Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2919: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - Friends? - will they Hug it Out? (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Earlier today, Hillary Clinton appeared at a book signing on Martha's Vineyard. While there, she briefly addressed the controversy of her relationship with Barack Obama and her distancing language she used in a recent interview in The Atlantic magazine. In it, she voiced her disagreement with the President regarding his policies and decisions made about Israel, Iran, as well as arming Syrian Moderates who oppose Bashar al-Assad.

Beginning at 0:50 Mrs. Clinton says, "We agree. We are committed to the values and the security of country together. We have disagreements as any partners and friends as we are might very well have, but ah, I'm proud that I served with him, and for him and I'm looking forward to seeing him tonight."

In this image, taken during the 0:58 segment (just as she says "... friends ..."), notice how widely Mrs. Clinton's eyelids are opened. One of the most common and reliable signals of insincerity is overly frequently contracting the forehead muscles. Often co-existing with this is a similar behavior of the upper eyelids.

This is a great example of over-compensatory and over-emphasis behavior where, if sincerity were indeed present, neither the forehead nor upper eyelids would be contracted so much or so often. These nonverbals are analogous to a child using many exclamation marks at the end of a sentence. Bad actors and many politicians (and no political party is excluded) - are both examples of the chronically insincere - and thus will display this body language frequently in their efforts to convince others.

Two seconds later (1:00) the former Secretary of State displays a prolonged eyelid closure. Notice that her forehead is contracting upward while her eyelids are closing - pulling in an opposite direction of the forehead. This forehead configuration is unnatural during normal eye closure.

Again this isn't a simple blink - but one of longer duration. It is a nonverbal metaphor for emotional blocking and emotional processing. While she is a colleague of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton does share similar goals for the country - she is friendly with, but not friends with the President (and objectively, few people could be friends after vigorously campaigning against each other as they did in 2008).

Do you think that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama will "Hug it out"?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2918: Lauren Bacall, Flirting and a "Come-hither look"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2917: Thank you Robin Williams - examples of a Suppressed Smile and a Bitter Smile - Dead Poets Society

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2783: Hillary Clinton asked again about 2016 - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2569: Hillary Clinton, Visibility, Trust and a Harbinger of 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2855: Hillary Clinton, 2016 Presidential Race and Duping Delight - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2876: President Obama on Key Bridge regarding John Boehner's Lawsuit - "So Sue Me"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2812: Barack Obama to Heckler, "You kinda screwed up my ending, but that's Okay" - Body Language