Showing posts with label false smile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label false smile. Show all posts

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2798: Donald Sterling, Prejudice and Body Language of Contempt (PHOTOS, VIDEO, AUDIO)

Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was allegedly (voice yet to be definitively proven his) recently recorded in a conversation with his then girlfriend (V. Stiviano) making multiple prejudice statements (you can listen here to the recording).

Here are some of the comments that Sterling is alleged to have made:

"... It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?..."

"... You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games...."

"... I’m just saying, in your lousy f***k*** Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people...."

"... Don't put him [Magic Johnson] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don't bring him to my games...."

In the image above, the NBA owner can be seen displaying a relatively subtle (e.g. 2.5 out of 10) display of contempt. This is often erroneously interpreted by many as a subtle and/or partially suppressed smile. It is not a smile. Contempt is a very specific emotion - occurring when a someone places another person or group of people beneath them and unworthy of consideration. Can you make the distinction between subtle (or moderate) contempt and a partial/suppressed smile? - Consistently? - And in real time?

Note also that Mr. Sterling's right forehead is contracted, while is left side is not. While this configuration is indicative of incredulity (which would be a common co-existing emotion with contempt) - a review of other images suggests that this is somewhat longstanding and is consistent with a peripheral cranial nerve VII palsy (facial nerve), (one common subtype is Bell's Palsy). Knowledge of this is of great import - lest one misinterprets his emotion-thought.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1890:  Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa -  while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking  "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2559: John Boehner's Body Language - Microexpression of Contempt vs. Facial Tic

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228:  Jay Carney's Body Language -  Contempt disguised as a Sniff ....  for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2350:  Contempt - both dramatic and subtle -  Backpedaling and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2765: Obama, Romney, Russia and Facial Asymmetry - Contempt at The Hague 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2797: Michelle Obama, a Ten Year Old Girl and a Résumé - Body Language of ....

Shaquille O'Neal's and Charles Barkley's response can be heard below.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2528: Sen. Ted Cruz, Obamacare and Filibusters - Differentiating Ego vs. Other Motives with Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

It doesn't matter whether you're a republican, democrat, socialist, communist, pro-Obamacare, Anti-Obamacare, a political junkie or apolitical (this website shares none of those agendas) - the information in the following body language analysis will benefit you dramatically. It is extremely important (and protective, beneficial, etc.) to see this - regardless of whether it emanates from the face an ally or an adversary.

Throughout this entire video, Senator Ted Cruz (R - TX) discusses Obama-care and the lengths to which he will go to try and de-fund it. Also through this video, Senator Cruz displays a "Central Forehead Contraction" (CFC). A CFC is very often seen with an elevation of the inner (medial) eyebrows, although sometimes this is subtle. A common setting where the central forehead contraction is seen is in the presence of physical or emotional pain - either for oneself or for another person(s) [or animal(s)] via empathy. In these scenarios however, there MUST ALWAYS be a congruent expression of the mouth/lips (e.g. that of pain, sadness, fear, etc.). Cruz however displays a pseudo-smile in association with his CFC. THIS IS A MAJOR RED FLAG. ALWAYS. 

Now first off, every human being displays the CFC with a false mouth smile .... from time to time. This is seen within the context of:

  • Arrogance
  • Contempt 
  • Incredulity (mixed with arrogance/contempt)

Note all of these emotions are ego-centric.
In addition, it is extremely important to note that a smile with any type of forehead contraction (a CFC, across its entire width, or on one side) is ALWAYS an insincere smile. 

Once in a while we all feel arrogant, contempt or disbelief. And while the CFC + Pseudo-smile expression is not the only body language manifestation of these emotions, these are not rare nonverbal displays. HOWEVER, when seen chronically, this body language-facial expression takes on additional ominous meanings as it signals:

  • Narcissism 
  • Sociopathic Behavior

Thus WHENEVER the CFC + Insincere Smile is seen, even in the otherwise normal individuals, it signals behavior in which the primary motivator is their Ego - not you/your benefit, not their constituents or even their children. They may be saying "all the right things" (even things you want to hear), but the primary driver of their behavior are self-benefits not the welfare of others. This point cannot be over-emphasized. When the CFC + Insincere Smile is seen chronically, stay away from these individuals. They are only interested in their benefits. They may camouflage well and agree with you verbally, but be warned - here there be dragons. 

