Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Romance & Dating Body Language Secret # 33:
Classically Flirtatious

Here Maria Menounos displays a nearly classic over-the-shoulder flirtatious look.  She is looking over her raised right shoulder, with a modest social smile (Note she is not showing a complete, sincere smile - while this is ironic to some, which allows her eyes to be a bit more open and on display, is a nonverbal which is more flirtatious in this setting). Maria's head is mildly down-turned and her wide, doe-eyed gaze is looking at her man of interest.

Although the beautiful Ms. Menounos does quite well on autopilot, this flirtatious look would be even more evocative if her head would have been more down-turned, giving the appearance of looking up more. Some additional body language cues - such as if Maria would have been biting her lower lip slightly or perhaps coyly licking her lip - would have every man in sight believing she was "the one".


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Public Speaking Secret # 133:
The Basketball Steeple

Rather than using the conventional steeple gesture, strongly consider using the "Basketball Steeple" instead - as demonsrated above by Ukranian President Viktor Yankovych. It gets its name because it looks like the speaker is holding an invisible basketball. A great example of an empowering "illustrator", it has the advantages of projecting authority and confidence, without appearing arrogant - as the Conventional Steeple does. President Barack Obama uses the Basketball Steeple to his advantage quite often


Monday, December 14, 2009

Defense! Defense! Defense! .... and a False Smile...

Ms. Sofya Trotsenko, head of the Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow, displays a tight-lipped false smile in this photograph.  It is commonly seen when people are trying to give a polite impression, but their real emotions are not just neutral or disinterested, but considerably negative.  People also display it when they are holding back a secret or have just spoken a partial truth.  Note how Sofya's mid-face is tightened and her "smile", although it looks slightly upturned because of her downward head tilt, is horizontal.  Her eyes are wide open which is never consistent with a true, felt smile.

Ms. Trotsenko's right hand is reaching across her front. It looks like she might be adjusting her hair or scratching - but this is a great example of a manipulator aka pacifier.  In this setting, it is an indicator of defensive-anxiety.

Her downward head tilt is also consistent with a defensive posture.  It can also be associated with anger, but because her forehead is relaxed and her eyebrows are not drawn together or downwardly displaced, we can be sure that here - Soyfa's head tilt is caused by a defensive emotional tone.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Negotiation Secret # 323:
You Never want to miss this Emotion

In this photo, actress Anna Paquin is displaying the classic (although in a mild to moderate amount in this example) expression of contempt.  This is an extremely important expression - always accurate and always with consequences.  If you see it - there's a problem, either in your marriage or perhaps in your employment.

The fact is most people don't notice this emotion - even in retrospect.  It often appears on the face for just an instant - as little as 1/40th of a second.  This display is known as a microexpression.  It is entirely subconscious.  Of course, there are many other emotions which are displayed as briefly.  Only about one in 300 people can see microexpressions naturally, but virtually everyone can be taught to see them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Negotiation Secret # 277:
The Conventional Steeple:
Use it on Rare Occasions and in Small Doses

This is Mr. Ewald Nowotny. He's a Governing Council Member of the European Central Bank.  This conventional "Steeple" gesture (emblem) he's using is a sign that should be used vary sparingly. While it can project confidence, more often than not it backfires and sends signals of arrogance.  In this particular photo, arrogance is strongly projected.  

Mr. Nowotny is also leaning backward which is disengaging.  He believes he knows what's best and he is closed off to all other options. His backward head tilt and accompanying "looking down his nose" expression is also strongly consistent with arrogance.  

Do you think as a governing member of the European Central Bank he lacks experience?  Do you believe his intention was to appear arrogant?


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leadership Body Language Secret # 103:
High Confidence vs. Low Confidence Stance -
Who's Leading Who?

This is a great example of a high confidence female stance contrasting with her low confidence male companion.

Notice the feet (legs) of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, a London Socialite, are moderately apart - which projects greater confidence, while her unknown guy's feet (legs) are together.   Generals stand with their feet apart. Enlisted men stand with their feet together. Tara's shoulders are relaxed and spread back - his shoulders are hunched forward and elevated.  Her neck is extended and proud.  Mr. unknown's neck is foreshortened and he reminds us a bit of a turtle.  Ms. Palmer-Tomkinson's body and her face are pointed more towards us - his body is pointed away. Her eyes are open and alert - his eyes look tired.  Her face shows a mild social smile - his mouth is more neutral. While Tara is holding her purse, his hand - except for his thumb - is in his pocket. While he could have displayed even less confidence if his whole hand were tucked in his pocket, in this setting even part of his hand is his pocket screams "Don't talk to me - I am not confident!"


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Flirting and Romance Secret No. 39: Affectionate vs. Non-Affectionate Hug • Tom Cruze and Cameron Diaz (PHHOTO)

In this photograph of Tom and Cameron hugging, Ms. Diaz is more affectionate than Mr. Cruise.  First notice how Mr. Cruise is turned away from the hug. His feet and his body are pointed away from Cameron.  When the lower body is turned and separated in a hug, there's not much affection.  He's also only hugging with one arm.   It would be interesting to see what his eyes look like, but his mouth is certainly not consistent with happiness.  His mid-face and mouth are tightened.  Mr. Cruise is normally pretty good at expressing a smile when he tries, but here we glimpse into his actual emotions in real-time.

