Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2506:
Barack Obama, the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and
Retaliation Against Syrian Poison Gas Attack

Today President Obama gave a speech in The Rose Garden wherein he surprised most everyone. There he announced that, although he believes the United States should take military action against Syria for using chemical weapons on its own people, he has asked both houses of Congress to take a vote on the issue.

Of course there were many body language signals displayed by the President in this speech. A significant and rarely noted one is the "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle".

At 1:44 in the above video, the President says, "... After careful deliberation I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets...." Within this sentence during the 1:46 - 1:47 (very subtle) and 1:49 - 1:51 (a bit easier to see, yet still subtle) segments you will see a high frequency side-to-side movement of the President's head. These are relatively difficult to see for the untrained eye, yet they're highly significant examples of the SRHW (Most anyone can see dramatic examples of body language, but if you want to benefit and see what everyone else misses, you should endeavor to see the moderate and the subtle displays which most people indeed overlook).

It is helpful to think of the SRHW as a form of body language swagger. People who display it are displaying alpha qualities. They feel particularly passionate and have very high confidence levels about the idea/issue being verbalized when they use it (although it can be seen on occasion where no words are being spoken). There is nearly always an increase in the frequency and volume of the voice simultaneous with and proportional to the nonverbal display.

As with all alpha nonverbal signals, the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and the closely related Self-Righteous Torso Wiggle are rapport destroyers and thus should be used very sparingly. Barack does not over-do it here. There may also be a similar jaw component or primary shoulder wiggle seen. In addition, super imposed over the side-to-side movement there may be a backward vectoring (signifying incredulity or disgust) or a forward motion (adds a reprimanding or scolding meaning to the mix).

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2464:  Gen. Martin Dempsey (Chairman U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff) Sen. John McCain and The Self-Righteous Torso Wiggle Body Language on Capitol Hill

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2398:  Self Righteous Head Wiggle, Alpha Behavior &  First Drone Flight Off of an Aircraft Carrier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1552:  The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle &  The Buffett Rule

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1923:  Hillary Clinton's Body Language re: Syrian Government -  The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Nonverbal Communication Intelligence # 2113:  Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, the U.S. and the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2130:  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Helping Syria -  Interview with Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2148:  Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan and the  "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" in the Vice Presidential Debate

This image was captured at the 1:50 mark. Note the President's head is blurred due to the side-to-side movement of the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle. Compare this to his torso which does not show signs of movement.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2505:
Marine Jesse Cottle and Wife Kelly
Body Language Expression of Regret and Sincere Smiles

In this initially sad story with a happy ending, Marine Jesse Cottle tells of when he lost both legs to an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan four years ago. After a lengthy recovery he met Kelly - who he would eventually marry. A recent photo of the couple, wherein Kelly is carrying Jesse piggyback without his prostheses, went viral. A video with their interviews is included above of which some of the body language is analyzed below.

At the 0:37 - 0:38 segment of the above video, a brief unilateral expression of regret can be seen. While short-lived in this example, it is not quite as evanescent as a microexpression. This same body language is repeated just as the video fades-in at 1:11.

Note the unilateral nature of this particular nonverbal. Most will describe this as a weak attempt at a smile (social smile or false smile) - yet it is not. Others who may have read a few books on body language will erroneously label this expression consistent with contempt. Oops ... missed again. In this moment Jesse Cottle is displaying regret. Here his emotion of regret is betrayed by a characteristic and primarily lateral (sideways) movement to the left corner of his mouth with very little or no upward vectoring. A dimpling of the cheek is often seen and is exampled here. Contempt on the other hand has a primarily upward movement of one side of the mouth & tissue above the upper lip (aka mustache area) with a concomitant nasal flaring/dilation on the same side. Contempt is never accompanied by a dimple. Understandably, Jesse Cottle feels regret about the war injury and the loss of his legs.

Both Jesse's and Kelly's face is shown here (higher resolution below), they both are displaying sincere (Duchenne) smiles (although her's is certainly of greater magnitude).

