Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2351: Mila Kunis on Graham Norton - Body Language, Sitting and being "Emotionally Comfortable" (VIDEO, PHOTO)

This is a hilarious video clip from Graham Norton's show from 3 March 2013. Mila Kunis is featured here promoting her recent film, "Oz the Great and Powerful". Judi Dench and Jude Law are also guests. It's also a segment that's packed full of great body language examples.

Everyone enjoys watching Mila because she's so sincere. In street lingo, people oft say, "she's real". They will also describe her as "very being comfortable in her own skin". We all gravitate to those who exude these characteristic - and nonverbal communication makes up a huge fraction of this intangible yet profoundly important quality.

Coexisting with anyone who displays such a high sincerity quotient as this Ukrainian native does - is emotional comfort. Note the manner in which Mila is sitting - one leg folded under the other, with her right calf and/or ankle beneath her left thigh. This configuration (or its mirror image) is a strong signal of emotional comfort. It's seen more commonly in women and gay/bisexual men - although straight men will display it as well. Despite the fact she's on T.V., Mila is very comfortable. If you ask people why they are sitting in this manner - they will in fact say "it's comfortable". They mean it's physically comfortable and indeed it is - but only with the prerequisite of emotional comfort. Without being at ease with the people around you and the entire situation, this body language will not be displayed. In fact when an awkward, embarrassing or confrontational change in the conversation occurs - along with other simultaneous facial and hand nonverbal changes, this sitting posture will immediately cease.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2325: Mila Kunis' interview with Chris Stark on BBC Radio 1 re: Oz the Great and Powerful -  Body Language, Sexual Attraction and Mirroring

Negotiation Body Language Secret No. 357:  Mila Kunis and Sergeant Scott Moore

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2330:  Body Language of Foot Placement on another Person's Chair

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2332:  Instinctive Body Language, Comforting an Infant & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2238:  Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's  Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2177: "I'm Tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney" -  We're all Abigael Evans  Dialing up her Alpha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2281:  Inaugural Luncheon Anxiety  Barack Obama's Body Language  Michelle's Mirroring


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2350: Ben Carson and Contempt - both dramatic and subtle - Backpedaling and Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In the both interviews shown in the above video, Dr. Benjamin Carson shows multiple displays of contempt - some of these were in the form of microexpressions. These are most notable in the original interview on FOX earlier this week (exampled below). And although they are significantly more subtle examples - contempt is still seen with his explanation-apology.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2312: Bruce Willis' Body Language - Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2276:  Michelle Obama's Eye Roll .... What was she thinking? and  What Did Boehner's & Barack's Body Language Say?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2228:  Jay Carney's Body Language -  Contempt disguised as a Sniff ....  for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2271:  Golden Globe Awards - Best Original Song Adele & Taylor Swift - both Nominated, One Winner  One Body Language of Sincerity  Another of Contempt then a Suppressed Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2256: Steubenville, Ohio High School Alleged Rape - Body Language of Sincere Contempt on the Small Screen

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2264:  Kate Middleton's First Portrait as Duchess of Cambridge  Captures Body Language of  Contempt, Disapproval and Fatigue

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2243:  The NRA, Asa Hutchinson's Body Language,  Speaking out of the “Side of the Mouth”  and the Importance of "Norming"


Friday, March 29, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2349:
Barack Obama, The Miami Heat & Chicago Bulls -
POTUS's Body Language

Today President Barack Obama visited Miami, Florida where he is trying to drum up public support for a plan to reinvigorate the economy. He opened his speech with an "icebreaker" - joking with the audience regarding (his hometown) Chicago Bulls who recently defeated the Miami Heat - thus putting to an end the second longest win streak in NBA history (27 games).