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2405:  Anthony Weiner's Running For Mayor of New York, His Body Language & His Sincerity Quotient

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2441:  Paula Deen's Apology - What Does Her Body Language Say?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2512:  Matthew Cordle's YouTube Confession  and the Death of Vincent Canzani  "I Killed a Man" - What His Body Language Tells Us ...  It's NOT what you think!

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1910:  Natasha Smith Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square -  Post Assault Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2124:  This Body Language-Facial Display  Should always make you think "Insincere" 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2259:  Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences - His Body Language Warning Signs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2140:  Joran van der Sloot's going to be a father - Body Language Signs of Chronic Insincerity


Friday, August 30, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2505:
Marine Jesse Cottle and Wife Kelly
Body Language Expression of Regret and Sincere Smiles

In this initially sad story with a happy ending, Marine Jesse Cottle tells of when he lost both legs to an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan four years ago. After a lengthy recovery he met Kelly - who he would eventually marry. A recent photo of the couple, wherein Kelly is carrying Jesse piggyback without his prostheses, went viral. A video with their interviews is included above of which some of the body language is analyzed below.

At the 0:37 - 0:38 segment of the above video, a brief unilateral expression of regret can be seen. While short-lived in this example, it is not quite as evanescent as a microexpression. This same body language is repeated just as the video fades-in at 1:11.

Note the unilateral nature of this particular nonverbal. Most will describe this as a weak attempt at a smile (social smile or false smile) - yet it is not. Others who may have read a few books on body language will erroneously label this expression consistent with contempt. Oops ... missed again. In this moment Jesse Cottle is displaying regret. Here his emotion of regret is betrayed by a characteristic and primarily lateral (sideways) movement to the left corner of his mouth with very little or no upward vectoring. A dimpling of the cheek is often seen and is exampled here. Contempt on the other hand has a primarily upward movement of one side of the mouth & tissue above the upper lip (aka mustache area) with a concomitant nasal flaring/dilation on the same side. Contempt is never accompanied by a dimple. Understandably, Jesse Cottle feels regret about the war injury and the loss of his legs.

Both Jesse's and Kelly's face is shown here (higher resolution below), they both are displaying sincere (Duchenne) smiles (although her's is certainly of greater magnitude).

Photo credit: Sarah Ledford, Shutterhappy Photography

Such true smiles of joy-happiness are characterized by relaxed forehead muscles (no forehead contraction furrows), primarily upward vectoring of the mouth components of their smiles (only views of the upper teeth present with upper cheek contraction) and their eyelids are all partially closed (with the very important dynamic concave-up furrows present in their lower eyelids).

Lots of other great body language in this video - what other tells did you notice?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2485: Barack Obama on Next Federal Reserve Chairman -  Anger, Disgust, Regret and Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323:  Jodi Arias Murder Trial - The Body Language of Unilateral Regret vs. Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2408:  Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via  Senators Graham & McCain - Republican Body Language in Response to  President Obama's National Defense University Speech

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:  Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Subtle Contempt  The Body Language of Threat Assessment

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1407:  Auboni Champion-Morin  Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years - Microexpression of Contempt towards Kidnapper

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2474:  Mayor Bob Filner's False Smile - Insincerity, Body Language and San Diego 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2424:  Giada De Laurentiis on Conan O'Brien  Beautiful Teeth but Insincere Smiles and Some Body Language Signals of Waning Love

Dating & Romance Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1010:  What Makes the Twinkle in Her Eye?


Monday, July 29, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2474:
Mayor Bob Filner's False Smile -
Insincerity, Body Language and San Diego
(Video, Photo)

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner recently announced he's going to undergo therapy for his alleged sexual harassment behavior. At least seven women have accused him of unwanted sexual advances. This is a second post regarding Mr. Filner's Forehead - however today article showcases a key aspect common to one variety of an insincere smile.

