Monday, September 30, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2542: Chuck Schumer Doesn't Believe Harry Reid - Body Language and a possible U.S. Government Shutdown (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Beginning at 0:42 in the Video above, Harry Reid (D - NV) says, "I've a very simple message to John Boehner: Let the House Vote. Stop trying to force a government shutdown." That sentiment is no secret. However careful analysis of Senator Chuck Schumer's (D - NY) body language about one minute later does reveal a less obvious opinion though.

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

During 1:44 - 1:47 Harry Reid says, "The votes are there to pass a clean CR" (Continuing Resolution). Overlapping with this statement during 1:46 -1:48 Schumer rubs left eyebrow with his left hand (more specifically with his left index finger aka forefinger) as he tilts (flexes) his head and neck down and forward.

At the same time Senator Schumer contracts and elevates the entire width of his forehead. This action also elevates both of his eyebrows.

In addition Schumer closes (or nearly so) both upper eyelids - but not in the usual fashion - rather he creates the dual tension of also trying to open his eyelids at the same time - but with a bit less effort so they are almost entirely closed. This competing dynamic gives the eyelids a particular look - as if they're "put on stretch".

This body language cluster of stretched eyelids, the entire forehead contracted, a unilateral eyebrow rub and a forward head-neck tilt given in concert with another person's declarative statement, e.g. Senator Reid's, "The votes are there to pass a clean CR" - is a very strong nonverbal indicator that Chuck Schumer does not believe Harry Reid. This does not necessarily indicate he believes Reid is lying (although in this context, it is the most likely conclusion), but at the very least it indicates that in Schumer's judgment, there are not enough votes.

Senator Schumer is a great example of just how unaware people typically are of their nonverbal tells when the attention is upon another individual near them - even when they are being televised. What other very significant body language did he exhibit during this short video?

See also:

Negotiation Secret # 29:  Eye Rub When Someone Else is Speaking - Angela doubts Vladimir

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2214:  John McCain Jokes - sort of .... and  John Kerry senses Deception

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2422:  Amy Adams on Jimmy Kimmel -  Body Language, Flirting and Dating

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1236:  Kofi Annan Does Not Believe

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2446:  Harry Reid's Lip Purse -  Body Language, the Immigration Bill & Negotiation

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1892:  Harry Reid, "That's a Clown Question Bro!" -  Tongue in Cheek

Close up of Senator Chuck Schumer at 1:46


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2541: Barack Obama, Permanent U.N. Security Council Members, Syria's Chemical Weapon Disarmament and a Presidential Gaffe - Body Language in the Oval Office (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In this recent video, President Obama commits a big nonverbal mistake. He typically has outstanding body language skills but it appears here that he was not fully present in the moment. Unfortunately this probably burned some bridges with the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh with whom he was sitting.

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

India has long sought to be a permanent member of the United Nation's Security Council. At the beginning of this video (0:03 - 0:08), Barack Obama gestures with a loose fist thumbs up configuration directly at Mr. Singh and yet was speaking about Russia and the other members of the P5 (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China), the other (rotating) members of the U.N. Security Council (of which India is not currently one) - and the efforts to disarm Syria of chemical weapons.

This mistimed gesture made it seem to Mr. Singh and those who were watching - that Mr. Obama had somehow momentarily confused the Indian leader for a Russian one - or perhaps that India was on the U.N. Security Council. Of course neither of these is true. When he realized this mistake, Mr. Obama reflexively retracted his hand and arm away from the Prime Minister and closed both of his eyes and verbally paused as he tried to collect his composure.

Bilateral eyelid closure in this context is significant for emotional processing and a desire to emotionally "wipe away" an event which was just witnessed or "erase" a mistake that was just committed.  It is useful to think of this as the emotional mind trying to "catch up to" what the intellectual mind already knows to be true.

In addition Mr. Obama is displaying a near microexpression of contempt (on his left) which is almost certainly self-directed. He is scolding himself for having made such a major mistake.

Oodles of other nonverbal signs are in this video. What other significant tells do you see?