If you're accustomed to watching Barack Obama's body language, you'll agree that he touches his head and face fare less often than most skilled public speakers. However, during the 0:06 - 0:10 segment of the above video (and in the first image below), he scratches the top of his head as he says, "...I,I,I know you guys aren't happy with my Chicago Bulls ...." This head-touching MAP (manipulator, adaptor, pacifier) nonverbal indicates a relatively pure form of anxiety. Touching/rubbing/scratching the top, back, or sides (as long as it does not involve or is close to the ear) of the head does NOT indicate deception. However ......

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2156:  Barack Obama's Body Language at Al Smith Charity Dinner - Comedy, White Lies and Facial Touching MAPs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2175: Mayor Bloomberg, Body Language,  Hurricane Sandy and the NYC Marathon

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2033:  Lie Detection, Sergey Lavrov and Syria

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2176: James Carville's Body Language - Pennsylvania & Swing States

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2342: Barack Obama at Jerusalem Convention Center in Israel  What the President's Body Language Says to a Heckler

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 199:  When a Lie is Told, Heard or Visualized by ....Vladimir's Eye

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2298: Kylie & Kendall Jenner Do NOT Like Kanye West  Their Body Language Contradicts their Words - Spells another Split-up in Kim Kardashian's Future

During the 0:10 - 0:11 segment of the video, POTUS rubs his nose (imaged below). This nonverbal tell indicates deception. On some level there is a low-level form of lie taking place. The President is saying something like, "I can't believe I just used this line on this crowd" in his own self-talk/internal dialog - and yet still he did so. This is a form of a self-deception and emotional conflict. When such "white-lies" are told - most all recognize these as a form of hyperbole. Yet they are still lies - and his body language reveals such. Lower level lies often are manifested by MAPs committed with the non-dominant hand. Here the President reveals it's a small fib he's told to himself, because he uses his right hand. He tends to reveal whoppers to us with his left hand. You do the same if you're a southpaw.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2348:
Prince William, Alpha Personalities & Body Language

A helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force and soon to be father - Prince William is shown in the above video (0:05 - 0:06) and in the images below in a "Lip Purse" (Specifically this is a symmetrical and loose sub-type). This nonverbal display is very commonly seen in an alpha personalities - or scenarios where the person displaying this expression is an alpha - relative to the people in the immediate vicinity. It's one body language tell which signals clandestine disagreement - where little or no opposition is voiced, but a difference of opinion with the action being seen or spoken by another party is very much being felt. Moreover those expressing the loose, symmetrical lip purse (here Prince William) have the means to carry off their plan (and will do so clandestinely) and have high degree of confidence that they will succeed or the other person's plan of action will fail.

The Duke of Cambridge is probably feeling this emotion towards the camera crew or other press involved in filming/making of this documentary (soon to be aired by the BBC). Yet this expression, and important variations of it, are oft displayed but missed - in the board room, in the court room, in the exam room, in negotiations and on the sales floor - and their ramifications and thus the next best move goes unrecognized and uninitiated.

Most people commit the equivalent of "stumbling in the dark" when it comes to body language. They "give away" and overlook terabytes of valuable nonverbal information. Have you tripped lately and not even know it?

See also:

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 392: Christmas Cheer - Kate Middleton's and Prince William's Suppressed Smiles

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1859:  The Prince is Angry at the Queen's Jubilee

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2258:  Prince Charles worried about Harry?  What his Body Language Says

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2115:  Prince Harry in Afghanistan - Incredulity & Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis & Self-Test # 2252:  How Self-Aware are you?  Plane Crashes with Collateral Damage to Cars & Highway

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2264:  Kate Middleton's First Portrait as Duchess of Cambridge  Captures Body Language of  Contempt, Disapproval and Fatigue

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2178:  Little Girl Tells Pippa Middleton, "I Hate Princesses"  Pippa's Body Language of Contempt ...


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2347:
Body Language, Jazz Hands and Powerball

Within the context of performance dance, "Jazz Hands" are a configuration of palms directed towards the audience with fingers splayed. This deliberate gesture in performance may also be referred to as "Jazz Fingers" or "Spirit Fingers" are more commonly seen with Jazz dance, revue, cheerleading, show choir and musicals. 

