Monday, August 31, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3294: Ana Ivanovic, Lip Biting, the U.S. Open and Body Language (PHOTOS)

We can say, "Those pepperoncinis are hot" or "That woman is hot" or "It's was hot in Phoenix today" or "Donald Trump's candidacy is a hot topic" - these all contain the word "hot" - which although are all spelled the same and pronounced the same - have wholly different meanings. Any young teen could discern these various homonyms because of the context their respective sentences give them. Body language signals also very often have multiple meanings - depending on the other nonverbal signs with which they are clustered. Lip biting is but one example of this nonverbal phenomenon.

In this image we see Ana Ivanovic, currently 7th in WTA women's singles rankings. Today - the first day of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, this Serbian was upset by Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova (6-3, 3-6, 6-3). Note in this image Ms. Ivanovic is biting her bottom lip. In this context it's indicative of some anxiety (although not excessive) as well as very concentrated, focused thought. Intriguingly, within the realm of tennis, lip biting is almost never seen during a serve - essentially only during a return.

As with the "hot" homonym exampled above (and in a non-tennis setting) when Lip Biting is accompanied by a different set of facial and body expressions - it can be indicative of varied meanings such as - anger, anxiety, focused thought, sadness, embarrassment, mischievousness, frustration, vulnerability and even sexual arousal. Yet without knowing and recognizing all the words in a nonverbal sentence, most people often have no idea how to color the emotional nuance of the moment.

Here Heather Watson (Great Britain) is returning to Lauren Davis (United States). Watson lost to the match, 7-6, 7-6.

Canadian Milos Raonic - in another lip-biting return defeated Tim Smyczek (U.S.), 6-4, 7-6 (8), 6-1.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3293: Why is Donald Trump a Better Liar than Most Politicians?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2448:  Sabine Lisicki Post Match Interview  After Defeating Serena Williams  Top Teeth Biting Lower Lip & Sincere Smiles 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3259: Barack Obama responds to Mike Huckabee's Holocaust Reference 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3005: Barack Obama, "I would enjoy having some Kentucky Bourbon with Mitch McConnell" 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2379: Bill Clinton's Speech at the  George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening  Body Language of Former and Current President 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2254: John Boehner's Speech Today - One Major Body Language Improvement the U.S. Speaker of the House Should Make 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1829: Dara Torres Interview with Piers Morgan - Embarrassment,  Visual Recall, Sexual Anticipation Lip Biting & Sincerity Quotients 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3293: Why is Donald Trump a Better Liar than Most Politicians? - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

All politicians lie. No political affiliation is exempt. Some are fibs and some are whoppers. And Donald Trump doesn't necessarily tell lies of greater magnitude or with more frequency versus other politicians - yet he is a more skilled liar than most of them. This superior ability to deceive is one of the factors which convince some of the electorate that he is more truthful - however he's far from it.

Trump's vocabulary is equivalent to a 3rd-to-4th grader's. This is not hyperbole - for his word usage has been evaluated by linguists. He uses smaller words, shorter sentences and less total words. His pattern of speaking is equivalent to a collection of clichés (very common for most all politicians - but more frequent with Trump). And clichés - even one-word clichés require significantly less mental processing (which is also true of the use of shorter words and shorter sentences). Of profound importance here is cliché frequency - which is directly proportional to the level of INsincerity (more frequent use of clichés indicates greater INsincerity - while less cliché usage equals more sincerity).

Donald Trump's paralanguage (vocal qualities) also have significantly less variety compared to many people. His volume is high and forceful - and his tone of voice is low. The cadence, rhythm and pitch also have very little variation.

Trump also has a strong tendency to emphasize words that are not the most important word in the sentence - e.g. "The", "of", etc. This is a very strong indicator of manipulation and insincerity and is very rarely appreciated. Many politicians and other "leaders" fall into this speech pattern when deception is present.

Donald Trump's body language also fits this same pattern of low diversity. He uses many of the same arm-hand gestures and the same facial expressions - time after time. In addition, as has been discussed in earlier posts, Trump's nonverbal signals are also significantly more hyperbolic - with melodrama and are often disproportionate to his spoke words.

