For those who are not familiar with the WWII history of the Battle and Evacuation of Dunkirk, you owe it to yourself to read up on this event and then watch the recently released film by the same name. The movie does an excelled job at recreating the story of the tactical withdrawal and evacuation of allied troops who, between 26 May and 4 June 1940, were surrounded by the advancing German army on the French coast centered around the town of Dunkirk (My only criticism of the film, is that it should have included the story of the 30,000 French soldiers who stayed behind, holding off the Germans). Many of the 338,000 plus men evacuated over those nine harrowing days were brought back to England via small yachts, fishing boats, and other small craft - manned by civilians rescuers.
In the above news video, a former British Sailor and Dunkirk veteran, Ken Sturdy, is interviewed. His body language is particularly telling. For while it's easy to discern from his words, his runny nose, and his tears that his emotions are deep and true - he also displays an additional nonverbal tell - which in the majority of everyday scenarios, is not accompanied by these other, more dramatic signals.
Notice that several times during his interview (edited in multiple segments), Mr. Sturdy touches his left temple with the tips of his fingers - e.g., as he says,
"I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again."
... as well as,
"I cried because it's, it's never the end. It will happen - we are - this human species, we are so intelligent. We do astonishing things. We can fly to the moon - but we still do stupid things [followed by another brief temple touch]
The frequent and sudden touching of one's face or head with multiple extended finger tips and/or palms indicates higher degrees of both Empathy and Sincerity - not only in the context of the moment - but also as overall personality traits (enabling us to better predict their future behaviors).
Further nuancing this gesture - Finger Tip Touching to one or both of the temples - is further indicative of a high degree of disbelief as to what one is seeing, hearing, recalling, or thinking. It's a body language signal of Emotional Processing - where one's emotional brain is grappling with what the intellect already knows.
Thank you Ken Sturdy, for what you and so many others did so long ago. May we always be worthy of your sacrifices.
Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available
Body Language Analysis No. 4007: Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, and Anthony Scaramucci's First Press Conference
Body Language Analysis No. 4005: O.J. Simpson's Parole Board Hearing
Body Language Analysis No. 4003: Donald Trump, "Let Obamacare Fail"
Body Language Analysis No. 4001: Jodie Whittaker, Dr. Who, and Flirting from a TARDIS
Body Language Analysis No. 3995: Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, and the G20 Group Photo
Body Language Analysis No. 3989: Peter Sagan Regarding his Disqualification from the Tour de France and Mark Cavendish's Crash
Body Language Analysis No. 3983: Female Kurdish sniper fighting IS narrowly cheats death
Body Language Analysis No. 3956: Keri Russell's Tongue
Body Language Analysis No. 3953: Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron meet in Versailles