Photo credit: Sarah Ledford, Shutterhappy Photography

Such true smiles of joy-happiness are characterized by relaxed forehead muscles (no forehead contraction furrows), primarily upward vectoring of the mouth components of their smiles (only views of the upper teeth present with upper cheek contraction) and their eyelids are all partially closed (with the very important dynamic concave-up furrows present in their lower eyelids).

Lots of other great body language in this video - what other tells did you notice?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2485: Barack Obama on Next Federal Reserve Chairman -  Anger, Disgust, Regret and Contempt

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2408:  Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via  Senators Graham & McCain - Republican Body Language in Response to  President Obama's National Defense University Speech

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:  Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Subtle Contempt  The Body Language of Threat Assessment

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1407:  Auboni Champion-Morin  Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years - Microexpression of Contempt towards Kidnapper

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2474:  Mayor Bob Filner's False Smile - Insincerity, Body Language and San Diego 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2424:  Giada De Laurentiis on Conan O'Brien  Beautiful Teeth but Insincere Smiles and Some Body Language Signals of Waning Love

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


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2504:
Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez and a
Commonly Missed Body Language Signal (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots, is in jail - arrested and awaiting trial in the Murder of his friend, Odin Lloyd. He is also being investigated in multiple other murders in Florida and Massachusetts. In the following three images from the video above, Hernandez is captured in the midst of a commonly missed and misinterpreted facial expression - both disguised within a simple sniff.

Note: The original video has, since the original post, been removed from its online source. The images below however, were captured from this video

This photo, isolated from the 0:06 mark, shows a dramatically exaggerated "sniff" in which a microexpression of disgust is clearly hidden.

This image is captured at 0:28 and is a less dramatic example of "disgust with a sniff surrogate".

This photo from 1:09 show a significant asymmetry - with more contraction on Hernandez's left side. Thus this body language-facial expression indicates disgust (as the above to examples) with an added feature of contempt.

There are other significant nonverbal findings present in all three of these images and the video. What are they and what emotions do they indicate?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2467:  Rob Gronkowski & Aaron Hernandez  Recognizing Multiple Body Language Signs of Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228:  Jay Carney's Body Language -  Contempt disguised as a Sniff ....  for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1881:  Interrupting the President & Contempt Display -  Neil Munro shows us his Body Language and  His (Lack of) Etiquette

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2127:  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Body Language during Piers Morgan Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:  Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Contempt - The Body Language of Threat Assessment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

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


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2503:
Fort Hood Shooter and his Tell-Tale Body Language
Common to many Mass-Killers -
Nidal Malik Hasan gets the Death Penalty

Today Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death in the worst mass murder on a military instillation in U.S. History. In 2009 in a murderous rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, the army physician shot and killed 13 while wounding 32 others.

In the image above (and magnified in the first photo below) the psychiatrist is shown in what is a facial expression strongly consistent with significant psychological disorders. Indeed this and its variations are common nonverbal signals seen in shooting spree killers and on the face of serial murderers. This is not to say that all who display such a face will commit an act of violence nor that all killers have this or similar facial expression - however this characteristic facial expression should never be ignored.

Note that both of his eyes are opened much wider than normal baseline. While there are medical conditions (such as thyroid eye disease and craniofacial abnormalities) which can lead to this "eyes white and wide" appearance, they are relatively easily diagnosed. In the presence of a negative medical work up, and when this nonverbal is seen chronically (we all display this body language on occasion) sociopathic and psychopathic disorders should be ruled out. Unfortunately this facial expression and its potential ramifications go widely under-appreciated and rarely acted upon.

If you know someone who chronically displays this body language-facial expression cluster, steer clear of them.

