered with nonverbals not seen in this example, will indicate other emotions - such as self-righteousness, smugness, "I just caught you" (e.g. gotcha!), "I just won", telling a lie, anger , alpha-dominance and a variation can even signify a sexually provocative display. None of these apply here though. In the nonverbal cluster-context seen in this Newtown address, this display is associated with anxiety and is an act of self-pacifying/self-comforting. Indeed it is a body language form of a MAP (Manipulator, Pacifier, Adaptor) or "self-touching". For most people, delivering a eulogy can certainly be an anxiety provoking experience - even if you're the leader of a country. After such an emotionally wrenching shared-experience that this mass murder was - we all need to be comforted and reassured.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231: A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2215: Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio Joke and Hint regarding the  2016 Presidential Race - "Tongue-in-Cheek" Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1892:  Harry Reid, "That's a Clown Question Bro!" -  Tongue in Cheek

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2093: Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye - Matt Lauer's Classic "Tongue-in-Cheek" and Duplicitous Smile

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1153:  President Obama's Tongue in Cheek - in Response to the "Birthers"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2085:  Dina Eastwood - Tongue-in-Cheek Variant - Sexually Provocative

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2232: Vicki Soto, a Hero, Body Language and a Mother's Love & Affection  - Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2229: President Obama and a Body Language Signal of  Holding Back Grief, Tears & other Negative Emotions 


The Complete Eulogy can be viewed below.






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