In the video above (during 2:00 - 2:02) and captured below in an image, the translator for Pedro Quezada shows us the off-stage, real world (and performed subconsciously or at the edge-of-consciousness) version of jazz hands. Mr. Quezada, a hard working husband and father of five, who owns and works at a deli in New Jersey, won the 338 million Powerball jackpot this past week.

In stage performances, Jazz hands & fingers are associated with exuberance and melodrama. They may also imply a level of campiness. In the everyday they indicate these same emotions in an effort to recreate a truly excited - or sarcastically (falsely) excited retelling of a story or event. They are often associated with a coexisting arm movement of rapid shaking. In body language parlance they are a variety of an "illustrator". Straight men tend to have their elbows further from their body when using this nonverbal, while women and gay men most often display jazz hands with their elbows much closer to their abdomen. To differentiate between the two emotional extremes of jazz hands (sincere vs. insincere) - one must look elsewhere in the "nonverbal sentence" aka the body language cluster.

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2052:  Dialing Up Empathy and Sincerity -  Mitt Romney's & Barack Obama's Response to  Aurora, Colorado "Batman Shooting"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150:  Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1915: Mitt Romney's Response to Supreme Court's Decision on "Obamacare"


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2346:
Texas Shootout & Colorado Killer Suspect Evan Ebel -
Body Language of a Determined Emotional Mindset

Evan Ebel, the man who is suspected of killing Colorado Prison System Chief, Tom Clements and who himself was killed in a shootout two days later in northern Texas, is shown here in a prison photograph associated with a prior offense. Today it was disclosed that Ebel had bomb making materials in his car at the time of his death.

From a body language point of view, there is one particular feature here which is very common to such "mug shots". Note his head is slightly tilted back with his "nose in the air". Such turned up noses are often associated with and accurately indicate the emotion of arrogance. However another emotion with which this body language-facial expression is associated - and often not appreciate, is that of a determined mind. Of course this emotional display is oft displayed in the noncriminal as well. It is exceedingly common within the context of sports. If you were arrested or engaged on the field of athletic competition, a determined mindset is very necessary for "survival" - whether literal or metaphorical.

How often do you see this (or other) facial expression and misinterpret it as arrogance? Do you know what body language signals will allow you to discriminate between these two emotions?


Monday, March 25, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2345:
Tiger Woods & Lindsey Vonn -
Body Language of True Affection?

The last few days have been big ones for Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn. Last week the World Class golfer and all-Universe skier announced that they're officially a couple. And today, after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida, Tiger Woods has regained the World number one golf ranking - a position he has not held since October 2010. It was his third win of 2013.

There have been some in the press that have suggested the two great athletes are dating as a publicity stunt. Obviously, that would be very ill-advised. Certainly this and similar tactics have been taken by others in the past, but it is not the case here. And while the two images in this post are posed pictures taken by a professional photographer - there are signals of true affection exampled here that would escape the mind of most. Indeed these and many other valuable signs are missed daily by most during dates, marriages and pre-break-ups. 

In each of these two photos, both Vonn and Woods are sporting a highly sincere aka "Duchenne" smiles. Most importantly their eyes are partially closed with a dynamic, concave-up lower lid furrow. Without this partial closure - (a contraction of the orbicularis oculi pars orbitalis muscle which also elevates and "bunches up" the cheeks), a smile is NEVER sincere. 

Very few can make a sincere smile on-demand. Even professional actors when interviewed about their own lives events, families, etc. And While all who are in front of the press often - and who depend on their public image for much of their income and success (like these two athletes do) - almost none of them have body language training. They absolutely should. The same logic of course goes for non-athletes who appear on-camera or have a significant amount of high-value face-time with others (e.g. attorneys, physicians, sales professions, corporate executives, law enforcement, politicians, etc.). Ignore and neglect the nonverbal channel your peril.