See also:

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2259:  Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences - His Body Language Warning Signs 

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2492:  Jared Remy Arrested for Murder of His Girlfriend -  Three Jaw Signals in a Cluster,  Thee Body Language Meanings

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2456:  Julia Merfeld Trys to Hire a Hit Man to Kill Her Husband -  Sexual Attraction and a Murderous Wife; Body Language and Disinhibition

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2477:  Ariel Castro, "I am not a monster", Trying to Convince Us .... Body Language of a Psychopath

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2410:  Grant Acord, Oregon Student Suspect in School Bomb Plot -  Body Language Warning Signals

Detail of Nidal Malik Hasan from above image

Adam Lanza, Killer of 20 children and 6 adults in at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012

James Holmes, mass shooter in Theater in Aurora, Colorado in June 2012

Jared Loughner, Mass shooter in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011, killing 6 and wounding 14 including then U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

Marshall Applewhite, religious cult leader who orchestrated a mass-suicide of 39 people in 1997

Ted Bundy, Mass murder of at least 30 people in the 1970s


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2502:
A Body Language Sign of True Love & Affection -
A Father Reunited with Young Son Who He Believed died in
Syria Poison Gas Attack (VIDEO, PHOTO)

In the chemical weapon/poison gas attack in Damascus, Syria last week as many as 1400 people were killed. Many of them are children. One father was very blessed as he found out the son, who he believed to had died, was in fact alive. The video above shows their emotional reunion. The moment captured in the photo below shows a particularly special nonverbal of the father kissing his son on the lateral portion of his child's right eye. In this obvious moment of overwhelming joy - few would question his affection. Indeed kissing another person's eye (closed lid) or immediately adjacent to it - particularly the temple or just above the eye on the forehead or eyebrow is a sign of true affection and love. It signals a high sincerity quotient.

In moments of less dramatic extremes we have all seen and most have been the recipient of such a sincere body language display. Although not the case in this example, within the context of romantic relationship this premise still holds - an eyelid or near-eye kiss is a very accurate barometer that deep and true love has begun. And the disappearance of this affectionate nonverbal signal is a signal of waning love.

There are multiple other signals of sincerity here. How many do you see?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2478:  Acting Affectionate Engenders Affection - Body Language and Stranger

Body Language Secret # 105: Parental Affection and Love

Flirting and Romance Secret # 39:  Affectionate vs. Non-Affectionate Hug

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1423:  Head First Affection &  Head Surrogate Hugs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2232:  Vicki Soto, a Hero, Body Language  and a Mother's Love & Affection -  Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Interview

Dating & Romance Body Language Secret # 363:  Simon Cowell, Kissing and Lack of Affection

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2203:  A Body Language Metric of Intimacy and Affection -  How Do YOU cuddle?


Monday, August 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2501:
Bashar al-Assad, Chemical Weapons and a
Body Language Signal of a Sociopath (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Few would disagree with the diagnosis of sociopath when it comes to Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. It is alleged that under his instruction on 21 August 2013, the Syrian armed forces used chemical weapons on their own people in the Ghouta region of Damascus. Regardless of the perpetrator(s) these war crimes lead to the deaths of as many as 1400 people, many of them children.

In the Image above, al-Assad and his wife, Asma, are shown. A higher magnification, lower resolution view is below.

This particular photo shows a great example of an expression, which if seen chronically, loudly signals the presence of a sociopath. Note his central forehead is contracted while his peripheral forehead is relaxed. Simultaneously he is displaying a modest "mouth smile".

Al-Assad's smile is not sincere however. Any smile which is accompanied by a contracted forehead of any type or degree is ALWAYS INSINCERE. However the majority of smiles made by most people are not sincere. This variation however - with only the CENTRAL portion contracted - is a particular red flag.

The central forehead is contracted (CFC) whenever there is significant physical pain or emotional pain - whether experienced directly or secondarily for another via empathy. However in such emotional settings the mouth should ALWAYS be accompanied by a mouth expression of pain, fear or sadness. Bashar al-Assad's mouth here is smiling though. At the very best (and depending on other nonverbals signals with which it clustered) this "CFC + False Smile" signifies Incredulity. With other body language it may also signify Contempt.

