Yesterday, Eric Trump - the son of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, was a guest on CBS This Morning where he discussed his father's escalating fight with the parents of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who died a hero on the battlefield in 2004. Eric Trump also spoke of his own father, his sister Ivanka - and his thoughts on sexual harassment in the workplace - for which he received tremendous criticism far and wide.
During this interview, Eric Trump repeated used a body language display known as a "Pseudo-prayer" where the hands are placed together in a praying configuration. With the exception of a religious context, begging and a small number of cultural settings, the use of this gesture indicates arrogance and a condescending emotional tone.
If you see the pseudo-prayer (outside the above exceptions), you can be almost 100% certain that that person displaying it believes that they're in the right and believes the person(s) with whom they're speaking/interacting is wrong. This body language is significantly more commonly displayed by the wealthy, powerful ... and narcissistic - thus those who are more likely to abuse their power (and harass).
The additional dynamic of an up-and-down chopping motion amplifies the already patronizing emotional tone of the pseudo-prayer.
When the pseudo-prayer is being used, the words often being simultaneously expressed may appear to attempting to build rapport and understanding (e.g., during a negotiation or in the sales process) - but in such settings, the person rarely changes their position. Take caution - for when kind verbal language, appearing to be "reasonable" is used in conjunction with the pseudo-prayer - it's the body language which is telling their true thoughts and emotions. In short, the Pseudo-prayer is a big red flag.
This website serves as a reference source for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3643: What Will Donald Trump Do If He Trails in the Polls By a Large Margin? - Body Language and Predicting Behavior
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3545: Eric Trump's Reaction to President Obama's Comments at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3478: Donald Trump Jr Does Not Like his Father's Statement, "I Love the Poorly Educated"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3625: Donald Trump Introduces Mike Pence as his "1st Choice" VP Pick (Not!)
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3250: Donald Trump regarding John McCain: "He's no hero" - Body Language Tells us what he really thinks
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3549: Speaker Paul Ryan's interview with Jake Tapper - "I'm just not ready" to Support Donald Trump
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3500: Gal Gadot's last name used to be "Greenstein"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3385: Adele, "Hello" and SNL - Body Language Tell