Whenever the communication triad of body language, spoken language and paralanguage - all take on a pattern of low variation - there is an extremely high probability deception is taking place. Moreover - when extreme words/statements are used, with higher volumes and hyper-gesticulated extreme body language - this is also highly consistent with lying. Donald Trump routinely and repetitively fits all six of these patterns (as well as the emphasis of low-importance words). By his chronic use of these displays - which are all correlated with high-adrenaline, he is essentially drowning-out the other signals associated with INsincerity. This over-kill approach is a form of a smokescreen and has both conscious and subconscious components.

This website serves as an objective reference source for the science and art of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc. are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3292: Empathy, Yawning and Dogs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3250: Donald Trump regarding John McCain: "He's no hero" - Body Language Tells us what he really thinks

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3257: Donald Trump at the Texas-Mexico Border - Body Language of a Hyper-Alpha 


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3292: Empathy, Yawning and Dogs - Body Language (PHOTOS)

It is common knowledge that boredom and sleepiness are associated with yawning. Less well known is the correlation between yawning with anxiety and even hunger. There is also research indicating that a yawn is one mechanism with which humans use to cool their brains.

The degree to which others mirror those who are yawning has also been shown to be associated with empathy. We tend to mirror yawning with a significantly greater frequency in those with whom we have greater affection - spouses, children, other family - less so with friends - and it drops off even further with co-workers and acquaintances, etc. Of course, yawning is only one of a vast multitude of behaviors which is mirrored.

This phenomenon exists, at least in part due to the presence and function of what are known as "Mirror Neurons" (Collectively these are known as the Mirror-Neuron-System [MNS]. A better name for these may be "Empathy Neurons"). Moreover there are different sub-types of mirror neurons and much remains to be discovered.

Those individuals with autism spectrum disorder have a relative deficit (and/or hypo-functionality) of one (or more) varieties of mirror neurons. Others - with narcissistic personality disorder and sociopaths have a deficiency or functional problem with another sub-type of mirror neurons. Intriguingly, sociopaths (antisocial personality disorder) and those with narcissistic personalities are much less likely to yawn when they witness other people yawning. This correlation is but one of many nonverbal signals indicative of higher (or lower) empathy quotients. What others can you name?

It will not come as a surprise to many dog lovers (for they are a species noted for high empathy) that not only are yawns are also contagious from dog-to-owner as well as from owner-to-dog.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3291: Molly Huddle Celebrates Early at World Championships - Body Language of Emotional Pain

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2922: Evacuating Yazidis from Iraq's Mount Sinjar - A Daughter's Anguish, Empathy and Mirror Neurons

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2669: Sara Bareilles and the Body Language of the Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3035: John Wall, Miyah Telemaque-Nelson - and Grief, Empathy & Emotional Pain 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3136: Barack Obama and Brother-in-Law Craig Robinson at Princeton's Game - Contrasting Low Empathy vs. High Empathy 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2701: Cuddling, Romance, Affection and Foot-Shunning 


Friday, August 28, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3291: Molly Huddle Celebrates Early at World Championships - Body Language of Emotional Pain (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Molly Huddle was positioned to take a bronze medal in the Track and Field World Championship for 10,000 meters. Although she certainly knew better, in the emotion of the moment she began to celebrate a bit early, slowing her stride before the finish line and raising her arms. That's when her teammate, Emily Infeld, edged her out for a medal (by only 0.09 seconds). Anyone with even a modest empathy quotient who watches this clip will feel the athlete's anguish. It also provides a highly illustrative body language teaching moment.

Molly Huddle's central forehead is contracted and elevated (Elevated CFC). Concurrently her inner (medial) eyebrows are also raised. Still in state of shock-surprise, her upper eyelids are also very elevated (1:06).

Whenever there physical pain of any significance is present - or as we see here, the initial manifestations of emotional pain, there is also an elevated central forehead contraction.

A very important nonverbal corollary in these moments of emotional or physical pain - is that there must also be a simultaneous mouth expression of sadness

At the very end of this video (1:11) we see a re-emergence of the CFC which had briefly diminished with the covering of Huddle's entire face.

Facial covering (almost always occurring suddenly) such as we see here is not an attempt to prevent others from seeing one's sadness - rather it's a sign of emotional processing. The emotional brain is still trying to wrap around the ramifications of the recent events - that which the intellectual brain already knows.

