In her recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Jennifer Lawrence describes an occasion when she approached Harrison Ford and J.J. Abrams - and apparently neither man recognize her. As it happens, another of Norton's guests - Jack Whitehall - was with Lawrence at her table. Mr. Whitehall's experience that night was a better one, for Han Solo's alter ego recognized Jack and greeted him enthusiastically.
From a body language perspective, there is one nonverbal signal in this video clip which, although very commonly exhibited - it's underlying meaning is rarely understood.
At several times in this video, Jack Whitehall interlocks his fingers over his right knee. The first example of this behavior is captured below (0:06 - 0:10) as he realizes the event which Jennifer Lawrence has just begun discussing.
The fingers are held relatively tightly as they place tension on the knee (or just below it) and upper leg - very often lifting the ipsilateral foot off the ground (as is seen here) with the torso assisting by lending leverage via leaning backward.
In a general sense, this nonverbal dynamic is a signal of anxiety - however we can slice its meaning a good bit thinner. More specifically, this body language configuration is a signal of Emotional and Cognitive Dissonance (thus it's sometimes referred to as "Hamstring Dissonance" [because of the stretching of these muscles with this action]). Mr. Whitehall, while certainly wanting to tell his side of the story - is somewhat hesitant - for even although Jennifer Lawrence often uses self-deprecation as a comedic device, Whitehall's newfound camaraderie with Harrison Ford comes at Ms. Lawrence's expense.
In the second example below (from 0:40), this Hamstring Dissonance is more subtle - as Whitehall's leg is not being elevated.
Another nonverbal sign which amplifies his conflicting feelings are Jack's crossed ankles - which cannot be directly visualized in either of these two views.
There are many nonverbal tells of emotional and cognitive dissonance - and this is but one type. The ramifications of seeing and understanding these signals are profound. Hundreds are displayed in any typical business day. How many have missed?
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