Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2514: Anthony Weiner's Confrontation - Contrasting and Controlling Anger - Body Language in a Brooklyn Bakery (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In the above video, Anthony Weiner, a democrat who is a candidate for the New York City Mayoral race, is arguing with a man who called him a "scumbag" and who Weiner later described as a "heckler". The following is a partial analysis of the argument focusing on some oft overlooked body language principles.

Throughout the vast majority of this confrontation, Anthony Weiner invaded the other man's personal space - and indeed at times he appeared to almost touch him. While his heckler did not come nearly as close to Weiner with his hand/arm gestures (illustrators).

The other man rarely pointed at Weiner. When he pointed, the vast majority of the time he pointed up or with a slight angle tilted towards Weiner. This is a very important distinction.

This image summarizes the incident in a nutshell. Weiner pointed many times with his index finger (forefinger) directly at the other man - very often directly at his chest, while his confronter only once reciprocated.

Here the other man uses a palm up gesture with the index finger, middle finger and thumb coming together meeting at a common point. It is important to emphasize that his palm is up and he does not have a closed fist - IT IS LOOSE. 

Weiner, who repeatedly used the index finger point (which is insulting and highly derogatory across all cultures and countries) has a CLOSED FIST.

Anytime a closed fist is used, it will engender facial tension and anger. Tension in the face also will bring on tension in the hands. Both actions facilitate the other. Note the Weiner's face shows a high amount of anger while the other man's shows little.

Here Weiner displays a "Jaw Jut" which here is highly indicative of significant anger. Indeed, although it did not occur in this example, when a male in particular exhibits a jaw jut, their temper is growing especially thin and increases dramatically the probability of the beginning of physical altercation.

If you see a jaw jut with an index finger point (or fist) - take precautions for violence is very possible.

Here the "heckler" points for one of his very few times (especially when compared to the number of infractions Weiner committed) and his face in turn begins to take on a higher amount of anger.

As Weiner exits the bakery he is asked, "Do you get that often?" He answers, "No" (then makes this expression of significant anger) and further says, "But when I do, I don't back down".

This is a microexpression of anger. Its duration is very brief. His extremely thinned and horizontally oriented straight lips, clenched jaw, dilated (flared) nostrils and widely opened eyelids (here only his right eye is partially captured in the crucial instant) is an example of a nonverbal cluster of high anger.

This encounter is an excellent illustrator of the nonverbal principle, that when angry, insulting and confrontational body language is used - it will engender and escalate those same emotions (as demonstrated by Weiner). Moreover refraining from this body language helps to avoid this anger crescendo (exemplified by the other man). This principle is very important and often unaddressed in those with anger management problems. Intriguingly, those with impulsive behavior of anger also have increased probability of other impulsive behavior.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2475:  Anthony Weiner & Huma Abedin Part IV - More Sexting Will Surface

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2469:  Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin and the NYC Mayoral Race  Body Language & the Five Burroughs, Part I

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

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

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

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