Note Bob Filner's contracted forehead muscles. The deep furrows are evidence of this and it is important to distinguish these from passive forehead wrinkles that most everyone has to some degree after middle age. There is no mistaking the dynamic and dramatic example in the above photo though. Whenever the forehead is actively contracted the smile is NEVER a sincere one. Never. Regardless what the mouth looks like or if the eyes are also consistent with smiling. Always look to the forehead and make sure it is relaxed with no dynamic contraction present. If it is, it means that in that moment - sincerity is NOT present.

Another important distinction to remember is that EVERYONE displays false smiles. These are also known as social smiles. This does NOT mean that the person as a whole is insincere - but it means in that moment at least, the person feels the need to "push out" a fake emotion of joy. As pointed out previously however, chronic displays of a contracted forehead muscles carries significant diagnostic weight as to an overall insincere personality pattern.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2462:  San Diego Mayor Bob Filner -  Sexual Harassment, Body Language and Foreheads

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2157:  Al Smith Charity Dinner  Barack Obama's & Mitt Romney's Smiles  Sincere or False?

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 353:  Brad Pitt's Smiling Eyes - Sincere and Insincere Smiles

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2424:  Giada De Laurentiis on Conan O'Brien  Beautiful Teeth but Insincere Smiles and  Some Body Language Signals of Waning Love

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 367: Insincere Smile - Van Rompuy needs some Acting Classes 

Sincerity Secret # 55: Sincere Smile or is it Insincere?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2040:  Never Trust a One-Sided Smile - Ex-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1912:  Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye  Matt Lauer's Insincerity


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323:
Jodi Arias Murder Trial
The Body Language of Unilateral Regret vs. Contempt

Warning: The video above contains sexually explicit dialog as well as other graphic details. If you are younger than 18 years or such subjects are offensive to you, please do not watch it. The body language exemplified and discussed in this post is not germane to the sexual-related portion of the video and you can jump ahead to about the 2:28 mark (approximately 85% of the way through this 3:02 length video) to view the dynamics & context of the specific nonverbal sited here - which occurs at the 2:47 mark).

Jodi Arias is on trial for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. During the 2:43 - 2:51 segment, when asked to explain a note she left at her boyfriend's memorial service, telling him how much she loved him - Ms. Arias (in part) says, "...Well I still had love for him yes and [pause with microexpression display - see below] I was thinking now more in terms of eternity...."

At the 2:47 mark (noted in the above paragraph an in the image below but much better viewed dynamically in the video), Jodi Arias displays a microexpression of regret. Regret has a primarily lateral vector of one corner of the mouth (here, Ms. Arias' left), whereas contempt has a primary upward vector. Contempt also has more nostril flaring (aka nasal dilation) than regret (which in its pure form has little nostril involvement). Contempt also has more tension of the "mustache area" (the tissue between the upper lip and nose) and thus looks more like a snarl. Another way of saying this is that with this expression of pure contempt (because emotions are often mixed), the primary lip movement occurs in between the cupid's bow and the corner of the mouth - and with this type of pure regret expression, the primary motion occurs at one corner. Regret has very little to no eyelid involvement - however contempt will (with moderate to extreme examples) often have a partial unilateral eyelid closure (similar to a unilateral appearance of what occurs bilaterally with mild to moderate anger). Regret may often be amalgamated with self-contempt and indeed regret is often the more dominant component (e.g. We may regret our own misdeeds - while we tend to judge others).

This microexpression of regret may also be confused by some with that of "Duping Delight" - but it is not.  Duping delight (Ekman) is often (but not always) seen expressed unilaterally and is often seen in a courtroom setting.  Unilateral regret, self-contempt and contempt towards others may also be confused with the nonverbal of a pseudo-smile - aka a false, fake or social smile.

