Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3241: Trump - a Hyper-Alpha Donald vs. a Kinder, Gentler Version - Body Language and Likability (PHOTOS)

Donald Trump's personality is generally very confrontational. Some would describe it as an "in your face" style - while others would label him with having narcissistic personality disorder.

Here, "The Donald" is shown in two contrasting hand-arm gestures (aka "illustrators"). Prior to the primaries, you may notice that virtually all candidates will use alpha - and even hyper-alpha body language displays much more frequently. After the primary, although such nonverbals are still used, their frequency diminishes. This behavior is virtually all subconsciously driven and done so in an effort to draw distinctions between their competitors who have very similar political ideologies. Yet the hyper-alpha body language always backfires. Rather than building rapport, hyper-alpha nonverbal signals destroy it. Only those who already are aligned with the candidate will be attracted to such behavior - all others will be alienated.

Below Mr. Trump is shown pointing with a "palms-up" illustrator. This accomplishes the goal of drawing visual attention ("pointing") - yet it does so in a rapport-building manner. While still demonstrating assertiveness and authority it has none of the negative side-effects of the above displayed index finger pointing (aka forefinger point). Narcissistic personalities have difficulty grasping and accomplishing this important distinction. What "feels right" to them - has the opposite emotional impact on others (for those who use such index finger pointing excessively [or even moderately] lack empathy and suffer an excess of ego). Index finger pointing is negatively received across all cultures.

A profound and almost never recognized benefit of a less aggressive/kinder hand-arm gesture - is its effect on the face. Tension in the hand will be mirrored on the face - as well as the emotional status. And a kinder, empathetic hand will produce a kinder face. This effect is greatly demonstrated in these two images. An astute person will recognize this hand-face relationship and use it as a biofeedback tool to regulate their emotions (there are of course many others).

While Donald Trump is currently enjoying a boost in the polls when compared with most of the 2016 republican presidential candidates - he is simply not likable. In order to win a presidential primary (let alone a general election) a candidate must be likable. And the largest component in the likability equation is body language.

Donald Trump will absolutely not win the republican nomination.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3240: Ariana Grande - Tongues, New Boyfriend, Donuts ... & Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3132: Ashley Judd responds to Twitter Troll Harassment - "I'm pressing charges"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2149:  Joe Biden - Losing Voters with the Double Index Finger Point -  A Faux Pas Nearly Every Time

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1918:  Vladimir Putin - Pointing with Pen Surrogates  Sharp vs. Blunt   

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3152: Hillary Clinton First Campaign Ad - "Getting Started"