This image (from earlier in the video at 0:25) captures a blending of at least 3 emotional expressions displayed on Molly Huddle's face (far right on photo):

1. Fear
2. Surprise (Shock)
3. Sadness (Grief)

Can you discern and separate the different components of these 3 emotions?

Notice also Ms. Huddle's shoulders are rounded and vectored forward - indicative of shock-sadness.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3290: Miley Cyrus Undercover, I Witness News & Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3289: Jorge Ramos, Donald Trump Event, "Get Out of My Country" and De-Escalation

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2483:  Alex Rodriguez's Subtle Sadness Signal  Body Language, PEDs and A-Rod 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3173: Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby - Freddie Gray's Death Ruled Homicide - charges to be pressed against police 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3290: Miley Cyrus Undercover, I Witness News & Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Jimmy Kimmel disguised Miley Cyrus as reporter "Janet" from Perth, Australia. Janet-Miley then went out on the streets of Hollywood and interviewed people regarding Miley Cyrus's upcoming hosting of the VMAs (Video Music Awards). What resulted is what some will call funny - while others will say it's distasteful - yet either way there were multiple body language displays, some of which are discussed below.

Self-touching (aka MAP or Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier - here exemplified during 1:16) as Janet-Miley says, "... Do you have any opinions about her or maybe what you think about her?". In this, as in most contexts, this side-scratch is a nonspecific anxiety tell.

Reporter Janet asks, "What would you say if Miley Cyrus was your daughter? Do you have kids? If they were acting like Miley Cyrus, would you have any thoughts?"

Her single arm crosses in front of her torso (1:37 - 1:47) in what is an extremely frequent, low confidence body language display. This particular configuration is much more common with women and gay men.

After Mr. Patriots fan says, "Actually you kinda look like her, actually."

Janet-Miley responds, "You know that's actually why they hired me. They flew me in from Perth and I'm here right now. I'm kinda freaking out that I'm on Hollywood Boulevard."

As she says, "... Perth and I'm here right now. I'm kinda freaking ...", Janet-Miley looks away with her head-neck and her eyes (2:00 - 2:02) while she's looking to Hollywood Boulevard. This is a very primal and driven as a manifestation of low-eye contact associated with deception.

During 2:02 - 2:03, Janet-Miley elevates on toes as she says ".... Hollywood Boulevard ...." - which in this context is a nonverbal tell of her heightened anxiety associated with lying.

In this segment Janet-Miley says, "Do you think Billy Ray - that's his name - it finally came back to me. Billy Ray, do you think he raised her to be that way - or you think she just kinda like lost her mind in all the Hollywood madness?"

During 2:06 - 2:07, as she says, "... Billy Ray, do you think he raised ...", Janet-Miley scratches her face just laterally to her mouth and nose. When associated with making a declarative statement ("... it finally came back to me ..."), this nonverbal MAP is highly consistent with the act of telling a lie.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3289: Jorge Ramos, Donald Trump Event, "Get Out of My Country" and De-Escalation

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3288: Donald Trump & Jorge Ramos - "Go back to Univision"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2929: Jessica Alba, Sin City 2, Action Figures and the Jaw Confessional

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3289: Jorge Ramos, Donald Trump Event, "Get Out of My Country" and De-Escalation - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Yesterday, just after Donald Trump told him to, "Go back to Univison!", Jorge Ramos was forcibly removed from the republican candidate's press conference (He was allowed back in after a few minutes). Subsequently, Mr. Ramos also had an interesting encounter with a man in the hallway. From a body language perspective, this incident provides an interesting example in escalation vs. de-escalation.

After this Trump supporter said, "You were very rude. It's not about you. Get out of my country! Get out!"

(over-lapping dialog)

Mr. Ramos responds, "It's not about [inaudible]. This is not, I'm a, I'm a U.S. citizen."

Trump supporter, "Well, whatever. No, Univision, no!" His palms are then held outward - toward Mr. Ramos. As this is used here, this palms-out illustrator is aggressive and confrontational. He is drawing a metaphorical line in the sand and daring Jorge Ramos to cross it (escalating). Mr. Ramos declines. 

