Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1927:
Italy's Fans watching Euro 2012 Final - Expressions of Fear

Italy's football fans in this photo are watching their team playing Spain in the Euro 2012 finals ... with much trepidation. The man on the right has some subtle to moderate body language manifestations of fear. Notice how his neck is slightly taught. Higher levels of fear will result in more extreme contraction and an appearance of "tenting" of the superficial neck muscle known as the platysma (see also: Analysis # 329: The Neck of Fear). While self-touching in general indicates the more general emotion of anxiety - MAPs (Manipulators, Adaptors or Pacifiers) of the face (e.g., woman on the left), neck, chin (man on the right), manumbrium (upper portion of sternum) or the upper torso are more consistent with fear. This man's mouth is also stretched down and backwards at the "corners". Note that we see his bottom teeth exposed - and although subtle, this also highly characteristic of the "mouth of fear" (see also: Analysis # 301: Angela Merkel's Mouth of Fear).

It is important to note the extreme variety of events which people may "fear", even though we often think of this emotion as one indicative of a physically threatening action or other relatively extreme catastrophe.  No so. Empathy and careful observation shows otherwise. Thus, it is very valuable to note these displays in negotiations, the sales processes, and other professional settings.

Spain triumphed in the largest margin of victory ever in a UEFA EURO final, 4-0.