During this "Face the Nation" interview, as Senator Tom Coburn (R - OK) speaks about the probability of de-funding Obamacare as well as the recent shooting massacre at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, he displays multiple examples of a common body language signal indicative of anxiety - "False Mastication". Also known as false chewing, this dynamic facial expression is a signal of a dry mouth. Most people are aware that nervousness dries out the mouth, lips and throat. The motion of the jaw, tongue and cheeks stimulate the salivary glands which in-turn produce saliva and thus help to alleviate the "cotton mouth". Although it can begin as a deliberate act, as with most nonverbals 99.9+% of the time this is initiated subconsciously.
Even though he is a U.S. Senator, an experienced speaker and a physician, he still is of course a human being - so Dr. Coburn is displaying a nonverbal sign that we all occasionally display. Recognizing anxiety signals and other body language tells will give you an unprecedented look into others' thoughts and particularly their emotional-minds. Few other interpersonal skills will give you such magnitude of advantage.
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