Sunday, October 30, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 519:
Fear in the Candle Light

In this image, you can see some mild to moderate fear expressed in the woman's face on the right. Along with many other migrant workers, she attended a candlelight vigil demonstration in Hong Kong. Their goal was equality and respect. Notice her mouth - it is subtly drawn laterally (towards her ears). Her jaw is slightly dropped and the bottom teeth are exposed while the top teeth are not visible. Her eyelids, while they certainly could be opened wider, are opened wider than normal. Note the eyebrows too - they are raised and subtly drawn together. All these signals together signify a nonverbal beacon of fear - perhaps a 3.5 to 4.0 (on a 0.0 to 10.0 scale). Virtually anyone can recognize extreme fear. But it should be your goal to also recognize moderate, mild and indeed subtle degrees of any emotion. You would be very surprised at the percentage of otherwise educated and accomplished adults who cannot identify this or other less extreme emotional signals.