We all display this expression from time to time, but when seen chronically, this body language/facial expression is highly correlative with sociopathic personalities. This is a dangerous nonverbal pattern. Stay away from such individuals. You have been warned.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238:  Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's  Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2441:  Paula Deen's Apology - What Does Her Body Language Say?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2457:  Surfer Gets Knocked Unconscious by Whale, Body Language Basics from Bondi Beach

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1910:  Natasha Smith Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square - Post Assault Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2405: Anthony Weiner's Running For Mayor of New York, His Body Language & His Sincerity Quotient

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2192:  Senator Elect Ted Cruz -  "So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain  Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama"  A Body Language Red Flag

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2042:  Syrian Government Defector  Nawaf al-Faresg

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 665:  Bashar al-Assad and a Strong Sign of Insincerity


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:
Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Contempt
The Body Language of Threat Assessment

This past Friday, Nidal Malik Hasan, an officer and psychiatrist in the U.S. Army, was convicted in the premeditated murder of 13 people and 32 counts of attempted murder. The crime occurred on 5 November 2009. The original view of the photo is below, and a higher magnified view is shown above.

Nidal Malik Hasan gives a body language clue in this image which is a common one in those who perpetrate violence - that of contempt. Of course we all display contempt from time to time, however when displayed chronically or in the context of a photograph where most would be smiling, it is a signal which should not be ignored.

When you examine Mr. Hasan's mouth you will note that the left half is foreshortened. This is subtle but significant. It also is occurs simultaneous with a slight tightening and elevation of his "mustache area" between his upper lip and nose. Moreover and easier to detect here, Hasan's left nostril is dilated or flared. This nonverbal cluster is significant for contempt.

There were reportedly numerous behavioral comments and comments made by Hasan in the months and years prior to the crime. A person's body language should never be ignored when assessing for threat assessment and in screening for potential criminal behavior. Do you know the other common nonverbal warning signs?

See also:

Crime Prevention & Body Language Secret # 10:  3 Killers -What Commonalities?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2372:  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects -  A Common Pre-Crime Body Language Pattern

Crime Prevention Signal # 12:  Mild to Moderate Disgust, Mohamed Osman Mohamud  Portland, Oregon Christmas Tree Lighting Bomb Plot

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2242:  Rihanna & Chris Brown at Lakers Game  Body Language of Dominance, "Ownership",  Narcissism and Submission

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231:  A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2499:
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, "Stop and Frisk" and a
Body Language Display of Dominance (VIDEO, PHOTO)

Last Sunday on "Face the Nation", New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly made an appearance. He spoke about the controversial "Stop and Frisk" practice and the recent ruling by a Federal Judge. In the above video, NYC's top cop and rumored to become the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, displays many a great example of nonverbal signals. Below is one rarely appreciated example.

Note: The original video has, since the original post, been removed from its online source. The images below however, were captured from this video.

This palm-forward hand gesture is known as "The Claw". It is one of many body language configurations which signify an alpha emotional mindset. It's also a variety of nonverbal "Illustrator" which emphasize or underlines the verbal component of the message. For those who know what to look for, it also lets them "read between the lines".

Individuals who use this palm-forward signal believe they are the relative alpha in the room while the others present are beta personalities. It is a sign of high self-confidence. As with all alpha signals, if over-used (a mistake which Commissioner Kelly does NOT commit here) it becomes hyper-alpha and backfires by transmit feelings of condescension and arrogance. Consequently it must be used sparingly and essentially choreographed into particularly important moments of a lecture, speech or interview. 

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2245:  The Fiscal Cliff Grows Closer & Tempers Fray -  Barack Obama's Body Language

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

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

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 # 2392:  Zoë Saldaña on Jimmy Kimmel - Rapport Builders, Alpha Behavior & Dominance Displays

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2411:  Zimmerman's Attorney, Mark O'Mara's - Body Language Faux Pas in Court


Friday, August 23, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2498:
McKenzie Morgan,
17 Year-Old Solo Pilot Walks Away From Crash
Partial Mouth and Neck of Fear Body Language

McKenzie Morgan, a 17 year-old pilot on a solo flight, crashed her Cessna 172 earlier this week and lived to tell about it. In fact she only had minor whiplash, cuts to some fingers and a sprained knee. Fortunately she was rescued by two hunters who were scouting the area on horseback.

In the video above when the reporter asks, "So what's next?", Ms. Morgan answers, "You know I going to finish, I'm going up tomorrow ... in an airplane ... again ... so I mean it's quick, quick turnaround. But um, going up, just to getting, getting back in it before I get too scared and don't want to anymore..." Just before she begins her answer (at the 2:24 mark), McKenzie displays a very brief asymmetrical mouth of fear - significantly more prominent on her left.

