Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2301: The State of the Union, Lenny Skutnik and a Body Language Signal of Being Proud

Lenny Skutnik was working at a $14,000 a year job back in on 13 January 1982 and car-pooling it home when Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River. After watching one of the survivors lose grip of a make-shift rescue line from a park helicopter (not designed for rescue), Lenny jumped into the icy waters and saved Priscilla Tirado's life. Less than two weeks later he was sitting next to Nancy Reagan at The State of the Union address. President Reagan pointed him out for the World to see - which is encapsulated in the video above. Thereafter many presidents have invited other heroes and drew attention to them in a similar manner. These people are often referred to as "Lenny Skutniks". What follows is some interesting body language of Skutnik's wife, Linda.

Here Linda Skutnik's chin is wrinkling as the mentalis muscle contracts. This change commonly occurs prior to crying or in an effort to fight back tears.

Here, Linda Skutnik is tilting her head & neck backwards. Together with the wrinkling of her chin and tightened jaw muscles tell us that her jaw is also jutting outwards. Most commonly a "Jaw Jut" indicates anger and even aggression - yet when coupled with other nonverbal signals, it has a completely different meaning (much as words do in a written or spoken sentences). 

In the nonverbal cluster-context shown in this second image, Linda's facial expression indicates pride in her husband and his actions.

The jaw is typically closed and often clenched in this "Jaw Jut" configuration as well - but her the tilting of her head that gives an additional appearance of protrusion.

The video below is a short documentary featuring Lenny Skutnik and others - and their heroic efforts rescuing of the survivors from the Air Florida Flight 90 crash on 13 January 1982 in the Potomac River.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2084:  Lolo Jones's False Mastication/Jaw Clenching

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2039:  Fight Outside Florida Courtroom - Jaw Jut Prior to Violence

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 757:  Asma's Mild Jaw Jut

Negotiation Secret # 47:  Pete Carroll's Jaw Jut and Mid-face Tightening

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2247:  Barack Obama's Body Language on Meet the Press  "That was the worst day of my Presidency"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2138:  President Obama's Anger-Frustration During Debate -  An Under-Appreciated Body Language Signal

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1060:  Belichick's Anger