See also:

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 Hearing

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 # 2374:  Tom Cruise on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Body Language of Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2285:  Emotional Processing during Crying - Body Language of Survivor of Brazilian Nightclub Fire

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1510:  Handshakes, Statesmanship and Dominance -  Manmohan Singh & Asif Ali Zardari

Leadership Secret # 17:  The Only Time for the Politicians' Double Hander

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2511:  Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin Handshake at 2013 G20 Meeting


Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2540: Rep. Darrell Issa 'Snaps' at Reporter - Was His Anger Real or Fake? Body Language and the Forward Lip Purse (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

This blog and following post have no political agenda. Their purpose is to illustrate body language examples in the context of current, real-world scenarios and is not oriented towards any particular party's stand on Obamacare or any other ideology, religion, etc.

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

Darrell Issa (R - CA), is said to have "snapped" at a reporter yesterday was asked (at 0:50 in the above video), "When this fails will you go for a one week Clean CR?" (Continuing resolution)

Rep. Issa said, "How dare you presume a failure? How dare you? How dare you?

Reporter: "Harry Reid ... "

Rep. Issa: "How dare you presume a failure? The fact is ..."

Reporter: "Harry Reid ..."

Rep. Issa: "The fact is this country is based on people saying they won't do things, and at the end of the day coming together for compromise. We continue to anticipate that there's an opportunity for sensible compromise..."

There are several nonverbal signals which tell us that Rep. Darrell Issa's "anger" is feigned. One of these is discussed here.

At 0:52, just after the reporter asks his initial question, but an instant prior to Rep. Issa beginning his answer, Issa displays a classic forward lip purse (captured in this image).

A forward lip purse (as opposed to a lateral lip purse) is a clear body language signal of clandestine disagreement. Now less than a second later, Issa appears to be anything but clandestine - he appears to be very openly disagreeing. However this is pretended.

The forward lip purse is a very strong indicator that he has a plan which he believes is superior to what is on the table (put forth openly) and that he also believes he has a good chance of implementing his plan, action, idea. The lip purse is also a highly reliable nonverbal indicator in disparity in what is said with words and what is being thought-felt emotionally. Political brinksmanship for the other politicians and acting for the public at large and yet another play within a play - 'The gentleman doth protests too much ... methinks.'

It is paramount to note that a forward lip purse is also not performed in the presence of superiors (alphas) - but only for peers or subordinates (betas) - thus it also a signal of where those who display this nonverbal believe they are in the pecking order.

When you see a forward lip purse it's a signal that you better have a strong 'Plan B'. What's yours?

What other body language signals do you see which indicate Darrell Issa is faking his anger?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2439:  Michael Jackson's Wrongful Death Suit - AEG Live CEO's Body Language During Deposition

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2480: Alex Rodriguez's Press Conference - 2 August 2013,  A-Rod's Body Language Part Deux

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2446:  Harry Reid's Lip Purse -  Body Language, the Immigration Bill & Negotiation

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1151:  Xi Jinping's Subtle Pursed Lips

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2538: Governor Chris Christie's Body Language Tells regarding Shutting Down the Government and Telling us He’s Running for President in 2016

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2539: Calvin Johnson, the Index Finger and Alpha Behavior - A Body Language Tell of Mobile Phones (PHOTO)

Calvin Johnson is of the best wide receivers to ever play the game of American Professional Football. In 2012 he set a record for single season receiving yards eclipsing the great Jerry Rice. Earlier that same year he signed an eight year, $132 million contract extension with the Detroit Lions - one of the World's most lucrative.

In the image above Johnson is seen speaking on a mobile phone - a setting in which a lot of key body language tells can be gleaned. As a conversation changes throughout the duration of a phone call, it is extremely useful to monitor the relative alpha-to-beta flux throughout the call.

