Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3505: Barack Obama is Interrupted by Raúl Castro & Aide at Press Conference - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The moment below is a small segment of Presidents Obama's and Castro's joint press conference yesterday in Havana. The Cuban leader was apparently trying to clarify a particular issue with an aide when Barack called them out for their faux pas. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of this interaction.


President Obama's head-neck is in process of Turning to his left

Note his Asymmetric Mouth and slightly thinned lips

This configuration displays both Anger and Contempt.

Surprising to most people is the normal physiology of eyelid closure when the head is turned beyond a certain speed (this can however be consciously suppressed).


Barack's eyes are opened wide - considerably wider than baseline - and here signalling significant anger projected in this moment. 


Slightly less eyelid opening (anger is in decrescendo)

His pointing several times (this was the first) is quite significant as well - What thought-emotions do you think this projects?


His eyelids are still opened wider than baseline as the President is
Leaning Forward
and Toward (a twisting or torquing of his torso) the Aide and Mr. Castro.

Nonverbally this cluster loudly telegraphs the message, "Excuse me!" just prior him speaking precisely these same words.


as Mr. Obama verbally says, "Excuse me!


Lip Biting

In this instant lip biting indicates a successful attempt at down-regulating his anger.


Winking - an emblem which here serves to lift President Obama further out of anger and elevates his emotion (as well as the audience's) further.

This nonverbal as well as the lip biting just before are forms of Biofeedback that we all use (the President more skillfully than others) to steer our emotions and avoid extremes.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3504: Raúl Castro Lifts Barack Obama's Arm at Press Conference

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2424: Giada De Laurentiis on Conan O'Brien - Beautiful Teeth but Insincere Smiles and Some Body Language Signals of Waning Love

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2977: Raven-Symoné: "I'm Tired of Being Labeled" - Interview with Oprah 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1863: Maria Sharapova's Lips of Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3467: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3155: Aaron Hernandez found Guilty - gets Life Sentence without possibility of Parole  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3047: Ethan's Christmas wish comes true - Emotional Processing of Joy-Happiness

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3454: Donald Trump - Buying the Farm after 2nd Place Finish in Iowa Caucuses