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228:  Jay Carney's Body Language -  Contempt disguised as a Sniff ....  for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1890:  Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa -  while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking  "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

Nonverbal Communication Intelligence Analysis # 2111:  Mitt Romney on Libya Embassy Killings -  Multiple Displays of Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2058:  DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's "False Contempt" The Importance of "Norming"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1897:  George Zimmerman's Reenactment of  Trayvon Martin Shooting

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1548:  Trayvon Martin's Death -  George Zimmerman and his First Court Appearance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1696:  George Zimmerman's Testimony -  Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt


Friday, February 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312:
Bruce Willis' Body Language -
Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.
Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

In these multiple images of Bruce Willis, there are several nonverbal variations of the actor - including a pseudo smile, contempt, a sincere suppressed smile and and a true/sincere smile. In each of these five examples the wide angle of "John McClane" is pictured first and its cropped close-up of his eyes are below. In the image above (Willis No. 1), Bruce's mouth is asymmetric. With one-sided smiles, several scenarios should spring to mind: contempt, regret, a false smile (aka a fake or pseudo smile), a true but suppressed smile or a sincere smile just as it's beginning to form (or waning). Bruce's right nostril is dilated and his "mustache area" is tightened. 

Look at the close up of his eyes below. For a true smile to be present, the eyelids must be partially closed - which is present here AND there must be a prominent concave-up dynamic (temporary) furrow in the lower eyelid(s). This is not seen below. Thus this body language facial expression is one of contempt.

Willis No. 2: Here, the Die Hard hero's mouth is not asymmetric - however the tilt & turn of his head/neck makes his mouth appear more one-sided. When we don't turn our head directly at the person at who our eyes are looking, it's a nonverbal indicator that they're either not liked (or worse), not trusted or not respected. Willis' eyelids (below) are very similar to the example in Willis No. 1. This smile is false and thus insincere.

Willis No. 3: This example shows Bruce's mouth again asymmetric, but look at his eyes. The action actor's right lower eyelid (close up below) shows a classic concave-up dynamic furrow characteristic of a true, sincere smile. This same configuration of his left lower eyelid is not fully formed. This smile is true and being suppressed or in its early stages of formation - which could be differentiated with a viewing a video or witnessing this moment in real-time.

Willis No. 4: The asymmetric mouth is slight here, and most likely in the midst of speech - which makes body language interpretation of this component difficult with out the dynamics of video. Below you can see the furrows present in his lower lids are superficial and not characteristic of a true felt smile of joy-happiness. Note his forehead though - a true & sincere smile NEVER has a contracted forehead. NEVER. This is a pseudo smile mixed with incredulity.

Willis No. 5: Here Bruce Willis' body language shows a true and sincere smile indicative of joy-happiness. The downward camera angle and a slight laugh enables the view of his lower teeth - which are not present with a full sincere smile. However the lower choppers are present in the context of laughter or when the smile begins to fade. Notice in the image below the deep concave-up dynamic furrows present in his lower eyelids (more prominent on his right).

See also:

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 353:  Brad Pitt's Smiling Eyes - Sincere and Insincere Smiles

Dating & Romance Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1010: What Makes the Twinkle in Her Eye?

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 2091: Sincere Smiling (a la' Blake Lively) and  Laughing - Reduces Anxiety and  Heart Rate, Boosts Immune System and Relieves Pain

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216:  Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language - Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2040:  Never Trust a One-Sided Smile -  Ex-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2192:  Senator Elect Ted Cruz - "So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain  Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama" - A Body Language Red Flag

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2191: Anne Hathaway's Impersonation of Katie Holmes on SNL -  "Norming" Katie and Variations on a Theme


Friday, January 18, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2272:
Lance Armstrong's Mia Culpa with Oprah Winfrey
Body Language Part I

In this brief segment of his confessional with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong displayed multiple examples of an "Inward Lip Roll" (ILR). With inward lip roll, the entire upper and lower lips disappear as they are gently bitten by the teeth. Tension in the jaw muscles and chin-wrinkling (here it is subtle) can also be seen. These can be seen in the above video at 0:20 - 0:22 (two in rapid succession), 0:25, 0:32, and 0:42. This was one of the most common nonverbals the former (false) Tour de France champion's made throughout this interview. The ILR is a strong signal of anxiety and more specifically tells us that the psyche is trying to suppress an outward emotional display. Usually it is a negative emotion which is attempting to be squelched - such as anger or sadness. Here Armstrong is suppressing anger. People will also commonly display this facial expression-body language when they are trying to prevent themselves from crying or even laughing.

