Thursday, March 15, 2012

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1403:
Gustaf Gets Galled

King Carl XVI Gustaf is angry. What key cues can you spot? There are several that you shouldn't miss.

The most obvious (and somewhat less reliable) sign of anger is the drawing together and downwards of the Swedish Leader's eyebrows. If this were the only facial change we saw, then we also have to consider that Carl was perplexed or intensely concentrating. People in the midst of times of intense thinking are often mistaken for being angry. But as usual, there are other nonverbal cues available.

If you see an increase in exposure of the "whites of the eyes" (sclera) - three primary and common emotions (there are other less common ones though) should immediately spring to mind - anger (moderate to severe), fear and surprise. Note that in particular, the King's right eye has an increased "white and wide" appearance. However, even if we didn't observe this ocular body language, the tension we see in his "mustache area" is certainly driven by this negative emotion. Both of Gustaf's nostrils are flared - consistent with anger and disgust. In particular, the thinning of his lips is highly correlative with anger.