Monday, December 15, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3039: Selfies and Smiling at the Sydney Hostage Crisis (PHOTOS)

When asked about the great lessons of life, a 99 year-old patient of mine once said, "It's never about you. Even when you think it's about you, it's not about you."

The tragic deaths of Katrina Dawson, 38, and Tori Johnson, 34 at the hands of a deranged gunman, Man Haron Monis, in the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, Australia only a few hours ago should remind us all of the sanctity and fragility of life. Yet a few people turned this into an opportunity to take "selfies" and proceeded to post them on various social media.

Of course everyone is entitled to feel joy-happiness of varying degrees for whatever reason they wish - however this does not make it healthy behavior.

Taking photos of tragic events is very difficult to perform if one is emotionally healthy - just ask any photojournalist.
Yet taking images of oneself in association with others' suffering demonstrates a very low (or absent) empathy quotient and moreover is narcissistic and very often is sociopathic.

Another way to frame this, is that smiling out of context always raises a red flag and should cause you to dig deeper. It may be just signaling who took the last cookie - or as in the above examples, considerably worse.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3038: Johnny Manziel's first NFL Start - a Representative Body Language Moment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3007: Man Flags Down Reporter, Confesses to Shooting, Carjacks Reporter's Vehicle, then Crashes it into a Gasoline Tank - Smiling Out of Context

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2769: Smiling Out of Context in a Mass Shooter - T.J. Lane's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3027: Janay Rice interview on "Today" regarding Ray Rice's Assault

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2972: Rachel Respess, Destrehan High School Teacher Arrested and Smiling Incongruent with Emotional Context

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2733: A Neuroscientist who's a Psychopath - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3010: McStay Family Murders - Body Language Signs of a Sociopath