In addition, immediately below the left side of her jaw (mandible) a very brief microexpression can also be seen in a tightening of Ms. Morgan's neck muscles (platysma) at this same instant. It is very short in duration (as are all microexpressions) and difficult to see - best observed on the video.

This young woman's courage to get back in a plane and earn her pilot's license is very admirable indeed. “I love it ... can’t let one really bad occurrence tear you down.” Although she does display the above described nonverbal signals consistent with low levels of fear, her body language of this emotion is not extreme - and thus congruent with her verbal statement and plans (Note no eye findings of fear were present during this moment - if we had seen this important component of higher levels of fear, she would not be getting back in the pilot's seat).

It is an interesting coincidence that Morgan crashed near the cabin of Amelia Earhart near Meeteetse, Wyoming.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2486:  Katie Holmes on David Letterman and the "Social Etiquette Fear Face"

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2103:  Great Example of a Microexpression of Fear

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2443:  Kristen Wiig's Disgust & Fear Face -  Graham Norton, Chris O'Dowd and Fly Eating


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2497:
Steve Carell, Graham Norton and
Duping Delight Microexpression,
Reminiscing about the Chest Waxing Scene from
The 40 Year Old Virgin (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Steve Carell was on the Graham Norton show back in June (along with Kristen Wiig and Chris O'Dowd). In this short video clip, Carell describes the infamous chest waxing scene from his 2005 movie, "The 40 Year Old Virgin". This clip is hilarious and Carell, the master comedian that he is, has probably described this scene hundreds of times. And yet he still has difficulty in keeping a straight face.

At 0:49 Graham Norton says, "Is it true that she lied in the audition?" Carell answers, "Yeah, she said she knew how to wax." At the 0:54 mark just after Steve says, "...wax..." the left corner of his mouth shoots up in a microexpression. This is a form of a duping delight - even though immediately after that moment he breaks into a slow smile (also on the his left side) as it then grows into more full - but still somewhat suppressed bilateral sincere smile (Duchenne smile).

In the everyday world, a duping delight is an extremely valuable body language deception detection tell.

And of course there are a good bit of expressions that may look to the less-experienced like a one-sided smile, a suppressed smile or even duping delight .... yet they indicate completely different emotions. Can you name these nonverbal signals?

Extreme Empathy is demonstrated later by Graham Norton as Carell describes a particularly painful experience (Image captured at 1:28). This display is almost as if Norton is watching or experiencing directly Carell's doomsday scenario. Individuals who routinely demonstrate this level of sincere nonverbal vicariousness for another person's pain have a very high empathy quotient.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2443:  Kristen Wiig's Disgust & Fear Face -  Graham Norton, Chris O'Dowd and Fly Eating

Negotiation Secret # 140:  Duping Delight Microexpression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216:  Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language -  Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2236:  John Boehner & the Fiscal Cliff Plan B Failure - Body Language of Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2050:  George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox -  Microexpression of Contempt and  Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2280:  Manti Te'o's interview with Katie Couric Manti isn't telling us the whole truth -  Te'o's Body Language of Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2411:  Zimmerman's Attorney, Mark O'Mara's -  Body Language Faux Pas in Court


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2496:
Would You Buy a Car from this Man? (a Lykan Hypersport?),
Destroying Rapport with Arrogant Body Language

Ralph Debbas, the CEO of W Motors is included in the above video. He is interviewed regarding his company's new sports car the Lykan Hypersport, which along with being one of the fastest cars in the world, is the most expensive.

Is it in Mr. Debbas' best interest to be arrogant? Will this behavior sell him more cars? Will it help him sell them faster? Does a condescending emotional tone help with customer service? Would it be any different if he were selling Toyota 4Runners or Chevrolet Impalas? Of course the answer to all of these questions is "No" - and yet his body language projects those feelings.

