At the Republican Debate last Thursday, Chris Christie and Rand Paul sparred on issue of balancing national security vs. American civil liberties. Mr. Paul didn't like it when Mr. Christie made his Senate Subcommittee responsibility sounded like he was playing in a sandbox. And the New Jersey Governor didn't like it when the Kentucky Senator reminded the American voters of him hugging President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Between the two of them however, Chris Christie is much less skilled at camouflaging his anger.
The image below was captured at the 3:01 mark just after Paul references Christie and Obama embracing. Although the resolution is not optimal here, this cluster of nonverbal signs is easily seen:
- Inner (medial) eyebrows directed downward
- Partial closure of the eyelids
- Lower lid tension
- Flaring of the nostril
- Tense "mustache area"
- Evanescent thinning of the lips
- Horizontal configuration of the lips
- Clenching of the Jaw and its muscles (An excellent example displayed a second earlier at 3:00)
Going a step further, the ability to recognize the nuances of one's own anger signals - as anger crescendos (and hopefully very early in this process) - then responding by modifying the nonverbal response - is of profound practical value - for it is truly a form of biofeedback. Those who are skilled at this use their emotions to their advantage - rather than reacting to them. It puts them in the driver's seat.
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