Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3347: Paul Ryan, The Speakership, Four Conditions and One Repetitive Facial Expression (VIDEO, PHOTO)

Tuesday evening, Paul Ryan (R - WI) agreed that he would be willing to accept the position as the United States Speaker of the House contingent on four conditions:

".... Basically I made a few requests for what I think is necessary, and I asked my colleagues, ah, to hear back from them by the end of the week. First, we need to move from an opposition party to being a proposition party. Because we think the nation is on the wrong path, we have a duty to show the right one. Our next speaker has to be a visionary one.  Second - we need to update our House rules so that everyone can be a more effective representative. This is after all, the people’s house. We need to do this as a team. And it needs to include fixes that ensure that we do not experience constant leadership challenges and crisis.  Third - we, as a conference should unify now, and not after a divisive speaker election. And the last point - last point is personal. I cannot and I will not give up my family time [see image below]. I may not ah be on the road as often as previous speakers, but I pledged to try make up for it with more time communicating our vision - our message ...."

It's no secret that Paul Ryan does not want the job as Speaker of the House. It's very difficult to begin with, the republican party is fractured, he very much enjoys his position as the Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee (many would say this is the second most powerful position in Washington) and Paul Ryan has higher political aspirations. The Speaker of the House is a position such that those who hold it acquire powerful enemies - which would make a future run for the Presidency very difficult.

From a nonverbal point of view, although Paul Ryan repeatedly displayed several key nonverbals during this press conference - the most important one was that of regret. This was particularly prominent when he spoke about his last condition - that of family time.

The image below was captured during 1:11. Note his taught and stretched lips along with a primarily lateral and downward vectoring of the mouth corners. Moreover, the downward tilt of Ryan's head/neck, in this context, is a regret amplifier.

In conclusion, although he may become a skilled and/or respected Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan does not at all want the position and his "willingness" to rise to the occasion comes with substantial regret.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3346: Eddie Murphy Makes Bill Cosby Jokes at Mark Twain Prize Ceremony

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2636: Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Pat Murray reach a Budget Agreement

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2145:  Paul Ryan & Joe Biden in Vice Presidential Debate  Post-Debate Analysis on NPR Southern California Public Radio, KPCC

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2149:  Losing Votes with the Double Index Finger Point -  A Faux Pas Nearly Every Time

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2586: Harrison Ford in "Ender's Game" - Microexpression and Macroexpression of Regret - Harrison's Brand and the Stanislavski Method 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2320:  Estonian Skier Andrus Veerpalu  Denies Performance Enhancing Drugs -  What his Body Language Tells Us