There are many nonverbal signals which will point the way here - one of which is the position of the index finger (aka forefinger) and is particularly more prominent in men. When it is extended and alone, along the back of the cell phone (in contrast to the other fingers flexed and on the phone's side as Calvin Johnson is shown in this photo) - it is a considerable alpha signal. Subsequently it often will be seen flexing - and joining the other fingers when the context of the phone call takes on a more beta/bad news/submissive emotional tone. Later, when once again a more dominant or joyful context takes a more prominent role, the forefinger will then re-extend. This nonverbal tell is an extremely reliable signal and yields golden insight within any type of negotiation or sales setting.

Happy birthday Calvin. Good luck against the Bears.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2277: Diane O'Meara, Lennay Kekua, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo & Manti Te'o - O'Meara's Body Language - Part I

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1163: A Body Language Cheat Sheet - Mobile Phone Tells

Negotiation and Dating Secret # 111: Another Great Phone Tell

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 341: Narcissism, Parking and Cell Phones

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2035: Mitt Romney's Body Language Amplifier - (it works on the rest of us too)

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 179:  Loss of Inhibitions on Phone - Nicolas Sarkozy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1921: Who was More Dominant - Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2263: A.J. McCarron's Body Language as hears about his Girl Friend's  (Katherine Webb's) new found Twitter Popularity 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2538: Governor Chris Christie's Body Language Tells regarding Shutting Down the Government and Telling us He’s Running for President in 2016 (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In this video,  Chris Christie is asked about some GOP's tactics of trying to force a government shutdown. What follows is a transcript and a partial body language analysis.

Reporter: "Do you think that the republicans should be ... forcing a shutdown of the government if they don't get their way?"

Christie: "No. I think there's got to be a solution other than that. And I don't think we should be doin' that. I don't think, and I, and I quite frankly, to be fair, I don't think you hear responsible republican leaders advocating a shutdown of the government."

Reporter: "So those who are advocating it, are they irresponsible?"

Christie: "Well I think it's always irresponsible if you're running the government to be advocating for shutting it down.... That by definition is a failure.... You gotta work it out. They'll work it out this week. I, I'm confident they will - because I don't think anybody wants to go down that road."

Beginning at 0:11, just after the reporter says, "...republicans ...", the New Jersey Governor's mouth opening becomes foreshortened along with a thinning of his lips (particularly his upper lip), a tightening of the "mustache area" as well as a slight dilation (flaring) of his nostrils. This cluster of findings is a very brief yet highly reliable display of anger. Christie does not want to be forced into talking against his own party.

Do you see any additional nonverbal signs consistent with anger?

At 0:13 seconds Gov. Christie swallows hard. He repeats this signal two additional times in this short video (at 0:28-29 and again at 0:36 - 0:37). This is a highly reliable signal of anxiety. At 0:19 in particular (just after Christie says, "... government ...") this signal of nervousness is of paramount importance, for although he does not mention Senator Ted Cruz by name, Christie is clearly drawing a line in the sand.

At this moment Governor Christie is nonverbally announcing (telegraphing) his candidacy for U.S. Presidency in 2016

See also:

Negotiation Secret # 12:  Camilla Belle - Subtle Anger with Disrespect/Mistrust/Dislike

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

Negotiation Secret # 351:  Some Subtle and not-so-subtle signs of  anxiety, discomfort, anger, fear, etc.

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2407:  President Obama in Midst of Heckler - A Subtle Sign of Significant Anger with  Emotional Dissonance

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 1167:  Danica's Lips, Danica's Eyes

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2188:  Paula Broadwell on Petraeus Relationship - Body Language of Prolonged Blink, Hard Swallow and More Duping Delight

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


Friday, September 27, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2537: Kenya Mall Attack Witness, Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Throughout this video, Ms. Sneha Kathari-Mashru, an eyewitness to the Westgate Mall Shooting in Nairobi, Kenya, describes some of what she saw there and a harrowing escape from near-death. Her disgust of the terrorists, apparently members of Al-Shabaab, is readily seen via her nonverbal displays - two examples of which are isolated in detail below. One of these occurs during speech while the other is between words. Variations such as these are important to recognize in real-time, lest you observe - but falsely diagnose the emotions before you.