At 0:17, Armstrong displays a one-sided "psuedo-smile" which is insincere.

At 0:30, the disgraced bicycler exhibits a relatively subtle facial expression on his left side indicating contempt. There is mild flaring of his left nostril (difficult to see) and mid-facial tension present. His vocal tone also has a bit of a "verbal swagger" here (as he says, "...this is too late"). This suggests his contempt is not directed at himself, and/or there is a self-serving emotional tone at this moment.

Can you spot another key nonverbal cluster indicating anger? Stay tuned for part Deux.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2268: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Kathryn Bigelow & Jessica Chastain - Body Language at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2229: President Obama and a Body Language Signal of  Holding Back Grief, Tears & other Negative Emotions

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1439: Central Forehead Contraction & Inward Lip Roll  Devon Davis & April Davis

Negotiation Secret # 146: Anthony Weiner's Inward Lip Roll

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 457: Salman Rushdie's Contempt Amplifier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1890: Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa - while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking  "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1407: Auboni Champion-Morin Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years - Microexpression of Contempt


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2259:
Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences -
His Body Language Warning Signs

Rodney Acala (Rodrigo Jacques Alcala-Buquor) also known as the "Game Show Killer" received additional sentences yesterday - two terms of 25 years to life after pleading guilty to murdering both Cornelia Crilley in 1971 as well as Ellen Hover who was killed in 1977, both in New York. The serial killer is already on death row in California for the strangling deaths of four other women and a 12 year-old girl.

The above video includes clips from Acala's 1978 appearance on "The Dating Game." Prior to the show, he had already served a 34 month prison sentence for the rape of an 8 year-old girl. So much for vetting. And although he had not yet been a suspect for the crimes - he had also raped, sodomized and killed Georgia Wixted and Jill Barcomb, both in California.

Also in the above video, criminal profiler Pat Brown (no relation to author) also makes some statements regarding serial killers' desire and skill of "blending in". In this edited segment, the narrator says that Ms. Brown " that show and sees nothing unusual...." She may have indeed been misquoted here - most anyone who is on T.V., radio, etc. has had this unpleasant experience. I respectfully and very strongly disagree with the statement that there is "...nothing unusual..." - for Acala's body language displays some striking warning beacons.

Note that at several times during these brief clips, the killer displays a central forehead contraction (CFC). This contraction of the central forehead (with the sides, or lateral portions being relaxed) is a nonverbal signal that we expect to see when there is significant emotional or physical pain. These displays of painful emotions may be experienced directly - or secondarily for others via empathy. HOWEVER, when the central forehead is contracted in these contexts, the mouth should ALWAYS have a congruent expression - usually that of fear, pain or sadness. Particularly if a smile or an attempt at a smile is seen with the CFC - this is a warning signal. For a mouth smile to be sincere, the entire forehead must be relaxed and non-contracted. Here we see Acala's "social smile" - which is one-sided - another strong sign of insincerity. At the very best this combination of these two nonverbal signals smug incredulity and arrogance. We all display this body language occasionally - but those who display this CFC + pseudo-smile chronically - they should be highly suspect for narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathic tendencies or worse. The fact that we see this facial expression several times in these short excerpts is quite significant - and indeed a red flag for these personalities.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231: A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1910: Natasha Smith Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square -  Post Assault Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2140: Joran van der Sloot's going to be a father -  Body Language Signs of Chronic Insincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2040: Never Trust a One-Sided Smile - Ex-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2192: Senator Elect Ted Cruz - "So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain  Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama" - A Body Language Red Flag

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2042: Syrian Government Defector Nawaf al-Fares

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2257: Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian People and Spotting a Sociopath  - Another Naked Emperor


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2257:
Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian People and Spotting a Sociopath
Another Naked Emperor

The above image was taken today immediately after Bashar al-Assad gave his first public speech in since June, 2012. Although the photo is relatively low resolution and somewhat difficult to see, the detail of a central forehead contraction (CFC) is indeed displayed on the Syrian President. His mouth is configured in what is an attempt at a smile (Pseudo-Smile) yet it falls short of even a fair "Social Smile" from a nonverbal analysis perspective. His mouth is more consistent with the emotional tone of fear - although he is attempting to smile.

