Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2332:
Instinctive Body Language, Comforting an Infant & Empathy

This is of course an older image of Katie Holmes (shown here as a positive example), daughter Suri and then-husband Tom Cruise. When adults holds any infant - they naturally tend to keep them significantly more often over their left sides - closer to their hearts. It is instinctive ... most of the time (and it is seen when holding baby animals as well). This is especially true in the first moments of being held, if the child is in pain (emotional or physical), if the adult holding the child is a parent (particularly if it is their child) or if there is danger present - in short, any scenario that would normally engender greater empathy.

When an adult holds a child more often over their right chest (regardless of the adult's handedness) and further away from their body (most importantly the child's head) - this is a strong signal of less empathy in that moment. If this body language configuration is seen repeated pattern - it is a strong nonverbal warning sign of a person with a low empathy base-line (low empathy quotient) and significantly less affection for that child. Red Flag time. 

Another strong signal of empathy seen here is Ms. Holmes' full palm contact with Suri. The more often we would see a "finger/thumb tip" only contact - this would also send similar signals of lower empathy and lower affection.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1808: Time Magazine's Breast Feeding, Dr. William Sears, and Attachment Parenting Controversy - Shows Emotional Dissonance at Best

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1911: Preening as a Signal of Affection-Attraction

Body Language Secret # 105: Parental Affection and Love

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1423: Head First Affection &  Head Surrogate Hugs

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 # 2258: Prince Charles worried about Harry?  What his Body Language Says

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1866: Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth are Engaged -  An Affection-Love Sincerity Signal