Sunday, July 24, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 279 & 317: Angela's Two Tells

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not known for her poker face. Here she displays two classic facial expressions. Can you describe them? Her mouth has taken on the classic morphology of moderate fear. Her lips are pulled outwards and down very tightly. The jaw is pulled backwards and her chin is wrinkled as well. Her neck muscles are also tightened. All of these are classic signs of fear. 

Another facial signal that may accompany fear, but may also be present with other emotions - is her bilateral eye closure (eye blocking). This is a subconscious attempt by the mind to temporarily block the object of fear, contempt, disgust, etc. - as if to say, "If I close my eyes for a second, this may go away." The fact that even those who are born blind, still routinely exhibit this signal, speaks to the deeply rooted nature of body language.