With regards to de-escalation, Mr. Ramos's only mistake was walking toward the other man (escalating). Although he did so with a calm vocal tone, a lower vocal volume than his confronter - and he had his arms clasped behind his back the entire time - all De-escalating (while this is not directly visible, if you view the video carefully you will see this indirectly and that his visible arm and shoulder positions don't change during the entire confrontation). This behind the back hands clasp is a great alpha-beta hybrid in this situation - for it projects a significant strength of confidence and yet it is non-confrontational (De-escalating).

From a nonverbal point-of-view in this scenario, hands clasped (loosely) behind the back says, "I am strong, I am confident and I don't have to be battle-ready" - De-escalating. (Conversely, most people have their hands in front, held high and/or in fists - which escalates the tension and likelihood of a fight - escalating).. Of course it does place Mr. Ramos at a disadvantage if the other man were to hit first (For this reason, law enforcement personnel rarely hold their hands behind their back in such a manner, even when off-duty - although in certain circumstances they should consider it).

Mr. Ramos also turned his head down and away - after initial more direct eye contact (De-escalating). The other man kept a much more direct eye contact with a very low rate of blinking - indicative of his anger, high adrenaline and near-fight-mode (escalating).

When he begins to point, the Trump supporter initially points to Mr. Ramos's chest (escalating).

The other man has a mixture of anger (obvious to most) - yet also contempt and disgust. This triple threat is a dangerous combination - for it carries with it a significantly elevated risk of loss-of-temper and subsequent physical altercation (escalating).

Then quickly he uses this same index finger point (forefinger) to point at Jorge's face. The law enforcement officer senses this escalation and moves in between the men and verbally interjects. This is a profoundly escalating gesture.

An index finger point is a highly offensive and inflammatory nonverbal display. This is true across every single culture on the planet.

Here we can see the index finger persisting, even as Mr. Ramos is walking away.

We can see here Jorge's arms behind his back. Importantly, his gate (his walk) is also not confrontational - but meandering and slower, with a significant side-to-side motion (De-escalation).

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3288: Donald Trump & Jorge Ramos - "Go back to Univision"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2818: The Caring Hand, Palms Up and Building Rapport  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2584: Darnell Barton - Hero with Body Language of De-Escalation

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2991: Gavin Siem flags down Grant County Deputy Dustin Canfield 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2993: Fight in Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport - Passengers Break Up Homophobic Attack - Threat Assessment Warning Signs 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3288: Donald Trump & Jorge Ramos - "Go back to Univision" - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

"Go back to Univision!" shouted Donald Trump just before he had Jorge Ramos thrown out of a press conference today in Dubuque, Iowa. Along with these harsh words, the poll-leading republican had some interesting body language on display - some of which is discussed below.

Many have noted before - both in humor and in analysis, Donald Trump's hyperbolic lip and mouth movements. Yet in this moment, it carries an extra layer of meaning - a "Loose Forward Lip Purse". This very specific nonverbal signal is highly indicative for someone who believes they're a relative alpha with whomever they're speaking and/or interacting. It also tells us that that there's a large disparity between what they say and what they are thinking - AND importantly, they have a plan. Moreover, it's also telegraphing to us the message that they believe they have a high probability of executing their plan with success. Trump gives a hand signal to the security person/bodyguard (and immediately afterwards [0:23] Trump says, "go ahead") - and Jorge Ramos is, with some force, led out of the room (reportedly, Mr. Ramos was later let back in the room).

It's also particularly interesting to note that Mr. Trump makes several lip smacking displays or kissing sounds during crucial moments (0:22, 0:23, 0:26). Lip smacking is yet another signal of a person who's highly self-assured and a self-perceived dominant or alpha relative to the surrounding subordinates/beta personalities.

Trump or his team will make the assertion (or perhaps already have) that the security man (here passing in back of Donald) made the decision to forcibly remove Jorge Ramos. However Trump's face in this instant along with the above described tells indicate it was solely the candidate's call.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3287: Hillary Clinton, Email Servers and Crisis Management

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3082: Bill Belichick, Deflategate & Lip Smacking

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2181:  Mitt Romney's Concession Speech -  and the Body Language of Lip Smacking

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2596: What Motivates Ted Cruz's Regarding Anti-Obamacare, Body Language Tells on Jay Leno

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3265: Donald Trump, Exaggerated Mouth Movements and Narcissistic, Hyper-Alpha Personalities 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3287: Hillary Clinton, Email Servers and Crisis Management - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Crisis Management, Crisis Management, Crisis Management.