At 0:41, just as she says "... so ..." within the sentence, "He was so heartless, he was inhuman...", Sneha Kathari-Mashru displays a microexpression/near-microexpression of disgust.

This particular photo of a disgust expression is captured during speech. This is one reason it looks different when compared to another example of this same emotion when not speaking (below).

As Ms. Kathari-Mashru says,  "... he did not have the sense that he was shooting a small innocent child, or a lady or a man ... he just kept on spraying his gun at whoever he felt like ..."

An expression of disgust is seen at 0:54, just before Sneha says "... spraying ..." and takes place in an instant between speech.

Disgust is a powerful emotion - one for which you never want to be the recipient. Can you recognize subtle examples of disgust? How about its microexpressions?

What other body language and corresponding emotions did you see in this video?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2123:  The "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite's - What does Her Falsified Passport Photo Tell Us?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2530: Tom Coburn, Obamacare and Anxiety - Body Language Tell on a Senator's Face

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1841:  Disgust in Response to Rep. Barney Frank's "Hoodie" Joke

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2507:  Secretary of State Kerry's Disgust - An Oft Overlooked and Camouflaged Body Language Signal

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2099:  Nikki Haley & Sarah Palin - Governors in Contrast

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


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2536: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani Interview with Christiane Amanpour; Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In the past 48 hours, Hassan Rouhani has been interviewed by several members of the American press. A portion of Christiane Amanpour's dialog with the Iranian President is included in the above video. President Rouhani has a relatively blunted level of baseline nonverbal expressions - particularly when compared with his immediate predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is of course, like the rest of us, only human. Thus for those who know what to look for, multiple body language tells can be detected. Two of these in particular are discussed below.

 At 3:20 President Rouhani continues, "... But when it comes to specific issues, government officials may speak with their American counterparts. If an opportunity had arisen today, and the prep-work for that had been done, probably the talks would have taken place - primarily focused on the nuclear issue or on developments on the Middle East. And therefore, The Supreme Leader has, I can tell you, given the permission for my government to freely negotiate on these issues."

Amanpour: "So you do have that authorization?"

Rouhani: "Yes."

Amanpour: "Yes."

At 3:51, just has Rouhani says "Yes", he displays a microexpression of disgust. This moment is captured in the above image although it is infinitely better appreciated within the dynamic context of the video. It is subtle yet significant. The President is probably expressing contempt towards Amanpour, since she immediately re-asked a question which he had just answered - although it is possible his disgust is directed elsewhere (such as at The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei or his government's structure necessitating him "needing permission" when he believes it is wise to conduct negotiations).

At 5:31, Amanpour begins, "You say and you've said many times, every Iranian president has said it and so has The Supreme Leader said it, that 'Iran does not want nuclear weapons.' However, you know the issue is a confidence issue and that, frankly, many people don't believe it...."

At 5:44, (as Amanpour continues her question) a subtle yet distinct expression of anger can be seen immediately after this as (5:44 - 5:46) President Rouhani tightens up his "mustache area" (This term is used to describe the area above the upper lip and below the nose, regardless of the gender or whether a mustache is present). His upper lip slightly thins out - although this is difficult to see because of the President's mustache. Both nostrils also flare slightly as he inhales a deeper breath. He also tilts his head and neck slightly forward. President Rouhani is feeling significant anger at Amanpour - and with what she alleges is others' incredulity.

Note the multiple rapid blinking - also occurring at 5:44. This is commonly seen in the presence of anger and frustration particularly when there is an attempt at suppression of an outward manifestation of the anger. Interpreted in isolation, such rapid fluttering blinks are highly consistent with anxiety.

President Rouhani is very skilled at suppressing his emotions and his nonverbal expressions - far better than most, however true emotions always leak out if you know for what and where to look.

What important emotions have you missed today?