Another component of a sincere smile is the upper teeth being visible - though this is not required (e.g. during suppressed smiles). However the lower teeth, in general, should not be seen during a sincere smile - with the following exceptions: 

1. If held for too long (e.g. during prolonged posing sessions) the bottom teeth become visible 
    due to fatigue (most probably contributing to Woods' slight lower teeth being exposed here)
2. Downward camera angle (camera or view of another person positioned above mouth looking 
    and looking downwards, also contributing here)
3. During the transition to, in the midst of, or in the final throws of laughter (possibly contributing)

Sincere smiles should also ALWAYS have relaxed foreheads. A contracted forehead - with dynamic furrows is a sure sign of a false, fake or insincere smile. Only relaxed foreheads are seen here on both Woods and Vonn.

The upper photo demonstrates several signals of affection that are particularly important. Note how Lindsey is on Tiger's left side - she is held closure to his heart with her body turned towards him. This literal "closeness to the heart" is a visual and nonverbal metaphor for the true affection (and true love) that exists. Very few professional photographers are aware of this particular left-sided nonverbal affection signal - yet those in love "know it" subconsciously and gravitate towards it. Parents who have true affection for their children will also bias their holding and cuddling of their children on their left chest, regardless of their handedness. 

Physical proximity of their heads and their necks and heads leaning towards each other is also a strong signal of affection (and an absolute give away in office romances that are trying to be kept secret).

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are not conducting a publicity stunt. They are in love and their body language shows a high degree of affection for one another.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1496:  Tiger Woods' Disgust & Biofeedback

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1211:  Tiger's Eyes -  Subtle Signal, Severe Anger

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 483:  Handshake on the 18th - not so fast

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2332:  Instinctive Body Language, Comforting an Infant & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1808: Time Magazine's  Breast Feeding, Dr. William Sears, and Attachment Parenting Controversy - Shows Emotional Dissonance at Best

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 353:  Brad Pitt's Smiling Eyes -  Sincere and Insincere Smiles

Dating & Romance Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1010:  What Makes the Twinkle in Her Eye?


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2344:
Jillian Michaels Body Language
Neck of Fear & Mouth of Fear

This recent video interview of Jillian Michaels is loaded with great body language examples. Perhaps the best one is seen during 2:31 - 2:33 when she confesses that she hasn't been to the gym in weeks. She displays the classic "neck of fear" as well as the "mouth of fear". Of course fear is relative and the different components of its body language display can tell us more. We can be afraid of a stranger with a gun or afraid of failing a test - or show fear as an expression of empathy. Other nonverbals can tell us the magnitude. Here the star of "The Biggest Looser" is afraid of being perceived as a hypocrite or something similar.

Ms. Michaels (and everyones') "neck of fear" is made by the contraction of many of the muscles there - particularly the thin layer of muscle just beneath the skin on the whole front side of the neck and beneath the jaw - the platysma. Contraction of this muscle gives this particular highly characteristic "tenting up" appearance (still image below) of the neck. Fear is the only emotion which causes this platysma contraction and appearance.  Her lips are also stretched laterally together with a mildly clenched teeth. This is a mild to moderate example of the mouth of fear. With more severe levels of fear the jaw separates and pulls backwards and down. 

There are some other nonverbal elements of the fear expression which are not present here. What are these components and why are they not seen?

