Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3370: Michael Fassbender and an Under-recognized Body Language Tell (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Graham Norton and his guests never disappoint and the video above is no exception. Kate Winslet's story is hilarious - and both she and Norton example a multitude of body language tells. However highlighted here is one nonverbal signal of Michael Fassbender's - which is very often missed and/or over-generalized.

Note that as Fassbender speaks about an "awful" best-man speech, he rubs his right thigh with his hand. Importantly - this progresses forward to and then includes his knee - and even a bit below the knee (4:14 - 4:15).

This self-touching/self-massage is an example what is termed a Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier (aka MAP) and indicates a heightened level of anxiety.  Yet we can further nuance this however - for when the rubbing of the thigh progresses forward to include the knees - this signifies a particular hesitancy towards full disclosure. It's often accompanied by facial blushing and what many would characterize as a "sheepish" smile with similar vocal qualities.

In this example Mr. Fassbender's embarrassment is expressed verbally as well as with his paralanguage - yet in everyday scenarios (e.g., not on a talk show, in front of a crowd, etc.) it's often not obvious at all.

It's important to stress, that although Mr. Fassbender's an outstanding actor and he gets paid very well to "pretend" to the world - when he's just being Michael his body language tells are just as disclosing as everyone else.

This highly specific body language sign is particularly helpful during voir dire, depositions, negotiations, personal relationships, high level vetting, sales scenarios and in interview/interrogation settings.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3369: University of Missouri Protesters Obstructing the Press

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2702: Barack Obama - Anxiety and Non-engagement; Body Language Signals

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3256: Katie Holmes on Jimmy Fallon - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3273: Marco Rubio, The Republican Debate, Monotonous Body Language and Anxiety

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3135: Ariana Grande Does a Spot-On Celine Dion Impression on Jimmy Fallon - Body Language Signals

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3210: Matteo Renzi, Christine Lagarde, Barack Obama and Up-Regulating Alpha Emotions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3165: Bruce Jenner's 20/20 Interview, Part I 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2701: Cuddling, Romance, Affection and Foot-Shunning