Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3060: Bradley Cooper, Air Guitar, Neil Young & the R2E2 Expression (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

This is a hilarious and talented guitar solo by Bradley Cooper - albeit with an air guitar - rocking out to an amazing rift in Neil Young's "Down by the River" with Jimmy Fallon last night. Cooper gave us a great example of a Rationalization-Rapport-Empathy-Expression (aka R2E2) during the 2:12 - 2:13 mark in the above video.

Cooper displays a Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression as he says "Louder". The R2E2 is a nonverbal signal which may manifest as a microexpression or near microexpression as well as for even longer durations (here it lasts for about 2 seconds). Most body language rookies will mistake the R2E2 with the expression of disgust - yet they have very different meanings. Do you know how to tell the difference?

We all make this facial expression from time to time during the day without realizing it - yet whenever you see the R2E2, you must ask yourself ....
  • What's the underlying emotional cause?
  • What exactly is this person trying to convince me of?
  • Why are they trying so hard to convince me?
  • Do they believe what they are saying?
Although not always, an expressor of the R2E2 is very often trying too hard to rationalize. They're trying to convince us and themselves. They will have an idea or an action which they don't fully believe in - and they're trying to recruit us as co-rationalizers. It's an attempt to up-regulate our empathy and gain our rapport.

Again - we all use the R2E2 occasionally (and I for one WANTED the louder guitar with Bradley's solo) but it's the over use which should set off alarm bells. The R2E2 is dramatically over utilized with sales professionals, law enforcement, politicians, attorneys and even physicians (like driving a car with only 2 gears - there's much less finesse).

It cannot be stressed enough that, as with any body language which may build rapport, what works well in small doses will backfire with larger ones - and the R2E2 is no exception. Rapport will be destroyed. Be very wary of those who over-use the R2E2 - lest you fall victim to manipulation - or worse.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3059: Kiss Cam - Benny the Bull to the Rescue - Distancing Behavior and Tongue-in-Cheek

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2341:  Angela Bassett Interview -  Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression  R2E2, Body Language & "Olympus has Fallen"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2193:  Keira Knightley interview re: "Anna Karenina" -  Body Language of "R2E2" Facial Expression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2669: Sara Bareilles and the Body Language of the Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2818: The Caring Hand, Palms Up and Building Rapport

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2982: Politicians Should Never Do This If They Want To Be Elected - Hillary Clinton's Body Language Faux Pas

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2928: Oscar Pistorius, Hugging, Affection and Sincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2411:  Zimmerman's Attorney, Mark O'Mara's -  Body Language Faux Pas in Court