Occasionally everyone displays a central forehead contraction together with a "mouth smile". Such smiles are never sincere. This is a body language absolute. Moreover those who go beyond occasionally using this expression and example it chronically - as Bashar al-Assad very often does - should be highly suspect of sociopathic behavior. Obviously, given the indiscriminate carnage this "leader" has dealt to over 60,000 people in less than two years - many can draw this conclusion without any nonverbal knowledge. However approximately 4% of the adult population are sociopaths. Few will wreak such trauma as al-Assad, and yet they will still do great harm. Can you spot them before you: Hire them? Do business with them? Pick them for your jury? Vote for them? Date them? Marry them? Let them babysit?

How are your vetting skills?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231: A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1861: Bashar al-Assad's Denial and Deception

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2212: Barack Obama warns Bashar al-Assad, A Body Language Signal of Conviction

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2227: Sincerity and Insincerity regarding  Suicide Death of Jacintha Saldanha

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 882: Bashar al-Assad's Chronic Insincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2140:  Joran van der Sloot's going to be a father -  Body Language Signs of Chronic Insincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1912: Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye Matt Lauer's Insincerity 


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2089:
Ann Curry's and Matt Lauer's Very Awkward Reunion

In this incredibly awkward reunion of NBC's Ann Curry and Matt Lauer, it obvious to all how uncomfortable this is for Ann. Matt's attempt at being warm-and-fuzzy fails miserably. If you squirm when you watch it, you've got some empathy for the former Today Show's co-host. 

Matt obviously has read up on body language since Ann's departure. Note their lower limb directions. Ann's feet and legs are pointed away from Lauer. Moreover, her legs are crossed away from him - while Matt's are crossed towards Ann. Curry's torso is leaning distinctly away from Lauer as she both consciously and subconsciously distances herself from her former co-host. Her thin-lipped and tight "pseudo-smile" at 1:04 exemplifies anger and an attempt at polite tolerance. Lauer is rebuffed. Who could blame her?  


Friday, July 13, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2041:
Michelle and Barack Obama
Open Consideration, Tolerance "Smile" and Contempt

In the first few seconds of this interview of President Barack Obama and the First Lady, there are several great body language tells.

When Charlie Rose asks, "...What do you think the lessons have been that might guarantee success in the second term if that happens?" Michelle Obama shifts her upper and lower lips directly to one side (her left). This can be clearly seen if you freeze frame at the 0:02 mark. It's a clear signal of honest and open consideration. She is taking what Rose asks at face value and (briefly) contemplating the answer. This nonverbal doesn't last long though. At the 0:04 mark, the first lady displays mild tension in her mid-face and her lips tighten - particularly her upper lip - as she tries, and fails to display a "Social Smile". Rather this particular mouth configuration demonstrates an emotional tone of anxiety-anger & "I'm-trying-to-tolerate-you".

At this same time segment (0:04), the President has a very particular facial expression of prolong blinking, along with central forehead contraction and a modest - but false - "smile". Anytime there is contraction of the forehead muscles, particularly the central forehead as Barack examples here, the "smile" is always insincere. This nonverbal cluster is highly consistent of contempt. The President doesn't like the question and/or Charlie Rose. 

In conclusion, in the first four seconds of this video, we see two very common examples of false and insincere 'social smiles" that we all display several to many times a day. The President and first lady are very experienced at putting their best face forward - but they are only human. True emotions-thoughts always leak out. You can spot them if you know what to look for. How sincere is your smile?