See also:

Negotiation Secret # 329: Angela Merkel and the Neck of Fear

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2031:  Tina Fey arriving at Alec Baldwin's Wedding,  Fear-Empathy with a (partial) Sincere Smile - Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2261:  Mom pulls Python off of her 2 year old daughter -  Body Language & Microexpression of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2303:  Karen & Jim Reynolds Interview -  Rogue Ex-Cop Christopher Dorner's Last Hostages  Microexpression of Fear - but it's not what you think ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2338:  Why Does Keit Pentus-Rosimannus feel Fear?  Body Language of Estonia's Minister of Environment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2306:  George W. Bush trapped in Room -  Body Language's Microexpression of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2297:  Rooney Mara on Conan O'Brien  Common Body Language Tell  Fear Apology Query Expression-Cluster


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2343:
Jodi Arias, the Courtroom and the
Body Language of Mirroring

Nonverbal mirroring behavior is performed primarily subconsciously when we're mentally and/or emotionally "in synch" with another. Couples who are in love mirror each other and business partners will also mirror when things are going well. It is a natural nonverbal outcome between those who have rapport. However the act of deliberately mirroring another person's body language, as long as it's not performed too exactly, too often or too closely in time - will also engender rapport and feelings of empathy. This requires significant nuance though - for if the other person catches on - then mirroring will back fire.

If Jodi Arias respects, likes or is of similar mindset with her attorney (Jennifer Willmott) - she would naturally mirror the lawyer. As some in this video point out, this body language behavior may indeed be a deliberate conscious act designed to add trust, authority and respect - in the eyes of the jury. Certainly the two women's clothes and hair style were chosen with such a strategy in mind.

Jodi Arias may indeed have serious psychological problems and she may also have murdered her former Travis Alexander in a premeditated fashion. However within the context of this video, Dr. Drew Pinksky is wrong regarding the merits of mirroring. He is being melodramatic for the purposes of ratings. The highly edited nature of this clip also gives us a false sense of how often mirroring occurs. Whether you believe Ms. Arias should be found guilty or be acquitted in the premeditated murder of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander - in this particular context of legal defense, such body language mirroring as well as mirroring of clothing and hair style are very good tactics.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323: Jodi Arias Murder Trial - The Body Language of Self-Contempt-Regret

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2336: Jodi Arias "Secret Video" Jury Will Not See -  Extremely Out of Context Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2196:  Cross Species Body Language  Contagious Yawning of Dogs Mirroring Humans  An Indicator of What Dog Lovers Already Knew -  Canine Empathy

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 801:  Julia Gillard, Barack Obama & Mirroring Down Under

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2161: Body Language of the Third Presidential Debate -  Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - What Did They Do With Their Hands  When They Weren't Talking?

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Tip # 1239:  Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama and Iran 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2199: Thailand, Body Language, Barack Obama and Yingluck Shinawatra -  Mirroring and Foot Point


Friday, March 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2342:
Barack Obama at Jerusalem Convention Center in Israel
What the President's Body Language Says to a Heckler

Yesterday the U.S. President revealed two key emotion-thoughts via his body language during his speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center.


Mr. Obama is telling lie - a small lie - but none the less he is still lying. Touching one eye (here the brow at 0:59) during a statement or when answering a factual question is highly indicative of a lie. Though POTUS knows everyone is aware he is joking-lying when he says, " I have to say we actually arranged for that because it made me feel at home", it is still displayed with this nonverbal flag of deception (be wary, for touching both eyes simultaneously has a completely different meaning).


He is using his middle finger in this MAP (manipulator, adaptor, pacifier). Thus he is "flipping off" the heckler/protester at the same time he prepares to tell his joke-lie. This is but one example of a "Partial Emblematic Slip" (Ekman) wherein the Emblem (here "The Bird") is only displayed in an abbreviated fashion and not in its typical conscious display - for this nonverbal subconsciously initiate and displayed (as 99.9+% are).

The President (like all of us) tend to commit these (and similar tells) with our non-dominant hands when the lie is small (here he uses his right, non-dominant hand) and our dominant hands for higher levels of deception. 

Here, as part of this "Deception Cluster", the President bites his right lower lip as he prepares to lie at the 1:00 mark.

Prolonged eyelid closure is manifested as the lip bite continues - a subconscious "blocking-out" of the lie (also at 1:00)

Barack Obama juts his tongue out (at 1:01). Just before the lie. In this cluster, his "Tongue Jut" is akin to a child pushing out food he/she doesn't like. For he doesn't really want to lie - no one does - it tastes bad.