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1933:  Iran's Aggression and their Military's Salute - A Visual Metaphor of WWII & Nazi Fear 

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

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1162:  Ahmadinejad, Napoleon, al-Assad and Dominance

Leadership Secret # 112: Pakistan Trumps Iran

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2123: The "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite's - What does Her Falsified Passport Photo Tell Us?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2535: William Swenson, Medal of Honor and Body Language on the Battlefield (VIDEO, PHOTO)

On 8 September 2009, in and surrounding the Village of Ganjgal in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, a hard fought and bloody battle took place with the American & Afghan forces pitted against the Taliban. One of the soldiers in that battle was former army captain William Swenson. He repeatedly entered the "kill zone" rescuing several American and Afghan soldiers.

The above video details a particular moment with one of those who Swenson rescued - Kenneth Westbrook. Unfortunately Westbrook later died from complications of his wounds. In the video (and isolated in the still image below), Swenson can be seen kissing his fellow soldier on the right temple. A kiss placed on the eyelid, just above it on the brow/forehead, or on the temple - is a strong nonverbal signal of true affection and love - and carries with it a high degree of sincerity. 

Of course, romance is the most obvious and often sited context for affection. In such a setting, the first appearance of this type of kiss is a strong signal that a significant threshold of the relationship has been crossed - and if ever it disappears - it is a sign that true love has begun to wane.

This type of kissing-affection is also extremely common of a parent for a child - and indeed the absence of it should raise questions.

The platonic love of friendship - as Swenson exhibits here for his fallen comrade is certainly to be included in this affection body language behavior.

Former Captain William Swenson is scheduled to be awarded the Medal of Honor on 15 October 2015.

See also:

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1855:  Sincere Kisses & Closed Eyes

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

Body Language Secret # 105: Parental Affection and Love 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2107:  Andy Murray, Affection and Savoring the Moment

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


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2534: Bill and Hillary are going to be Grandparents; President Clinton's Body Language is Telling Us that Chelsea is Pregnant (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Bill and Hillary Clinton are going to be grandparents. You heard it here first: Chelsea Clinton is pregnant. Bill let the cat out of the bag yesterday when he was interviewed by Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell at a Clinton Global Initiative event. Not so much with what he said but with his body language and paralanguage. The following dissects a few key moments of the soon-to-be proud grandpa's nonverbal tells.

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

As Charlie Rose asks whether Hillary would rather be President or a grandmother, Bill blushes and laughs. This can be seen at 2:39 - 2:40 in the video. These two combined along with the stalling tactic of taking a drink (Bill anticipated this with Charlie's slow softball pitch question). Less than one second later at 2:40 we can even hear the coffee mug clank on the former President's teeth. This is a relative rare event for most people and this belies a high anxiety level which can be further evidenced by Mr. Clinton's hand shaking for a few oscillations as he navigates the cup near his mouth at 2:41.

Also at 2:41 we can see a mild surprise as Bill's forehead contracts and his lids open wider as he simultaneously suppresses this eyelid dynamic in order attempt to mask his surprise expression.

At 2:46, President Clinton looks down to his right (where most right-handed people look to during emotional moments - although Mr. Clinton is left-handed; so classically this would be interpreted as his own internal dialog - e.g. choosing his words in his head before he speaks aloud).

This is done just prior to Bill saying, "... But I have found it's best not to discuss that issue." His voice noticeably cracks during this particular sentence - strongly suggestive of anxiety.

But just prior to that the former President says, "If you ask her, I think she'd say grandf-mother ....". This is another manifestation of his anxiety. He is perhaps the best spoken politician of modern times, yet here he misspoke. He starts to say grandfather, but corrects himself and finishes the word out with "mother". Listen carefully for this subtle error. We all commit similar mistakes, yet here this paralanguage signal, taken together with other similar missteps and his multiple nonverbal signals, tell us of his natural excitement in his anticipation of becoming a grandfather.

In this image (with close-ups below) we see the former President sitting on his hands.

This is extremely rare for any alpha male and with the other signals seen in these crucial seconds, is very reminiscent of a schoolboy suppressing his excitement. He is trying hard to keep a secret.

A further manifestation of this same emotion (ergo part of this "nonverbal cluster" aka "body language sentence") are his locked ankles and legs rocking back and forth. 

