Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2282:
Jay Carney and the Dominant Spider -
White House Press Secretary's Body Language re:
National Labor Relations Board Vacancies

An appeals court just ruled that President Obama acted unconstitutionally when he bypassed the U.S. Senate to fill empty positions on the National Labor Relations Board. In this video, a recent White House press briefing, as Press Secretary Jay Carney says, " back to 1867...", his right hand-arm extends, palm down, fingers open and toward his audience. This is a nonverbal illustrator known as the "Dominant Spider". It is a body language hand-arm signal (in nonverbal nomenclature this general class of gestures are known as illustrators) which indicates its user believes he/she is an alpha and has relative power and dominance over those to who(m) they are speaking. It also indicates that Mr. Carney believes that Barack Obama was in the right and that President's appointments for the NLRB vacancies were fully Constitutional - and that he believes the appeals court's decision will be overturned. 

It's important to note that the dominant spider is not used by betas to alphas, e.g., even though Mr. Carney exemplifies it here to reporters in the White House Press Briefing Room - he an alpha relative to them. But Jay Carney's subconscious would never let him use this illustrator to the President - for the Press Secretary is a beta relative to Barack.

Palm down gestures are often over-used and thus backfire. Like all dominant body language, they must be used sparingly and essentially choreographed into a speech, lest the audience feel patronized and disrespected. Palm down with the fingers closed (together) indicates an even stronger dominance belief on the part of its user (think Adolf Hitler). Handedness also carries an important significance, e.g. if a right-hander uses a palm down gesture with his right hand, this again indicates an even stronger dominance, confidence & successful-outcome belief. However if the right-hander uses his left hand, this nonverbal would indicate relatively less of these emotional tones/beliefs.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1871: Barack Obama  Explains His "Private Sector is Doing Fine" Comment -  The "Dominant Spider" vs.The "Split-Finger Fastball"

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1059:  Santorum's Dominant Spider

Negotiation Body Language Secret 731: Super Mario Monte's Dominant Spider

Negotiation Secret # 702: Moammar Gaddafi's Dominant Spider

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 554: Ron Paul's Palms Down Faux Pas

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 555:  How Facial Expressions Correlate with Palm Positions

Body Language Leadership Secret # 222: Palms Down vs. Palms Up - Angela Merkel's Mistake

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1899: Rep. Bill Cassidy and "Obama-care" - Letting your Body Language Detract from your Message