What the vast majority of politicians (and those who coach them) never realize - is that their body language will dictate the whole flavor of a speech - the entire appearance. Otherwise, those who "steer with their words" leave us with the feeling of painting over dirt - it lowers likability and destroys rapport. It just doesn't feel right. The nonverbal signals are the foundation on which the feel of anyone's personality is projected. If you have any doubts at all on this point, please recall any awkward dates from your teenage years.

Of crucial importance during anything resembling a debate or question and answer session, quality body language engenders favorable vocal qualities (tone of voice and other paralanguage parameters) and these two together help the words to flow. Those who try to work with the words first will drown in an ocean of poor acting and insincerity (e.g. "The Emperor's New Clothes").

In her speech last week in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton defended using a personal server for her U.S. State department emails. She reacted very poorly to questioning - particularly for a politician with her level of experience. One of many mistakes she committed is that she let her own nonverbal signals dial-up her anxiety and anger. She reinforced these negative emotions in a self-destructive feedback-loop because she simply does not recognize one fundamental use of body language.

One example (although there are many) is the manner in which the former Secretary of State does not understand that her high hand tension will also facilitate facial tension - therefore up-regulating anger, frustration, impatience, etc. (all of which she exhibited in this press conference). Conversely hand gestures (termed "Illustrators" in body language parlance) which are relaxed and open (yet still with some assertiveness - thus alpha-beta hybrids) will act as a control panel for her emotional tone, her facial expressions - and as far as this appearance is concerned - it also will elevate her credibility and trustworthiness.

 Mrs. Clinton is trying to use the politician's point - yet here she pinches her forefinger (aka index finger) together with her thumb. This action increases her facial tension. When Hillary is defensive or angry (like many other human beings) has a strong tendency to tilt her head/neck back and look "down her nose" at those to whom she's speaking. This loses her boatloads of likability

More hand tension - ergo more facial tension.

And .... Boom! Out comes anger.

Of course, like all of us, Mrs. Clinton is allowed to feel anger - yet if she wants to be elected President, she should NOT suppress it, but channel her anger. She's not doing this and the voting public can feel it.

Hillary in 2013 using the "Politician's Point". Note the correlation between a relaxed hand and a relaxed face. This is still assertive, still consistent with strong leadership qualities - and with the added benefit of Mrs. Clinton conducting her own emotional tempo.

Take care to avoid the "more is better" approach though - for the politician's point (and it's poorly used cousin, the pinch point and its variants) are considerably over-used by many politicians.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3286: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black & C'est la vie

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3264: Hillary Clinton, Likability, Perceived Trustworthiness and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3141: Carly Fiorina "Higher than 90%" Chances She's Running for President

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3281: Donald Trump on "Meet The Press" - Who Does He Talk to for Military Advice?


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3286: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black & C'est la vie - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Tatiana Maslany exemplifies some fantastic acting in the sci-fi television drama "Orphan Black" in which she plays many characters. As a guest on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon yesterday, she also displays a textbook classic body language cluster.

Beginning at 0:43, both of Tatiana's eyes are close - yet her forehead muscles are working against this - for along with her eyebrows, they are contracting upward.

This disparity should alert you to emotional dissonance.

In the next moment Ms. Maslany's eyebrows and forehead remain elevated as her mid-face tightens. Tatiana's jaw juts forward and her mouth opening/lips take on a regret configuration.

Then Maslany's eyelids open even wider as the actress's mouth shows an attempt at a sincere smile.

Importantly, her head-neck also briefly laterally tilts

A mouth microexpression of fear is the next word in Tatiana's nonverbal syntax.

The above described nonverbal "cluster" (all four moments closely strung together in a body language sentence) is a classic one for C'est la vie (That's Life) or "Oh well!" - but mixed with a mild amount of social-fear. This is very consistent with her committing a spoiler faux-pas.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3285: Donald Trump Dialing Up His Alpha - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3061: Jimmy Fallon Blew a Chance to Date Nicole Kidman

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3279: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and the Iowa State Fair 

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 ...


