This morning, Presidential advisor to Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway was a guest of Chuck Todd's on Meet the Press. During the interview she used the phrase "Alternative Facts". Simultaneously Ms. Conway also displayed a very particular and rarely discussed nonverbal signal.
Beginning at 1:29, Chuck Todd continues, ".... It does not excuse, and you did not answer the question."
Conway [over-talking]: "I did answer your question, yes I did ..."
Todd [over-talking]: "No you did not. You did not answer the question of why the President asked the White House Press Secretary to - come out - in front of the podium - for the first time - and utter a falsehood. Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House Press Office on day one."
Conway [over-talking]: "No it doesn't. Don't be so, don't be so overly-dramatic about it Chuck. What it, it, you're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary, gave alternative facts to that, but the point really is ...."
As Conway says, "... alternative facts ..."(2:00 - 2:02), her eyelids close (eye closure here is not a required component of the cluster, however it acts as an amplifier) and she twists and rotates her head with a forward thrust. In nonverbal terminology, this is an excellent example of what is known as a "Head Torque". A head torque signals a distinct adamant and determined emotional tone. It's an alpha signal - and one which (as with all alpha configurations) should be used sparingly. It also signals a high frustration level along with mild-to-moderate anger. In essence, the head torque says, "I'm going to do/say/think what I want and I don't care what you think".
Whenever you see a head torque displayed, the person has made up their mind - and they can't be "reasoned with".
It's also profoundly important to note that Kellyanne Conway's verbal language, tone of voice and body language are all congruent in this moment. When this triad are all in agreement, we may or may not like what the person is saying - but we can be very sure that they're DETERMINED and THEY BELIEVE in what they're saying. Too often people only listen to what words are said - and completely ignore the concurrent nonverbal communication.
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