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