Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3532: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and The Graham Norton Show - Body Language Expert (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

As usual, The Graham Norton show is hilarious - and this clip is no exception. Also typical, but oft overlooked - the body language examples showcased here. In this recent appearance of Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, Ms. Streep shows off her improv skills as she answers an otherwise rhetorical and slightly sarcastic question of Mr. Grant's.

Hugh Grant (beginning at 1:19): "... Who was the third one?"

Graham Norton: "Ah, Drew Barrymore."

Grant: "She made the mistake of giving me notes. Which a, how would you take that?" [shifting his eye contact to Meryl Streep]

Streep: [Laughing] Well

Grant: "You're acting with someone and they?"

Streep: [over-talking] "I took ..."

Grant: [over-talking] "they, they ..." [inaudible]

Steep: "... them very well, didn't I?" [laughing while shifting her gaze at Hugh Grant]

Grant: "Wowser!"

Ms. Streep laughs and then leans toward Mr. Grant rather dramatically. This leaning toward another person during laughter is a both a nonverbal signal of sincerity - as well as a rapport amplifier.

Psychological research shows that laughing is primarily a bonding phenomenon much more than a pure reaction to humor. This is well exemplified during the viewing of films and TV - for we laugh and cry more frequently and more deeply during comedy when we're with other people (and more specifically when we're part of a larger audience) versus when we are viewing the same material alone.

Moreover, leaning toward another person (only after a sufficient degree of baseline rapport has been established - which is a crucial point which cannot be emphasized enough), in the presence of underlying sincere laughter, will act as a rapport-building amplifier. However note that Hugh Grant does not lean in and also doesn't return much laughter either. This lack of reciprocal action is a form distancing and dissing behavior (serving to destroy rapport). Thus afterward, Meryl Streep may very well be left with a feeling of emotional distance and dislike for Grant - particularly because this occurred in such a public venue.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3531: Helen Mirren, Subways, Sincerity, Empathy and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3530: Justin Trudeau, Quantum Computing and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3528: Brothers Prank their younger sister with an ongoing Zombie Apocalypse

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3523: Jaws - "You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3508: Batman V Superman - Sad Affleck? (NOT!)

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3479: Vicente Fox regarding Donald Trump's Proposed Wall - ‘I’m not going to pay for that F***ing wall!’

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3425: Donald Trump's first Campaign Ad Commercial

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3448: Ted Cruz's Challenge to Debate Donald Trump One-on-One; Cruz's Default Facial Expression