Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3170: Angry mother beats son for participating in Baltimore Riots - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In a large and uncontrolled event such as a war or a riot, there's often a strong tendency for us to not focus on personal stories. This wide-angle view makes it easier to psychologically tolerate negative events. Toya Graham has for many - particularly parents - profoundly altered this news lens. After seeing her son throwing rocks at police on TV during the riots yesterday in Baltimore, she tracked him down (despite him wearing a black ski mask), physically grabbed him - and chased him home while smacking him multiple times. Graham was praised by Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

Ms. Graham is a mother of six and an assistant manager at an alcohol and drug treatment center. Shocked and angry at what she saw her son doing, she said, "That's my only son and at the end of the day, I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray." She added, "Is he a perfect boy? No he's not.  But he's mine."

From a body language perspective, Ms. Graham also provides some excellent teaching points. Whenever there is tension (especially anger) on the face, there also tends to be tension in the hands. This is particularly true with respect to a "Jaw Jut". Note in both of these still images, Toya Graham's jaw is jutted forward (more so in the second image). Her jaw is also clenched.

Ms. Graham's hand is also configured in a tight, closed-fist. Of course we know that she is beating her son. The nonverbal lesson here - is that very often before someone strikes with a fist (or a knife or fires a gun, etc.), their jaw will momentarily clench and jut forward. This observation alone (particularly in a male) substantially increases the chances of them immediately (or nearly so) behaving violently. If a fist is formed (simultaneously or thereafter) - the odds of assault are even greater. If you see such a nonverbal combination, take heed. Back off, run away and seek immediate shelter and protection. It may very well save your life.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3169: Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez regarding the Death of Freddie Gray

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1918:  Vladimir Putin - Pointing with Pen Surrogates  Sharp vs. Blunt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3133: The Red Flag of Robert Durst's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2933: Will Hayden ("Sons of Guns") Arrested - Body Language of His Mug Shot

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3149: Edward Snowden on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance (HBO) - Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2313: Elisa Lam Video in Elevator at Cecil Hotel - What Her Body Language Tells Us ....