The above video segment of Oprah Winfrey's interview of Raven-Symoné went viral a couple days ago. It contains a multitude of teachable body language moments, one of which is known as the "Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression". Abbreviated R2E2, this highly characteristic nonverbal is often erroneously confused with irritability, disgust, contempt or anger by body language rookies.
At 0:42, Oprah asks, "So, when did you know who you were? And what you were?"
Raven-Symoné then responds, "In that topic of dating and in-love [Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression from 0:51 - 0:53] I knew when I was like twelve ...." Here we see it for a duration of about 2 seconds - yet it can be even more short-lived (e.g., a microexpression).
We all use the R2E2 expression. It is seen in emotional settings when a person is trying to gain another's rapport, to get another to feel what they're feeling, in an effort to up-regulate another's empathy and in trying to recruit the other person as a co-rationalizer. In the course of normal human behavior, we all do this - we want other people to see our point-of-view - but as with all nonverbals, be careful when you see it over-used. The person who is chronically insincere will almost seem to have the R2E2 as their default setting. Excessive R2E2 is thus is big a red flag for a person in emotional settings where they're trying to hard to convince themselves - and thus it's a manifestation of emotional dissonance - but it's also very common in deceptive, manipulative and sociopathic personalities.
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