On Tuesday, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the United States Supreme Court - where, since the death of Antonin Scalia, a seat has been vacant for almost a year. From a body language perspective, there were many interesting moments on display during each man's speech - as well as their interactions. And one of these in particular was of the five-alarm fire variety.
As Gorsuch finishes his speech, he turns around to the President and the two men begin to shake hands (at 13:00). Several times during this handshake Donald Trump pulls Judge Gorsuch's hand close to his chest. Moreover he did this with such force that it straighten out the nominee's arm and brought his upper body along with it. With the last of these forceful pulls, Gorsuch even had to take a small step toward Trump - as the President threw him off-balance.
When a person consistently pulls the other person's hand close to their chest during handshakes - it's a hyper-alpha signal of dominance and narcissism. When it is done with such force - it has an additional deliberate intimidation component. Donald Trump shakes Neil Gorsuch's hand in this manner to impress upon him the President's power and dominance - while doing so on a World Stage - reminds Gorsuch and the World exactly who's the boss. Such a handshake is a rapport destroyer. Indeed it's a form of psychological assault ... and such an interaction will stick in Gorsuch's emotional memory for the duration of his service on the Supreme Court.
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