All these body language tells are package in a nonverbal sentence which follow in rapid succession. In body language parlance, this is known as a "cluster".

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2156:  Barack Obama's Body Language at Al Smith Charity Dinner -  Comedy, White Lies and Facial Touching MAPs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152:  Second Presidential Debate - 16 October 2012 -  Barack Obama's Duping Delight -  Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" -  Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence ....

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150:  Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2137:  Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama - First Presidential Debate -  Barack's Bad Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1907:  Governor Rick Scott tells a Lie

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2033:  Lie Detection, Sergey Lavrov and Syria


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2341:
Angela Bassett Interview -
Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression
R2E2, Body Language & "Olympus has Fallen"

In the above video for the new movie "Olympus has Fallen", Angela Bassett twice exemplifies the Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression - both at 1:18 and again at 1:19. Many who see this will confuse it with the emotion of disgust or anger. And although it does indeed look similar to both - its meaning is radically different. The R2E2 is displayed during a conversation when the speaker is trying to rationalize, is seeking rapport and/or is trying to recruit the listener into co-rationalization (empathy recruitment) of their idea, opinion, action, etc.

These two examples of R2E2, particularly the second one (imaged below) are significantly more dramatic than most. While one cause of such an extreme R2E2 display is a greater desire for co-rationalization, empathy and/or rapport. This is not the case here with Ms. Bassett though. So why is this facial nonverbal so extreme?

We all display the R2E2. It often is accompanied by higher pitch and quicker speech. Forced laughter is also commonly seen along with a leaning forward and sometimes touching or reaching towards those being spoken to. These additional paralanguage modifiers and nonverbal behaviors serve as amplifiers of the emotion behind the R2E2.

When you observe the R2E2 nonverbal, ask yourself why the person displaying this body language is not fully convinced of what they are saying - or why they believe you are not fully convinced of their opinion. It can be a sign either insincerity (particularly when used excessively) and/or they are trying (too hard) to sell you some thing or some idea. Be wary.

See also:
Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2097: Mitt Romney's "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate" defense - Body Language of Rationalization, Rapport and Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1732: Rationalization, Rapport, Empathy Expression - How Jewel got her name

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2193:  Keira Knightley interview re: "Anna Karenina" -  Body Language of "R2E2" Facial Expression


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2340:
Mayor "Sly" James' Microphone Hijacked
During his Kansas City, Missouri's - State of City Address
Body Language Tells - Not what you'd expect

Kansas City, Missouri's Mayor "Sly" James was interrupted this morning during the State of the City address. The as yet unidentified man was then wrestled to the ground and arrested for assaulting a police officer - with probable other charges to follow. No doubt the microphone hijacker's behavior was illegal, unacceptable and not part of what most people consider acceptable civil discourse in a reasonable society. 

From a body language perspective the mayor's reaction is intriguing. Many assassinations occur during speeches. Mayor James' lack of moving away from the intruder goes against natural instinct of the vast majority of people. Doing so would not have colored him in any negative light. On the contrary, protection of oneself is very human. The Mayor's personal space (and even his intimate space) was invaded - abruptly, in a potentially violently fashion and by a stranger - all in a particularly unusual setting. It is interesting to speculate if, had a similar event happened to him in another place where the Mayor was not acting as a leader or the alpha male, whether he would have retracted away from a potential assailant. The vast majority of people are "hardwired" to pull away - as part of our human self-preservation reflex. Thinking is not part of this. It's a reflex - even if he were a 10th degree black belt. To back rapid away when your personal/intimate space is compromised in such a rapid fashion is not cowardice, it is fully human.

Early on, the Mayor shows no signs of anger. In the first image below, his lips are pursed - which is a strong nonverbal indicator of a clandestine disagreement from a relative alpha who has the power and resources to pull of his plan. Of course seconds later, the mayor sees "his plan" fully exercised by his body guards.