Mr. Debbas' hands are held in what in body language parlance is known as a "High Steeple". Moreover it is a "conventional" sub-type (e.g., in distinction to a basketball steeple, a one-handed steeple, a pistol steeple, etc.).

A conventional steeple (high, mid-level or low) is an alpha signal. It signals assertiveness and dominance. Unfortunately like all alpha body language, when it is used, it is very often over-used.

It is one thing to project authority and assertiveness and strength using any alpha nonverbal signs, but the audience (whether it is one person or millions) will feel very strongly that the speaker is patronizing and contemptuous if these are used all but a second or two at very specific times. Indeed the conventional steeple must be truly a choreographed gesture. Mr. Debbas significantly over-uses this body language.

As if to remove any doubt about his feelings, this CEO dials up his arrogance by the use of contempt amplifiers. Whether standing or sitting, the backwards tilt of the head-neck yields a "nose in the air" appearance - which is a so well established the phase has become an idiom. An additional component in this arrogance cluster is his leaning back in the chair. It's as if to say his audience isn't important and he doesn't have time for them. It sends strong signals of low engagement.

Whether selling a product, service or yourself (e.g., your leadership, within the context of romance/dating, etc.), care must be taken to build rapport and not destroy it - regardless of your price point or your clientele. Mr. Debbas is destroying rapport. Alpha behavior should never be over-done or used to transmit arrogant behavior in such settings; just as being a bit more beta at times does not necessarily send signals of weak leadership (e.g. compassion, empathy, etc.). The World is not nearly as black and white as some believe (and practice) - there many shades of subtlety found in every face and body. Success awaits those who can navigate these nuances.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1503:  The Conventional Steeple vs. The Basketball Steeple - Seeking a Balance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2102:  The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and the  Conventional Steeple vs.Basketball Steeple

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 901:  The Over-used Steeple - Backfire in Berlin

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2370:  Donald Trump on David Letterman -  A Body Language Signal of Arrogance and Narcissism

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2235:  Barack Obama and John Boehner -  The Fiscal Cliff and Contrasting Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2063:  Mitt Romney and Ed Miliband -  Under Used and Backfiring Uses of Hands

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2495:  The White House, Josh Earnest, Egypt and a Coup -  Body Language Tells


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2495: The White House, Josh Earnest, Egypt and a Coup - Body Language Tells and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Josh Earnest, a White House spokesperson, spoke today about the administration's views on the merits of not referring to the recent military coup in Egypt as a coup. What follows is an analysis of some of his body language.

Note: The original video has, since the original post, been removed from its online source. The images below however, were captured from this video

At 0:06 Josh Earnest exhibits a "Forward (Symmetrical) Lip Purse". A very telling nonverbal display and one particularly valuable in negotiations, this variety of lip purse is a strong signal for Clandestine Disagreement. Said another way, there is a significant difference between what is being said here and what is being experienced emotionally.

Those who display a forward lip purse perceive themselves to be an alpha personality relative to others in the room. Betas rarely make the lip purse - and if it is seen in such a setting, it signifies a potential power play that is not fully appreciated. It may be a room full of dishwashers or World leaders, but those whose lips configure in this manner believe they are in relative power - AND they have the resources to pull of their clandestine plan, idea or action.

This is a relatively tight forward lip purse. What is the significance of this vs. a loose lip purse?

At the 0:31 mark, Mr. Earnest displays a very short-lived cluster of facial expressions indicative of anger and contempt.

Note the lateral pulling back of both corners of his mouth. Along with the dramatic thinning and stretching of the lips - particularly the upper lip - and with a clenching of the jaw (masseter) muscles are together significant for a nonverbal cluster which is strongly consistent with anger.

The asymmetrical dilation of his nostrils (greater on his LEFT) is a significant body language tell for the emotion of contempt. Simultaneous with this is a upward vectoring of the "mustache area" between his (LEFT) upper lip and nose (thus resembling a one-sided "snarl") is a classic contempt expression (here a microexpression because of it's extremely brief duration). In addition a partial bilateral closure of the upper eyelids is significant for contempt and indeed is a contempt amplifier.

