Mikhail Khodorkovsky was just released from prison in Russia. Along with two members of the band "Pussy Riot" and thirty members of a Greenpeace protest ship, Vladimir Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky on three days ago. The former Oil Tycoon landed in Berlin on Sunday.
After spending almost ten years in prison, Mikhail Khodorkovsky displays a somewhat ironic body language tell. However as with all ironies, they cease to be ironic when you dig deeper. Mr. Khodorkovsky is a confident man.
At multiple times during the above video (best exampled during 1:51-1:55), Mr. Khodorkovsky displays a somewhat subtle example of the nonverbal signal known as a "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" (SRHW). The self-righteous head wiggle is one form of nonverbal swagger. A similar body language display may also be seen in the jaw and/or torso. These may occur in conjunction with the SRHW or they may be seen in isolation.
The self-righteous wiggle nonverbal signals, as their names imply, are high frequency side-to-side movements of the head/jaw and or torso. It is important to not confuse these with the head wag of "no" (although negative words may be spoken). Those who display the SRHW feel that they are alpha. In addition to their high confidence, they also feel very passionate about the subjects which are usually verbalizing - although it is not uncommon to see this body language without any verbal message.
It is interesting to note that the frequency and volume of the spoken word often increase during the SRHW display. A forward motion component (in addition to the side-to-side movement) is often seen as well - which adds a reprimanding/scolding layered meaning. A backward motion is seen when there is added disgust and/or incredulity.
If the self-righteous head wiggle (or any other alpha nonverbal) is over-used (which occurs often and is very easy to do), it will destroy rapport. Most of those displaying alpha signals are not very self-aware thus such habits will back-fire. However Mikhail Khodorkovsky's (subconscious) use of the SRHW is subtle and will be missed by all but the most astute observers.
What other nonverbal signals do you see displayed in this short video?
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