Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Exercise # 2012: Got Empathy?
An Appeal to Asma al-Assad
Diplomacy through Unconventional Channels

In this video graphic video, produced by the Huberta von Voss-Wittig, wife of Germany's United Nations Ambassador (Peter Wittig) and Sheilia Lyall Grant, wife of the United Kingdom's Ambassador (Mark Lyall Grant), they made an open and unconventional appeal to Asma al-Assad (wife of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad) to assert herself and help stop the Syrian Government's violence towards its own people. 

After watching it, were you aware that your central forehead muscles were contracting? This specific nonverbal is expressed whenever pain is experienced - emotional or physical - either directly or via empathy.

Were you aware that your head & neck pulled backwards, away from the video?

Was your real-time awareness of your emotional mind acute enough so that your conscious mind knew when your mouth, lips and teeth pulled back in a classic fear expression?

See also:
Secret # 2019: Sarah Palin's "Co-Hosting"on the Today Show - She Fears Romney's Candidacy
Secret # 1081: Newt's Mouth of Fear
Secret # 931: Harbaugh's Fear and Anxiety

Or when the platysma muscle on your neck tightened like a tent (also classic of fear)?

See also: Secret # 329: Neck of Fear

Did you have any conscious control of your hands as they reached up to cover your mouth? - a classic display of empathy.

See also:
Secret # 21: Surprise + Fear + Empathy
Secret # 221: Spontaneous Mouth Covering and Empathy
Secret # 665: A Strong Signal of Insincerity

I doubt it. 

Almost no one is aware of their emotions in real-time. It's nearly a contradiction to the nature of emotions. Body Language is the science of emotions and how these are expressed nonverbally - in real-time - on the face and body. You watched this video presumably because you have an interest in nonverbal communication - and yet you still were unaware of what you were doing while witnessing the content of the video. Indeed, this is true if you had read these/are reading these paragraphs prior to watching it. 

We all leak emotions and our true feelings through many nonverbal channels. We think we are better than the next person at controlling these expressions, and even if that's true - we still are as transparent as glass.