See also:

Analysis # 1890: Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa - While Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

Analysis # 1816: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Contempt & Mary Richardson Kennedy's Social Smile

Analysis # 1696: George Zimmerman's Testimony - Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt

Analysis # 1881: Interrupting the President & Contempt Display - Neil Munro shows us his Body Language and His (Lack of) Etiquette

Analysis # 1889: Vladimir Putin & Barack Obama at the G-20

Analysis # 1871: Barack Obama Explains His "Private Sector is Doing Fine" Comment - The "Dominant Spider" vs. The "Split-Finger Fastball"

Analysis # 1491: Barack Obama on Trayvon Martin - "If I hand a Son, He'd Look Like Trayvon"


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 1003:
Obama's Dropped Jaw Smile

Here we see yet another common type of false smile, this time by then Presidential Candidate, Senator Obama - four years ago at the Iowa State Fair. Of course, people in the public eye feel the need to smile dramatically and often. This is a very human desire and most people would feel the need to do the same if they were one in the limelight. That being said, the smile displayed here by Mr. Obama is forced and not indicative of the emotion of Joy-Happiness. This variety of false smile, known as a "Dropped Jaw Smile" (Pease) or a False Surprise Smile (Ekman) is a relatively easy nonverbal for most to replicate and represents a very common type of insincere smile. As mentioned in a post yesterday (see: Secret # 1009: A Sure Sign of a False Smile), whenever the forehead is wrinkled - the smile is always feigned. In addition, candidate Obama's eyelids are opened wider than normal here (particularly on Barack's right), which is never seen with a sincere smile either - in fact, the eyelids should be partially closed - and in a very particular manner - during a smile born of sincerity (see: Secret # 353: Brad Pitt's Eyes - Sincere and Insincere Smiles).


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 921:
Spotting Giants' Sincerity

Can you spot sincerity? Are you sure? Most experienced, educated and financially successful people cannot. One common nonverbal component of sincerity is a true smile. Insincere smiles are exceedingly common. Pictured here, Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive VP of the New York Giants and Eli Manning, their quarterback, both show us sincere smiles after their recent victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship Game - although Eli is suppressing his joy slightly. 

The key to detecting a sincere smile is looking at the eyelids - they MUST be partially closed. Yet, it is not as simple as this - for the eyelids may be partially closed in different ways. The characteristic closure must involve the outer portions of the Orbicularis Oculi Muscles (the pars orbitalis component) - which pull the eyebrows and the skin beneath them slightly DOWNWARD - while simultaneously (along with the zygomaticus major muscle of the cheeks) "bunch-up" the skin of the lower eyelids creating the highly characteristic concave-up creases (best exemplified here on Mr. Tisch's lower eyelids).

There are many characteristics to sincerity, and the ability to detect the subtle body language changes of true, felt smiles (or false smiles) are obviously a very important skill to learn and refine. Remember, if an insincere smile is displayed, it does not necessarily mean that the person as a whole is insincere all the time - but it does mean that in that moment, the emotion of joy-happiness is having to be forced/acted. If chronic insincerity is displayed however - this is a completely different issue, as there may very well be sociopathy present. Insincerity is not as clearly defined as lying, however those who are insincere, will eventually lie to you - probably sooner than later, and probably very often.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 331:
Corzine's False and Bitter Smile

In this photo, President Obama was giving political support to Jon Corzine in his effort to get re-elected in 2010 as the Governor of New Jersey. Corzine eventually lost to Chris Christie. Contrasting these two men's faces: President Obama has a sincere smile - only his top teeth are visible and he's "smiling with his eyes" nicely. With respect to Barack's eyes, his lower lids bunch-up in a manner highly characteristic with a true, felt smile (Ekman) - whereas Jon Corzine's lids, although partially closed (which is absolutely required in a sincere smile), have a different look to them - there's no "puckering-up" of the lower lid present as is seen on the President's face [this characteristic pucker occurs via the contraction of the orbicularis oculi (pars orbitalis) muscles - which most of the time it is subconsciously stimulated]. Corzine's eyes are being closed with a different muscle however [the orbicularis oculi (pars palpebralis) - when this is used in an attempt to smile - it is consciously controlled] - so they look quite different - and ergo Corzine's smile isn't sincere. In fact, Jon Corzine's "false smile" in this photo indicates bitterness and regret.

