Thursday, December 10, 2015

Body Language Analysis No. 3399: Donald Trump, a Bald Eagle, and Fear - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The latest Donald Trump video is obviously not to his liking - and understandably so. Although far from Daniel Day-Lewis, the businessman-turned-politician normally has a somewhat better control of his facial expressions compared with most candidates. This video, however, shows us a very candid exception.

In August 2015, when the republican was posing with a bald eagle (named "Uncle Sam") for a Time magazine cover, Trump demonstrated several key, but non-flattering nonverbal faux pas.

In this split second we can see Trump invading the personal (intimate) space of Uncle Sam. Yet the raptor, it seems, is much quicker than the candidate.

Animals, of course, are no different that people when it comes to proxemic principles - if they don't know you well AND if you don't share a good rapport - they will NOT welcome you into their intimate space.

This morning during a phone interview on "Fox & Friends", Steve Doocy asked Mr. Trump, "Were you a little frightened by that bird?". Trump replied, "No, not really."

Note the expression on Mr. Trump - particularly his mouth. His sudden, tightening and lateral vectoring (with down-turned corners) of his mouth is a classic "mouth of fear".

A split second later we see Trump's "fear mouth" become even more extreme.

Body Language take-home points:

1. Only enter the personal/intimate space of another if:
    A. They know you, AND
    B.  You have good mutual-rapport

2. Although there are certainly human, cultural variations with regards to personal space (proxemics)
    tolerances, it is a deeply ingrained and highly physiologic phenomenon which is exhibited

3. Donald Trump Lied. He was indeed quite frightened by Uncle Sam the Bald Eagle.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3398: Orangutan Sees a Magic Trick - Bonding, Rapport and Laughter

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3392: Donald Trump to Republican Jewish Coalition

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3388: Donald Trump, Duplicitous Expressions and "politely" Removing a Protester

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3336: Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy, Deception and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3330: Vladimir Putin on 60 Minutes - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3277: John Kasich reflecting on Debate - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3224: Jordan Spieth, the U.S. Open, and a Classic Fear Expression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2:  Body Language of Blake Lively and Penn Badgley Strongly Suggests an Impending Break-up in Near Future