Congratulations Bill, Hillary, Chelsea and Marc (Dad). Enjoy every minute.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2487:  Chelsea Clinton's Beta Body Language - The Elevated Fig Leaf

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2523:  Hillary Clinton, Body Language and the 2016 Presidency -  Rapport Builder vs. Rapport Destroyer

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2128:  Mitt Romney's & Bill Clinton's Body Language  during Mitt's Joke at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 441:  Bill Clinton's Rapport and His Temporary Universe

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1499:  Bill Clinton's Empathy for Eric Fehrnstrom and  Mitt Romney ... What's Your Sincerity Quotient?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2363: Hillary Clinton, Body Language and the Political Point -  Hand Tension Correlations with Facial Tension

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2490:  Hillary Clinton and the Two-Handed Point - The American Bar Association, Body Language ...Variations on a Theme 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2533: Angela Merkel's Low Steeple "Trademark" - A Major Body Language Mistake (PHOTOS)

Congratulations to Angela Merkel. Yesterday she was elected to her third term as Chancellor of Germany. She is one of the few European leaders to weather the storm of the great recession and is on course to overtake Margaret Thatcher as Europe's longest serving elected female leader. Germany is the fourth largest economy (nominal GDP) in the World and many feel that Merkel is to be credited with helping to pull Europe out of its financial crisis. She is also the most powerful woman in the World.

Despite Mrs. Merkel's success, she has one body language habit that is especially rapport destroying - the over-used Conventional Steeple.  As an a athlete who meets with success early in her career, she perhaps partially attributes her winnings to factors which in reality do not contribute, and moreover detract from her ability to connect emotionally with the German or any other people.

The conventional steeple, whether held low [as does Frau Merkel overly habituates (see collage image below) and some have said she uses this as a "trademark"), moderate (held roughly at the level of the sternum] or high (in front of the neck or face) is signal that sends messages of high-alpha emotions. The higher the steeple is held, the stronger its meaning. It is a significantly assertive body language sign and is correlated with a very elevated confidence level (take note there are several other types of steeples, such as the basketball steeple, the one-handed steeple, the pistol steeple, etc. which all connote different meanings). Betas do not use the conventional steeple in the company of alphas.

However as with all alpha nonverbals, when the conventional steeple is over-used it becomes hyper-alpha and it will back-fire and thus send strong signals of arrogance and condescending emotional tones. It does not take much to over-use this gesture. Its use carries a lot of weight and so care should be taken to display it in a deliberate and conscious fashion (essentially choreographed into a speech or discussion) and only for a few seconds when a particularly important point is being emphasized.

The vast majority of those who use the conventional steeple will over-use it though - so people will often feel patronized. Therefore when it is over-deployed, the conventional steeple will destroy rapport and offend. With the exception of a few such as some news reporters (where bizarrely, the conventional steeple is professionally entrenched) and others who have adopted this forced behavior which then becomes a bad habit through ill-advice or mirroring another (and I believe Chancellor Merkel is one of these exceptions) - those who over-use the conventional steeple also have a high correlation with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

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 Secret # 277:  The Conventional Steeple:  Use it on Rare Occasions and in Small Doses - Ewald Nowotny 

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

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1811:  Jamie Dimon - the Day Before Announcement of  JPMorgan Chase's $2 Billion Loss


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2531: Bo Xilai's Body Language - Hand and Facial Tension Correlation (PHOTOS)

Bo Xilai was found guilty on all counts earlier today and received a life sentence for bribery, fifteen years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power. His father, Bo Yibo, was a revolutionary alongside Chairman Mao Zedong as well as a leader under Deng Xiaoping. Bo Xilai had become a highly productive and respected party chief of Chongqing and until recently he was considered a rising star in China's top political circles.

In these images Bo Xilai can be seen during his trial. Note the tension evident on his face.