Very often these same pursed lips expression are displayed in the calm of a business meeting. And in such settings the words being said are often relatively or even very friendly. Watch their body language instead though - for while those who give this facial signal are voicing little or no disagreement - while their thoughts and emotions are expressing huge disparity. Prepare for an "end run".

In this second image (below), Mayor James' is displaying nonverbal signals of anger.  The thinning of and tension in his upper lip and "mustache area" is particularly telling here. There is also significant nostril dilation. Note this occurs once the police officer grabs the interrupter - thus the Mayor feels less threatened.

Note it is also still pursed - so their are at least two emotions present.

The microphone hijacker however, has a distinct signal of emotional and/or physical pain on his face - most notably shown by the contraction of his central forehead muscles.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2274: The Eyes & Mouth of Fear -  Body Language of Ahmed Dogan during  Attempted Assassination

Invading Personal Space

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1212:  Invading Barack Obama's Personal Space

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 915:  Interpersonal Space of Candidates

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2330:  Body Language of Foot Placement on another Person's Chair

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1896:  IMF Managing Director - Christine Lagarde Pseudo-Prayer & Pursed Lips

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2072:  Jay Carney's Lip Purse while NOT commenting on  Mitt Romney's Visits to the U.K., Israel and Poland


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2339:
Alpha, Beta, Body Language & Rapport Destroyers

Although a still image, the scenario above shows several key nonverbal signals and tells a story - almost as if it were a video. The alpha male, on the right is displaying an index finger (forefinger) point - and in what is probably a "wag" or chopping motion along with it. The finger point is a cross-cultural and universal negative gesture. Extremely offensive, it will cause both anger and fear along with decreased comprehension of whomever at which the appendage is pointed. It is not a way to build rapport. On the contrary it is a huge rapport destroyer. When this overly aggressive gesture in amalgamated with a chop, it amplifies these negative emotions to the extreme.

Here the primary recipient (the man in the middle of this image) is displaying a common body language manifestation of anxiety - false mastication or false chewing of the inside of the cheek. Sometimes it is the tongue or lip which is softly bitten and/or chewed. Notice his upper eyelids are also opened wider than normal. In this context, this eye nonverbal signifies fear. Be mindful though, for in other nonverbal clusters these dynamics have completely different meanings. His superior (alpha) is invoking a hierarchical display resulting in fear, anxiety and a poorer awareness of details in his subordinate (beta).

Too many confuse being in a leadership position with being a leader. And when it comes to body language there are no exceptions. Autopilot doesn't cut it.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1876:  Noomi Rapace, Anxiety & False Mastication

Negotiation Secret # 33: Spanish Football & False Mastication

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1522:  False Mastication in Court - Alicia DeBolt and  Adam Longoria

Negotiation Secret # 704:  False Mastication and  Contraction of the Central Forehead

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2122: Eyes White and Wide - Three Body Language Examples with  Two Different Emotional Cause

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 1167: Danica's Lips, Danica's Eye
Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2160: Index Finger (Forefinger) Pointing in Politics - The Third (and Final) 2012 Presidential Debates -  Body Language of Being an Alpha Male without Offending

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1918: Vladimir Putin - Pointing with Pen Surrogates - Sharp vs. Blunt


Monday, March 18, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2338:
Why Does Keit Pentus-Rosimannus feel Fear?
Body Language of Estonia's Minister of Environment

From a nonverbal communication perspective, this interview from 25 November 2012 of Keit Pentus-Rosimannus displays several very significant tells. One body language sign in particular is highlighted here.

After being asked by Ms. Kadri Jakobson if she was aware of a lawsuit being filled against her and others for 500 000€, she replies, "This is the first time that I hear of this. I have no relations with this company."

Then the Estonian Minister of Environment was asked, "Have you been dealing with this company during 2010-2011?"