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3285: Donald Trump Dialing Up His Alpha - Body Language (PHOTOS)

As with all alpha personalities, there are times when Donald Trump feels as if he needs more assertiveness. Here the 2016 republican poll-leading presidential candidate is shown adjusting his left shirt cuff. The vast majority of the time the cuff is already in place though and there's no real need for this grooming maneuver - rather it's a nonverbal epiphenomenon of his emotional status. This "False Cuff Adjust" indicates that Trump's psyche is attempting to up-regulate his alpha qualities. He recognizes, largely on a subconscious level, that he needs to dial-up his self-confidence.

This Body Language Tell is displayed more often in men than women and with greater frequency in individuals from higher socioeconomic levels vs. those with less financial means. Those who are raised in more modest means tend to adjust their watches rather than shirt cuffs in such scenarios.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3284: Eat Your Effin Vees with Jimmy Kimmel and First Lady Michelle Obama

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3255: Donald Trump and a Body Language Signal of Social Fear and Hesitancy 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3250: Donald Trump regarding John McCain: "He's no hero" - Body Language Tells us what he really thinks 

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1459: Geithner Gets His Alpha On  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2914: François Hollande, Anxiety and Dialing up his Alpha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3046: Chris Pine Dials Up His Alpha - "Into the Woods"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2314:  Naomi Watts Pre-Oscar Interview and her  Body Language of the "Jaw Confessional" and the Sincerity Quotient


Friday, August 21, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3284: Eat Your Effin Vees with Jimmy Kimmel and First Lady Michelle Obama - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Michelle Obama was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live yesterday. The first lady and Jimmy performed a little pseudo-public service announcement/comedy skit titled "Eat Your Effin Vees" (or Fs and Vs). There are very few other guests with whom such an act would be even a little funny - and most wouldn't consider it humorous here. It's more of a novelty because of her title.

Michelle's role here is the "I know what's best for you" persona - which of course every first lady plays regardless of her political leanings.

What Jimmy calls Effin Vees - Mrs. Obama knows as Fruits and Vegetables -of course in an effort to educate and encourage children into eating healthier. This certainly is a noble pursuit - yet that's not what was happening here. 

The First Lady repeatedly defaults to a very particular nonverbal - the pseudo-prayer (and a couple of its variants).

While in some parts of the World, this body language is part of a greeting or departure of well-wishing - and of course in many religious contexts it accompanies prayer - yet on essentially all other occasions this false prayer gesture is highly indicative of patronizing and arrogant emotional tones and should, with rare exception, never be used.

As with all alpha nonverbal signals, the pseudo-prayer will also engender feelings of increased power and authority in its user - yet the audience (whether a single person or millions) will instead feel condescending emotions. The pseudo-prayer is particularly potent in this patronizing characteristic.

Moreover, when there is also a chopping motion accompanying the false-prayer - these negative emotional messages are amplified. 

Conversely, on several occasions Mrs. Obama held her hand surfaces parallel - but not quite touching. This nonverbal variation still carries all these same caustic emotions - although this modification modestly down-regulates the negativity of the gesture.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3283: Trivago Guy - It's Not His Wardrobe or Haircut - It's the Body Language Stupid!

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3124: Michelle Obama & George W. Bush at Selma-to-Montgomery March 50th Anniversary 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2276:  Michelle Obama's Eye Roll .... What was she thinking? and  What Did Boehner's & Barack's Body Language Say? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3197: FIFA, Sepp Blatter and the Pseudo-Prayer - Body Language 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3283: Trivago Guy - It's Not His Wardrobe or Haircut - It's the Body Language Stupid! (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A year or so ago, a lot was made regarding the wardrobe, hair style and facial hair of the "Trivago Guy" - Tim Williams. Yet what was (and still is) most troublesome is his body language - specifically his facial expressions.

On occasion we all display a "Central Forehead Contraction" together with a "Mouth Smile". Such smiles are never sincere though. This expression is indicative of one of the following:
  • Disbelief
  • Arrogance
  • Contempt
(Please note that all three of these thought-emotions have other nonverbal expressions as well)

We are all allowed to feel these emotions once in a while - for we are all human. Yet when a person chronically displays both of these facial expressions simultaneously or nearly-so, it's a strong indicator of sociopathic behavior (antisocial personality disorder).

