Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2442:
Nancy Pelosi's Subtle Contempt Display
Body Language Regarding "Who Cares?" Retort
(Video, Photos)

When asked about Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) opinion regarding the Supreme Court of the United States 5 to 4 decision to overturn the "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded with, "Who cares?"

As she answers, Ms. Pelosi shows a subtle display of contempt. The image to the left and the one below were captured from the video above less than one second apart (both at 0:09 second mark). Here the former Speaker of the House's body language, paralanguage and word choice were all highly congruent. She is sincere in her feelings contempt - and thus not trying to hide it.

Of course, a huge fraction of the time people DO try to conceal their true feels - and in such scenarios most of those who are listening and watching will mistakenly put most or all of the weight on the words spoken while ignoring the nonverbal signals. Doing so is a big mistake.

So if someone is saying "all the right things" but their body language is disparate - always believe what their body language. The question is - can you accurately interpret what their nonverbals are saying?

We don't look directly at someone we don't like, don't trust or don't respect. Here the journalist asking the question is essentially acting as a momentary surrogate for Rep. Bachmann. Here Ms. Pelosi turns her head & neck while displaying a prolonged blink. These alone would indicate contempt - however the subtle snarl & lip elevation on Nancy's left (upper lip) leaves no doubt what she is feeling. Take note this movement has primarily an upward vector (in contrast to regret which is mostly lateral).

Although it is difficult to see, Ms. Pelosi's left nostril also momentarily flares.

See also:

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

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

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 457:  Salman Rushdie's - and a Contempt Amplifier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2350:  Contempt - both dramatic and subtle - Backpedaling and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323:  Jodi Arias Murder Trial  The Body Language of Unilateral Regret vs. Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2373:  We Feel Contempt towards  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev  What Does His Body Language Reveal?