Vice-Chairwoman of Estonia's Reform Party then said, "No I have not. The company used to belong to my father which in 2010 as you say was sold."

At the juncture of 0:50 - 0:51 mark, just after this last sentence, Ms. Pentus-Rosimannus makes a highly characteristic nonverbal display in the form of a microexpression of fear. The corner of her mouth pulls back and slightly down (the mouth of fear) while her neck also tightens in an unmistakable fashion (neck of fear). Both of these nonverbals are extremely evanescent. This is an extremely good example of a subtle, yet definitive microexpression of fear - one of the best you'll ever see.

A microexpression is an extremely brief, but very reliable emotional display which is initiated by the subconscious. Fear is but one of several emotions which can be manifested in this way. While we cannot say precisely why she feels this primal emotion, it is absolutely present. 

If you were in Keit Pentus-Rosimannus's shoes and you were telling the truth, it is always possible that you would feel the fear which may accompany a false accusation. So we must be careful not to always and automatically ascribe guilt to all fear displays - lest we commit the "Othello Error" (Ekman). 

However, although she is being question, she is not really being accused by Ms. Jakobson. If the Minister was hearing for the first time about such a lawsuit (and it were unfounded), her primary emotion should be that of anger (which is also very common when politicians are questioned by members of the press - and which she does indeed display and to a fair degree suppresses at other times during the video). But in such a scenario, a fear display would be unusual.  And yet we see it here.

It may be fear of false accusation. It may be fear for another (empathy-based). It may be fear based on guilt. But make no mistake - Ms. Keit Pentus-Rosimannus absolutely feels fear. 

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2274: The Eyes & Mouth of Fear -  Body Language of Ahmed Dogan during  Attempted Assassination

Body Language Secret # 702: Blake Lively's Mouth of Fear,  trying to Smile and  Forehead of Pain

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2019:  Sarah Palin's "Co-Hosting" on The Today Show -  She Fears Romney's Candidacy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2313: Elisa Lam Video in Elevator at Cecil Hotel -  What Her Body Language Tells Us ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2297:  Rooney Mara on Conan O'Brien  Common Body Language Tell  Fear Apology Query Expression-Cluster

Negotiation Secret # 329: Angela Merkel's Neck of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2306: George W. Bush trapped in Room - Body Language's Microexpression of Fear


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2337:
Rick Santorum at 2013 CPAC
Body Language,Facial Tension & Hand Tension

We all have moments like this - when we're expressing strong (or very strong) emotions - but their words are very often not congruent. Here former Senator Rick Santorum is seen in this still image in the midst of a speech at the 2013 CPAC. Most people will see that Senator Santorum is expressing anger here. This is primarily displayed by his jaw jut (thrusting forward) and his teeth clenching. He also has significant mid-face tension and nostril dilation. What many people overlook is coexisting hand tension. Anger and anxiety are very often manifested via hand tension - however these are not always as obvious as Santorum's tight, raised fist. If you're unsure as to the subtle emotional signs you're seeing - look at their hands. Often, while their arms may be "resting" at their sides - their hands will very often show tension. This will often betray what's really going on in their emotional brains. Don't just listen to their words - for when their verbal and nonverbal communication are in conflict, the body language is always correct. 

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1918: Vladimir Putin - Pointing with Pen Surrogates Sharp vs. Blunt

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1995: Barack Obama, Social Darwinism and the Political Point

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2132: Variations on a Theme - The Palm-Forward Dominant Spider (The Claw) vs. The Split-Finger Fastball

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2161: Body Language of the Third Presidential Debate -  Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - What Did They Do With Their Hands - When They Weren't Talking?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2291: A Tight Fist and Tension in The Face - Jay Carney's Body Language as he defends  Chuck Hagel's performance during  Senate Confirmation Hearings

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1888: Rod Stewart & Ron Wood - How the Hand and Face Collaborate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1812: Jamie Dimon on JPMorgan Chase's $2 Billion Loss - The Day After