A particular detail which should never be overlooked or dismissed is the contraction of the central forehead (CFC) muscles (with the peripheral or sides of the forehead being relaxed). This is virtually always accompanied by an elevation of the inner (medial) eyebrows. Although the resolution is somewhat low here, this can still be readily seen in this close-up image. The CFC is seen when there is emotional or physical pain - either being experienced directly for oneself or for another person(s) or animal via empathy. Whenever this is the case however, there should always be a co-existing expression on the mouth congruent with sadness, pain or fear. No hint of a smile should ever be seen in this emotional context.

Mid-facial tension is seen in this image. One example of this is a mild fear expression component displayed on Bo Xilai's mouth along with significant tension of his "mustache area" above his upper lid and below his nose.

In this second image, Bo Xilai can be seen holding his eyeglasses in his left hand and a pen in right hand. While his hands are not in tight fists, they are manifesting moderate tension here. The act of holding relatively small objects such as these will often "give the hands something to do" and keep them less tense. Otherwise they would be displaying even greater stress which has a feed-back affect creating increased negative emotion and accompanying display on the face. Relaxed hands beget a relaxed face while low-tension in the face leads to a similar effect of the hands. The behavior of these two body parts closely mirror and influence each other nonverbally.

See also:

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

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

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

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


Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2530: Tom Coburn, Obamacare and Anxiety - Body Language Tell on a Senator's Face (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

During this "Face the Nation" interview, as Senator Tom Coburn (R - OK) speaks about the probability of de-funding Obamacare as well as the recent shooting massacre at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, he displays multiple examples of a common body language signal indicative of anxiety - "False Mastication". Also known as false chewing, this dynamic facial expression is a signal of a dry mouth. Most people are aware that nervousness dries out the mouth, lips and throat. The motion of the jaw, tongue and cheeks stimulate the salivary glands which in-turn produce saliva and thus help to alleviate the "cotton mouth". Although it can begin as a deliberate act, as with most nonverbals 99.9+% of the time this is initiated subconsciously.

Even though he is a U.S. Senator, an experienced speaker and a physician, he still is of course a human being - so Dr. Coburn is displaying a nonverbal sign that we all occasionally display. Recognizing anxiety signals and other body language tells will give you an unprecedented look into others' thoughts and particularly their emotional-minds. Few other interpersonal skills will give you such magnitude of advantage.

See also:

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

Negotiation Secret # 33: Iker Casillas and False Mastication

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2353:  Barack Obama and $100 Million for Brain Research, Body Language of False Mastication with Tongue in Cheek

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2403:  Central Forehead Contraction - The Grief Muscle,  Eyes Wide Open, False Mastication &  Oklahoma Tornado Survivors


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2529: Ambassador Thomas Pickering on Benghazi Probe and a Body Language Microexpression Tell (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

This past Thursday, Republican members of the House Oversight Committee grilled Thomas Pickering (former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, under the George H.W. Bush Administration, as well as Ambassador to both Russia and India) and Admiral Mike Mullen (former Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush and Barack Obama) on their probe of the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September 2012. Mullen and Pickering were co-chairs of the Accountability Review Board, an independent probe assembled to evaluate the State Department's and Obama Administration's handling of the matter.

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

There was no shortage of body language examples in this video. One in particular bears dissecting. Reporter Sharyl Attkisson interviews Ambassador Pickering. The following is excerpted dialog from that interview and begins at 2:14 in the above video:

Attkisson: "Do you think in retrospect it might have been a good idea just to do some proforma deep interviews with the Secretary of State and her top deputies?"

Pickering: "No, I don't. We took a hard look at this. And we took a very serious look; and I think we made that decision in good conscious, on the basis on everything we had - that there was no trail."

At the 2:26 mark, just as Pickering says the word "...made...", he displays a fantastic example of what in the body language world is referred to as a "microexpression of disgust" (There are, of course, many varieties of microexpressions and disgust is but one).