There are several other significant nonverbal signals displayed in this video. How many did you spot?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2333:  Sen. Rand Paul at 2013 CPAC -  Body Language & variations on the Lip Purse

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216:  Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language -  Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2447:  Johnny Depp Disagrees with  "The Lone Ranger" Director Gore Verbinski But He Won't Say It Aloud ...  Tonto's Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1863:  Sharapova's Lips of Anger

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1060:  Belichick's Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2410:  Grant Acord, Oregon Student Suspect in School Bomb Plot -  Body Language Warning Signals

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 457:  Salman Rushdie - and a Contempt Amplifier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile


Monday, August 19, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2494:
Prince William Interview on Fatherhood and Baby George
Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Prince William is interviewed in the above video regarding fatherhood and baby George. The following are but a small fraction of the body language signals he displayed. Keep in mind that the Prince is RIGHT-hand dominant.

This image was captured at 2:10 and shows the Prince as he says, "...and I don't like fuss ...". A clear expression of contempt is captured here which is a bit longer in duration than a microexpression.

In addition at this moment, note the Prince is looking down to his right. During moments of deep emotion (as well as kinesthetically driven thoughts), it is very common for the vast majority of RIGHT-handed people to look to this quadrant. 

During this moment of remembering Prince Harry and himself as children, Prince William is displaying a common eye movement finding of Auditory Recall for 90% or more of LEFT-hand dominant people - looking directly lateral to the right
(at 2:53 - 2:54). The opposite is true for those who are RIGHT-handed. We would expect William to thus look directly to HIS LEFT if he's recalling a sound/voice of the past since he is RIGHT-handed - yet he is not.

A short moment later (2:55), the Prince looks up to his right - which is the quadrant the vast majority of LEFT-handers look to during moments of Visual Recall. Yet William is looking to this quadrant despite being RIGHT-handed.

Care must be taken when interpreting eye movements and their nonverbal meanings. Such body language typically occurs very briefly and in rapid succession with other eye movements. It is also not 100% accurate - however it's reliability is dramatically improved upon once a person has been carefully "normed" for baseline behavior. These eye movement findings should be used in conjunction with other nonverbals to increase their reliability. In two of the three examples sited above, William is looking in the mirror-image opposite direction than what would be expected for a RIGHT-handed person. One possible reason for this observation is that William is one of those (in the minority) who does not fit the typical and expected pattern of eye-movement seen in most people. What is another possible conclusion for these nonverbal observations?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2468:  Princess Kate, Prince William & a New Baby Boy -  Body Language, Rapport & Saving Face

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

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

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Intelligence Quiz # 2118:  Princess Kate's Subtle Emotions - What do YOU see?


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2493:
Jewel in Disguise at Karaoke Bar,
Body Language Cues to Lack of Nervousness

The funny video is excerpted from "Funny or Die". In it, Jewel is disguised and sings some of her own hit songs,"Who Will Save Your Soul?" and "You were Meant for Me" in a Karaoke bar. It's hilarious and contains many nonverbal tells. One particularly important hand gesture body language is significant for the lack of anxiety in a supposed amateur singer (her alias as "Karen" the frozen food worker).

Jewel has a disguise which even includes a false nose. In addition the face of an amateur or professional signer is quite contorted when singing. In such a scenario how can we detect stress?

Anxiety is very often displayed in the hands. Jewel (Karen") shows very little hand tension even four or five words into the first verse of the first song.

Even at this point in "Who Will Save Your Soul?" (at 2:21) when Jewel/Karen is singing particularly loud and passionately, her thumb and forefinger (index finger) are significantly relaxed. These are the two digits which, in the context of anxiety (or anger), preferentially manifest tension.

In daily life it is of course not important to discern if a karaoke singer is truly a music star in disguise, however this video serves a great illustrator of one place often overlooked to see tension/anxiety (or anger) - the hands. When tension is displayed in the face, there are nearly always body language signals manifested in the hands.

There are many other nonverbal examples in this video. What are some particularly good examples?

See also:

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

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

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 # 2409:  David Cameron & François Hollande - Variations on the Hand Chop & Palm Orientation

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1446:  Rick Santorum, Tension in the Mouth - Tension in the Hands

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