Moreover look at Corzine's mouth. The contour of his lips are concave-down, rather than concave up as they should be with any true smile. Of course we all know this without being taught in the first days of our lives - even those who are born blind! Incredible as it seems, virtually everyone who makes a facial expression as Corzine is doing in this image (which occurs very often), believes in the moment, that they are making a slight-to-modest smile. This particular facial expression is one of the most common and demonstrative examples I know of showing the lack of emotional proprioceptive awareness from which most people suffer. It's a very profound disconnect. Most of us aren't really very aware of what our faces and bodies are doing in space and time. This emotional awareness disparity is even wider when the emotions present are negative ones - like anxiety, anger or fear. 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 705: R2E2,
Pseudo-Smiles and Bonding Beguiles

There are many types of pseudo-smiles and this photo of Jemima Marcelle Khan is a great example of but one. With a sincere smile, the bottom teeth should not be visible. At the very least, if you see any of the lower sixteen, there is a component of forced behavior or an attempt to exaggerate the smile. Hugh Grant's ex's nose and her perinasal area in this particular example is also not characteristic of a sincere, felt smile. It is however, very consistent with the emotion of disgust (Ekman). This particular false-smile nonverbal is a favorite of actors and those in the public eye because most find it fairly easy to replicate on-demand (Pease).

Another variation of this facial expression (here disgust, but also may appear similar to disgust - especially the nasal/perinasal disgust-like changes) is often seen when a person is trying to convince another of their point-of-view. In these scenarios, the mouth component is often less pronounced. It represents an attempt to build rapport and empathy, e.g. - when the expressor feels the need to convince another (or themselves). When you see it displayed - know it as a signal of rationalization taking place. I call it the "Rationalization-Rapport-Empathy-Expression" (R2E2), (Brown, 2011). While it is usually quite evanescent, and it can be as brief as a classically described microexpression (less than 0.5 seconds), it more typically lasts somewhat longer (1 - 2 seconds). Along with the pronounced nose-wrinkling and false-smiling mouth, there is an exaggerated partial eyelid closure (aka "squint" or "squinting") and bunching of the cheeks.

When these R2E2 facial changes occur, there is often an additional, brief and simultaneous "leaning forward" towards the other person(s) (Brown, 2011). This temporary closure of the interpersonal space suggests greater friendship-intimacy-trust and it's a further subconscious attempt at building rapport.

Often times there is a component of the R2E2 that's directed at oneself just as much (or more), than what's focused on others. When you see this nonverbal, rationalization is taking place - often because full confidence is lacking - and thus often a component of manipulation is occurring. 

The R2E2 is displayed by either sex, but is slightly more common and more pronounced in women and gay men.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 119: What's Wrong with this Smile?

Most would agree Jillian Michaels is a beautiful woman who's in incredible shape. When it comes to her smile, however she makes a common mistake, albeit a largely subconscious one. Ms. Michaels' smile seen here is not a true, sincere smile - it is an example of one of many variations of what is known as a "Social (false) Smile".  True smiles, indicative of sincere joy, are difficult to make "on demand". Social smiles are certainly needed and can be thought of as a "social lubricant". Some social smiles are better than others though. Ms. Michaels over-tightens her mid-face here and subsequently her nostrils dilate. This appearance is amplified by her tilting her head back.  This bilateral nostril dilation, especially with a closed mouth "smile", conveys the emotion of disgust.  Amazingly, many people have this as their default "pretend (social) smile". While very few people could tell you her face is consistent with disgust, it will leave most everyone with a distinct cold feeling. This (and others) types of false smiles are distancing - not bonding. True smiles build rapport. Never pass up on an opportunity to build rapport. I am certain Jillian does not want to alienate others, do you? Are you doing so without realizing it?