Saturday, October 12, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2555: Nancy Pelosi's Beta Body Language - Dialing it Up to Alpha (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

This blog is not about politics - it's about body language. Please leave your partisanship at the door. 

Throughout most of this video, the House Minority Leader displays a hand-arm configuration that conveys an unassertive, acquiescing and "I am beta" emotional tone. At some times however her alpha qualities take a more prominence over her beta characteristics (although they were far outnumbered).

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

Knowing when - and exactly how - to look more assertive and dominant is of dramatic importance. Most are oblivious to where they are, at any given moment, on this alpha-beta continuum. This profound unawareness is particularly pronounced during moments of anxiety - precisely when it is needed the most.

Note how Nancy's elbows are in close to her torso in this photo (at 0:18). This body language screams a timid and unassertive mindset. Of course the vast majority of others who see this posture never have had a course in nonverbal communication, but their interpretive and subconscious psyches' will notice it none the less.

In a similar moment (at 0:53), Ms. Pelosi's elbows remain close to her torso, and as in the photo above her hands are touching. This is a form of self-comforting and in body language parlance is known as a Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier (aka MAP). This is an additional sign of a demure and "I tend towards acquiescence" emotional-thought status. Such posture signals weakness.

In this short-lived yet significantly more alpha posture, Representative Pelosi displays a thumbs-up as she points behind her just after she says, ".... as you know if we default, the markets could freeze, the dollar could plummet, interest rates could sky rocket ...." (0:55). (Yet immediately after this she reconfigures to her default posture - nearly identical to the above photo).

Significant to this nonverbal is that her hands are not touching (no MAPs present) and her left elbow has modestly left her side - significantly elevating her alpha. The lifting of her hand/arm significantly higher here also elevates her strength and authority.

At this moment (1:20), Ms. Pelosi grips the forward-sides of the lectern in a Kennedyesque posture (While Kennedy had great natural instinct when it came to body language, this lectern gripping maneuver may very well have been a fortunate accident as it was used to take pressure off of his back which gave him chronic pain).

This arm-hand nonverbal is significantly alpha transmitting emotions of strength, authority, assertiveness and confidence. Of course as with all body language, care must be taken not to over-use any posture.

See also:

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

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2491:  President Obama's Reaction to Egypt Military's Massive Killing of Protesters - Beta Body Language  Where Alpha Had Been Barack's Baseline Behavior

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

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2522: Jake Gyllenhaal and Jimmy Kimmel, Part II,  Body Language and Anxiety in Hollywood

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2519:  Vladimir Putin Speaks Syria, Chemical Weapons and Disarmament - Body Language just after his New York Times Op-Ed