Monday, May 23, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3568: Hillary Clinton, (Low) Likability, Rapport (Destroying) and Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

It's been well-documented that Secretary Clinton suffers from low likability (and has so for a number of years). Within the communication triad of verbal language, paralanguage and nonverbal language - it's the nonverbal component which contributes the most when it comes to high (or low) likability - as well as with building (or destroying) rapport. Throughout a large portion of this Q & A with Chris Cuomo - and the vast majority of her other interviews, Mrs. Clinton projects numerous body language signals which contribute to these negative emotional perceptions - a few of which are discussed below.

Very often Senator Clinton leans backwards with her head and neck. This sends signals of pretentiousness and arrogance. The colloquial expression, "Looking down your nose" - has its origins exactly in this nonverbal display. If she wishes to capture more of the electorate - Hillary should stop this immediately.

Notice too that Mrs. Clinton is leaning backwards with her torso. This is also a very distancing body language configuration. It's disengaging and sends signals such as, "I don't really want to be here", "You're not important to me", "I don't like you", etc., variations of which are further nuanced by other simultaneous nonverbal signals and facial expressions. ON OCCASION many people will sit in this manner - yet Mrs. Clinton sits in like this virtually ALL THE TIME.

In addition, Hillary's fingers are intertwined. Depending on the other nonverbals with which this is clustered, it transmits feelings of closed-mindedness, arrogance, defensiveness and low emotional comfort (e.g., a seated fig leaf). If she had requested a chair with arms (making it much more natural to keep one's hands from touching), unlocked her ankles, sat slightly forward in her chair and leaned a bit forward with her head, neck and torso - Mrs. Clinton would be pleasantly surprised that she would find it much easier to smile naturally (with a sincere smile [Duchenne Smile]), project much more likability (and higher energy). Incredibly, sitting in such a forward and engaging way even engenders an increased fluidity of both thought and speech.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3567: Donald Trump's Most Common Social Smile (Pseudo-Smile) Variant

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3563: Ariana Grande, Lip Stick, Microexpressions and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3550: Robert Downey Jr. Auditions Jimmy Fallon

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3532: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and The Graham Norton Show

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3525: Kristen Bell Slaps a Reporter On "The Boss" Red Carpet (This was a PR Stunt)

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3453: Marco Rubio's Hyper-Alpha, Backfiring Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3169: Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez regarding the Death of Freddie Gray

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3496: Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush Hugging at Nancy Reagan's Funeral