Saturday, March 3, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4222: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird, and Embarrassment Anxiety - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTO)

Saoirse Ronan was recently a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers as part of her Pre-Oscar hype for her most recent film, Lady Bird. Saoirse plays the lead character, Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson - a role for which she's been nominated for Best Actress. Other nominations for Lady Bird include Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director (Greta Gerwig).

What follows is a nonverbal analysis of one common, yet rarely discussed gesture. 

Beginning at 1:04, Ms. Ronan continues, "... But ya know, at, at home, like ya do a prayer in the morning - at school. You do it, like, before ya start your lessons. You do it for break. Then you do it for lunchtime. Then you do it before you leave sch-, so you're doing it every day - it becomes so quick and like sing-songy [up-talking], that ya don't - really - listen to what you're saying anymore [up-talking]."

As she says, "you're" (1:23), Saoirse begins to move her right hand to scratch the right side of her neck - she then proceeds to scratch it for the remainder of her own sentence and during part of Seth Meyers' response - and then segues to a false adjustment of the shoulder-strap of her dress (elapsed time about 3.0 seconds).

This false shoulder-strap adjustment is but one example of an alpha up-regulation display. Said another way, these nonverbal signs occur when a person feels momentarily beta/low confidence - but their psyche is attempting to dial-up their alpha qualities.

The body language display of scratching the side of one's neck is highly correlated with anxiety - more specifically anxiety that's associated with an element of embarrassment. (The scratching/rubbing of the front of one's neck is associated with what other emotion?).

The two occasions of up-talking (vocal display) - during and just prior to her embarrassing disclosure - are both correlated with a beta/low-confidence emotional tone.

Up-talking also may be used when a person is trying too hard to convince you of their reason/explanation. But certainly, not all up-talking displays have these meanings. However, these reasons do hold when the up-talking is relatively UNcommon (as with Saoirse). When up-talking is frequent and habitual - very little meaning can be discerned.

This speech behavior is mentioned here because it serves as an excellent example of a crucial nonverbal principle: If you know what to listen and look for - paralanguage patterns will match simultaneously or nearly-simultaneously with nonverbal displays with high fidelity.

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See also:

Body Language and Medical Analysis No. 4221: Why are Donald Trump's Pupils Intermittently So Large?

Body Language Analysis No. 3399 (REPOSTING): Donald Trump, a Bald Eagle, and Fear

Body Language Analysis No. 4218: Dana Loesch, Threat Assessment, and Red Flags

Body Language Analysis No. 4210: Rod Rosenstein's Hesitancy to Disclose

Body Language Analysis No. 4203: Mikaela Shiffrin and the R2E2 Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4190: Serial Killer Bruce McArthur - and a Common Nonverbal Pattern of Sociopaths

Body Language Analysis No. 4166: Logan Paul's Apology

Body Language Analysis No. 4150: Was Omarosa Fired or Did She Resign?

Body Language Analysis No. 4104: Walter Cronkite Reaction to JFK Assassination