When Hani Al-Seba'i said to Rima Karaki to "shut up" in the midst of an Al-Jadeed TV interview - she told him the interview was over and then cut off the microphone of the London-based Islamist.
From a nonverbal perspective, during much of this first third of this interview Hani Al Seba’i displays a conventional steeple at mid-level (in front of his chest). Later, before he returns to this body language signal again he proceeded to display a repeated index finger point at the camera.
Index finger pointing is a universally offensive illustrator (gesture) across all cultures. And the conventional steeple, when displayed for a second or two (but no longer) during a one key moment of a conversation (or interview) to drive home a particularly important issue - can be a precise alpha-assertive tool. However most everyone who uses a conventional steeple - over-uses it. Way over-use it. Thus, what had the potential to be skilled nonverbal moment backfires and not only destroys rapport, but helps to feed the appetite of his anger - escalating it until he tells Ms. Karaki to "shut up". Arrogant, patronizing and condescending nonverbals lead to an up-regulation in these same emotions - feeding the monster.
Another profound take-home point is this: No one, absolutely no one who uses a conventional steeple or index finger pointing has an open mind. At such moments they are absolutely closed.
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