Saturday, December 26, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3416: LeBron James Catches a Golden State Fan "calling" him a Cry Baby - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Christmas day, the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Golden State Warriors in the first meeting of the teams since the 2015 NBA finals. Golden State won the game 89-83.

A short video of a fan sitting court-side and her brief interaction with LeBron James has gone viral. This exchange was essentially all nonverbal in nature and is discussed along with the images below.

An "Emblem" is a body language signal which has a recognized and accepted meaning within a geographic region and/or culture.

The blonde woman uses a universally recognized emblem for crying - and thus nonverbally calling LeBron James a crybaby. It appears that maybe LeBron sees her signal (although this is questionable [Why?]). She believes he has indeed seen her - that is certain. This image was captured at the split-second of her realization. Her hands are still up near her face displaying the "crybaby emblem" - however her eyes have suddenly opened wider than baseline.

A split second later, the blonde woman's eyes are opened even wider (signaling fear) while she fixates on a distant object. This distant focusing helps to bring a person's emotional mindset out of the present moment in an attempt to realign the psyche. The other very obvious function here is to not look at LeBron's when he's looking back at her. She simply doesn't want to get caught or feel his anger. Her widely opened eyes gives her away.

Her torso also suddenly leans away from LeBron. 

Have you noticed the expression of the brunette woman? Is she suppressing a smile or is that a different emotion?

Coincident with LeBron looking away (image immediately above) - there is a classic example of an additional manifestation of fear (along with her eyes) via a microexpression on her mouth (note her left mouth corner pulling down and back).

This classic "mouth of fear" is best seen by viewing the Vine Video - as it captures the dynamic and very short-lived nature of this nonverbal expression.

She also briefly sits up off the chair while stiffening her torso and shifting away from James (again, please watch the video several times to best view the dynamics).

Next, she briefly displays an inward lip roll (ILR). The inward lip roll is a signal that the psyche is trying to suppress the full manifestation (both internal and external) of a person's emotion (in this case, that of fear).

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3415: David Beckham, John Boyega, Star Wars, Lightsabers and Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3408: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Star Wars and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3212: LeBron James stealing ball from Stephen Curry - then pointing at his Temple

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2881: LeBron James and What He Learned About the Way He Switched Teams

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3079: Tom Brady, Deflategate - Part Deux

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3277: John Kasich reflecting on Debate