Cameron leans into the hug, and although her lower body is still separated from Tom she is showing more affection (The most affectionate hugs are when the lower bodies are touching as well as the upper bodies).  Ms. Diaz's feet and her entire body are pointed towards Mr. Cruise and she is hugging with both arms. I'd wager she had a true smile on her face at the moment this photograph was taken.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Body Language Secret # 1599:
Roger Clemens - Lying Before Congress?

Did Roger Clemens Lie to us and Congress?  I and many others believe he did. He was reecently indicted for doing so.  Amazingly, there are three key body language signs to note even in his initial I-promise-to-tell-the-whole-truth-and-nothing but-the-truth photographs.  Mr. Clemens is seen with his fingers spread apart in his raised hand - as he is swearing to tell the truth.  This is a very telling sign that Roger does not have confidence in what he is about to say.  If he had meant to tell the truth - his confidence would be much higher and his fingers would be together.

In another photo taken a few minutes later, his lips are compressed - indicating controlled anger/stress - as well as his lips are rolled inward - indicating high levels of anxiety.

Roger incredibly demonstrates a great example of a "Snake-Tongue Tell" (some call this a Tongue Jut). This can have several similar meanings:  I've been bad, I got away with something, I did something foolish, excitement, or I got caught. We all know the context here.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fun never fakes a Smile

Do you know the characteristics of a false smile? What is always present in a true smile?


Saturday, September 19, 2009

2010 - U.K. Prime Minister Debate -
Nixon-Kennedy Redux?

This is a very interesting video clip from a the U.K.General Election. Many Body Language Experts feel that Gordon Brown's lack of Nonverbal skills cost him the election.  This debate - like the Nixon-Kennedy debates of 1960 - exemplifies the lack of basic body language skills - even with national leaders - when we're nervous.  Very few can "wing-it". Gordon Brown has years of experience and yet he made some freshman mistakes.  David Cameron, although 16 years younger and less experienced than Brown, was spot on.

The mistakes demonstrated here are unfortunately common.  

Don't be common. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Couple or about to Buckle?

Can you spot true love?  Can you tell if your spouse is cheating?  Is  love waxing or waning? What are the signs? How can you tell? Body language is "always on".  How much pain could you have avoided if you would have known these secrets 10 years ago?


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Can you tell the difference between a
Real Smile and a Polite Smile?
...bet you can't!

One of the most important body language skill you can have is knowing how to detect a sincere smile and in producing one of your own – often and at will. Most people can’t do either very well.

What is the key part of the face to look at when differentiating a true, felt smile (Duchenne Smile) versus a polite aka fake smile?

What parts of the teeth, if any, are hidden during a sincere smile?  When you want to make a true smile - what part of your face should you “lead with”?  What changes occur in the brain when you make a Duchenne Smile?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

If A-Rod was your employee -
Could you tell if he was lying?

Is he lying?  Are you sure?  Which one of the Seven Universal Facial Expressions for Emotions does Alex Rodriguez display multiple times?  What two subtle emotions does A-Rod display when Katie asks him about who owns the real home run record?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What are the Four Most Significant
Predictors of Marriage Failure?

What are the Four Most Significant Predictors of Marriage Failure?

Which of these predictors is the most important?

What is the Body Language Signal for this Emotion?

Do you see it present on this photo of Kate?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Other Side of the Story....

Does Jon have the facial expression of this key emotion consistent with Marriage Failure?

Would you be surprised to learn that the mere display of this
"Mystery" emotion predicts divorce with a 70 percent accuracy? ....

This emotion is so powerful that its recipient gets significantly more
infections and illnesses!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Change the person, time and circumstances a bit ...
if this were your spouse or co-worker
how would you call this?

Everyone knows what President Clinton did.  Can you spot four "tells" that gave him away?  Any one of them separately may not be definitive - but when they occur together we refer to them as "clustering" - and accuracy is much higher when you observe three or more congruent tells.


Friday, July 10, 2009

What's the most honest body part?


Hint:  It's not what you think!  When emotions are revealed via body language, we each have a variable degree over which we can suppress these - which is learned, but no one can suppress them anywhere near completely.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What does the "Arms Akimbo" posture mean?

Arms Akimbo

When should you adopt this posture? When shouldn't you? Does the Arms Akimbo have different significance when a woman uses it? Does it mean the same thing if the thumbs are in front of the hips and the fingers are in back (the opposite of this police officer)?


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What is former Governor Blagojevich feeling when was making these expressions?


Would it surprise you to know that most people believe they're smiling when the adopt this facial expressions? Would it surprise you to know you're guilty of this too? Do you want to know how to eliminate this?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What do you think
former White House Press Secretary
Dana Perino feeling?

If your employee or co-worker looked like this when you were speaking with them, what should you do?


Friday, June 19, 2009

Two Emotions for Ron Wood

What two Emotions is this facial expression indicative of? If you saw this expression on your spouse - what should you do?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What is Emotion is former
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer feeling?

This facial signal is an example of what class of behaviors? What are some other possible signals you may see with this emotion?