Vice President Elect Mike Pence was a guest on This Week early today. Host George Stephanopoulos pressed the Indiana Governor regarding President Elect Donald Trump's claim of millions cases of voter fraud. From a body language perspective there's an excellent example in this interview of an often seen yet rarely discussed classic facial expression - the "Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression" (abbreviated R2E2).
During 2:47 - 2:48 in the above video, as Pence says, "... the, the connection ...", (during the sub-sentence "... and ahhhh, I, I think ahhh, I think the, the connection that he made in the course his campaign is a reflection of that ...") - Pence displays a classic R2E2 expression (captured below).
The R2E2 is a nonverbal facial expression which can last for very short duration (for a fraction of a second as a "Microexpression" or "Near-Microexpression") - however it may also be present for longer time periods (in this example it last for approximately 0.9 seconds). Most body language rookies will confuse the R2E2 with the expression (and thus also the emotion) of disgust - yet these two nonverbals have completely different meanings.
It's important to note that while every emotionally-healthy person displays the Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression on occasion - when it is seen, and especially when it's displayed more often frequently, you would be well-advised to contemplate each of the following:
- What do my instincts tell me of this person's motive(s) in this moment?
- Does this person seem like they believe what they are saying?
- On what idea/opinion (very specifically), are they trying to persuade me?
- What is my "gut feeling" of their sincerity in this moment?
- If I could pick one emotion of theirs to describe the moment, what would it be?
- Are my own emotions causing me to be biased?
- Do I feel as if they are putting extra effort into trying to sell me on their idea or opinion?
- Does it seem as if they showing me their "Achilles Heel" too easily?
- Is there a specific weakness of theirs which is being discussed?
A very high percentage of the time, people who are displaying the R2E2 are trying to rationalize - AND are trying (subconsciously and consciously) to get you to CO-rationalize. They're trying to convince you (as well as their own psyche) of an idea or opinion in which they do not themselves' believe (or don't fully believe). Be careful when you see the R2E2 Expression - because it's seen when others are trying too hard to gain your rapport, trust and empathy.
Summary: Although every human being displays the R2E2 on occasion - but when you see it used too frequently (or during a particularly crucial portion of a conversation) - fed flags have been raised (Can you see them?).
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