Thus when such an expression (either by chance or design) is displayed in the context of an advertisement - it's a profound mistake. And Williams does so much of the ad. This facial expression makes people feel uncomfortable. It diminishes trust and rapport - and thus it will drive away customers.

Bad commercial. Bad directing. Bad Body Language.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3282: Zac Efron Swam with a Wild Tiger Shark and Avoided an Attack by using Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3281: Donald Trump on "Meet The Press" - Who Does He Talk to for Military Advice?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2733: A Neuroscientist who's a Psychopath - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3010: McStay Family Murders - Body Language Signs of a Sociopath 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2259:  Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences - His Body Language Warning Signs 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3282: Zac Efron Swam with a Wild Tiger Shark and Avoided an Attack by using Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Zac Efron was a guest on the Tonight Show last night. Many people have gained a considerably higher level of respect for the actor after his encounter with a tiger shark in the wild. Not only did he keep his cool and follow the recommendations of shark experts - but he also held onto the shark's dorsal fin and hitched a ride back to his boat.

From a body language perspective, as with many interactions, this interview includes a multitude of nonverbal displays - some of which are alpha, some beta and some hybrids. A few of these are described below. Intriguingly (and courageously), Mr. Efron also uses body language to avoid a shark attack.


Mr. Efron displays a "false tie-adjust"

This common nonverbal display is indicative of anxiety. Even though he's an accomplished actor and is quite used to being in front of a camera - here he's NOT method acting - he's human and he's just being Zac. Efron does this again at 0:50 as well as at the 2:12 mark.


Here we see the palms partially turned down at about a 45 degree angle. This is one of many  ALPHA-beta hybrids (here with the alpha being greater than beta).


This more complete palm down gesture is significant of a higher dominance level.

Had his fingers been positioned tightly together (here there is space between them) and his arm been extended - this would have conveyed an even greater alpha level. His partial (suppressed) sincere smile also helps to make this a bit less dominant.


This palm-down gesture is more dominant than that displayed above (at 1:00) - for Efron's arm is held further away from his body with his elbow more extended. He also does not have a smile at this moment in addition to having a contracted forehead. However his fingers remain separated - thus leaving some dominance unclaimed.


Although we can't see this MAP fully (manipulator, adaptor, pacifier), if you watch the video, you can tell Efron adjusts the lower part of his tie. This is a common gesture for men in moments where they are attempting to up-regulate their alpha emotions. This body language is better appreciated in the dynamic context of the video rather than a static image.


Zac Efron displays a conventional low steeple. The conventional steeple is a considerably high-alpha display and is only recommended for very brief duration (he uses it for about 5 seconds here) during very selective moments (photos of U.S. Presidents using a conventional steeple are exceedingly rare).

When a guy is describing how he survived a stare-down with a 14 foot tiger shark, he's certainly has greater social-latitude to use this nonverbal swagger.

I don't pretend to be a shark expert and thus I can't at this time can't validate Efron's advice, yet here (based on the teachings of his mentors) he describes how he used his clear wits and body language to avoid a possibly fatal shark attack.


"What you're supposed to do is slow down your heart rate and just sort stay calm."

"I held my breath, I sorta crossed my arms and let the shark know I wasn't prey."


Efron describes staring directly into the eyes of the shark - implying that his body was turned toward the shark as well (e.g., "I'm not afraid of you and I'm not swimming away - but my hands are not in an aggressive configuration either, so this is a truce Mr. Tiger Shark, okay?").


Just as Jimmy Fallon holds up a picture of Zac with the Tiger Shark - he displays a subtle fear mouth (in a moment of partially reliving the encounter). The camera cuts away before his trepidation is perhaps more fully expressed.

Don't try this at home.

Many shark experts would say that once Efron avoided the initial face-to-face encounter, he should have not touched the shark - as tiger sharks are particularly unpredictable.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3281: Donald Trump on "Meet The Press" - Who Does He Talk to for Military Advice?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2877: Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez Dating - Thumbs Forward Arms Akimbo

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3160: Warren Sapp Recounts Night with Prostitutes 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3257: Donald Trump at the Texas-Mexico Border - Body Language of a Hyper-Alpha 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2896: Hillary Clinton - Vladimir Putin Bears Some Responsibility for the Downing of Malaysia Air Flight MH17