Note how the bridge of Pickering's nose wrinkles in addition to the dilation (flaring) of both his nostrils. This is a facial configuration which always accompanies disgust nonverbal displays. Notice also the corners of the Ambassador's mouth are vectored downward (depressed) while his central lower lip is both raised and slightly protruded. His central upper lip is also elevated as his "mustache area" is tightened and stretched in concert with his nostril dilation. His eyebrows are also lowered (subtle here, and also not pulled together as is seen with anger). Eyelid closure is not required in the manifestation of disgust, but it is seen - often in more extreme cases. Finally, although both are subtle in this example, the nasal-labial furrow can also momentarily deepen along with a dimpling of the chin.

Your ability to spot and accurately classify microepressions and a myriad of other nonverbal displays will give you a distinct advantage in the court room, the board room, the sales floor and indeed every aspect of your personal and professional life. Ignore them at your own risk.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2507:  Secretary of State Kerry's Disgust, An Oft Overlooked and Camouflaged Body Language Signal

Negotiation Secret # 72 & 73: Christine Lagarde's Disgust & Incredulity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1841:  Disgust in Response to Rep. Barney Frank's "Hoodie" Joke

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2045:  Disgust in New Delhi 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2416:  Brit Marling, the Every Woman & "The East"  Body Language of Mild to Moderate Disgust and ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2390:  Charles Ramsey Interview & Cleveland Kidnappings -  Sarcastic Disbelief, Disgust and Exclamation


Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2528: Sen. Ted Cruz, Obamacare and Filibusters - Differentiating Ego vs. Other Motives with Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

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

It doesn't matter whether you're a republican, democrat, socialist, communist, pro-Obamacare, Anti-Obamacare, a political junkie or apolitical (this website shares none of those agendas) - the information in the following body language analysis will benefit you dramatically. It is extremely important (and protective, beneficial, etc.) to see this - regardless of whether it emanates from the face an ally or an adversary.

Throughout this entire video, Senator Ted Cruz (R - TX) discusses Obama-care and the lengths to which he will go to try and de-fund it. Also through this video, Senator Cruz displays a "Central Forehead Contraction" (CFC). A CFC is very often seen with an elevation of the inner (medial) eyebrows, although sometimes this is subtle. A common setting where the central forehead contraction is seen is in the presence of physical or emotional pain - either for oneself or for another person(s) [or animal(s)] via empathy. In these scenarios however, there MUST ALWAYS be a congruent expression of the mouth/lips (e.g. that of pain, sadness, fear, etc.). Cruz however displays a pseudo-smile in association with his CFC. THIS IS A MAJOR RED FLAG. ALWAYS. 

Now first off, every human being displays the CFC with a false mouth smile .... from time to time. This is seen within the context of:

  • Arrogance
  • Contempt 
  • Incredulity (mixed with arrogance/contempt)

Note all of these emotions are ego-centric.
In addition, it is extremely important to note that a smile with any type of forehead contraction (a CFC, across its entire width, or on one side) is ALWAYS an insincere smile. 

Once in a while we all feel arrogant, contempt or disbelief. And while the CFC + Pseudo-smile expression is not the only body language manifestation of these emotions, these are not rare nonverbal displays. HOWEVER, when seen chronically, this body language-facial expression takes on additional ominous meanings as it signals:

  • Narcissism 
  • Sociopathic Behavior

Thus WHENEVER the CFC + Insincere Smile is seen, even in the otherwise normal individuals, it signals behavior in which the primary motivator is their Ego - not you/your benefit, not their constituents or even their children. They may be saying "all the right things" (even things you want to hear), but the primary driver of their behavior are self-benefits not the welfare of others. This point cannot be over-emphasized. When the CFC + Insincere Smile is seen chronically, stay away from these individuals. They are only interested in their benefits. They may camouflage well and agree with you verbally, but be warned - here there be dragons. 

See also:

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2512:  Matthew Cordle's YouTube Confession  and the Death of Vincent Canzani  "I Killed a Man" - What His Body Language Tells Us ...  It's NOT what you think!

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2124:  This Body Language-Facial Display  Should always make you think "Insincere" 

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2140:  Joran van der Sloot's going to be a father - Body Language Signs of Chronic Insincerity