Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3433: Barack Obama, The State of the Union and Paul Ryan - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Tonight Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union Address. There were, of course, truly thousands of nonverbal signals within this speech. One particularly interesting body language moment wasn't displayed by the President - but by Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

At 0:32 in the above video excerpt, President Obama continues, "... I believe a thriving private sector is the life-blood of our economy. I think there are out-dated regulations that need to be changed. There is red tape that needs to be cut."

The audience then makes what appears to be a bipartisan applause.

In the next few seconds Speaker Ryan displays two quick "Nose Pulls" (aka "Nose Pinches") during 0:47 and 0:48.

Then we see him lean over to get a handkerchief out of his back pocket. Be assured that his decision to (pseudo) wipe his nose was made only because of his nose pull - not due to his nose running. He knows that he shouldn't have touched his face in this manner in such a public forum and the wiping is his psyche's attempt at a ruse. 

This nose pinch/pull is an example of a robust variety of nose-touching. It's a type of alpha up-regulator - and is seen where assertiveness is needed. On some level, the person displaying a nose pull or pinch may feel a level of embarrassment - which is often self-inflicted, by their own words - although here of course, Mr. Ryan's listening. He's (along with others) being "called-out".

During 0:49 we see the Speaker display a clear "Tongue-in-Cheek" nonverbal signal.

In this cluster context this tell indicates Paul Ryan is thinking-feeling, "Gotcha" or "I Just Won". Depending on the nonverbals with which it is clustered, the tongue-in-cheek may have other meanings (What are these?).

In summary, this set of nonverbal signs tells us that Mr. Ryan was in the moment feeling the need to be more assertive and up-regulate his alpha emotional tone within the context of his relatively new role as Speaker of the House - AND he has a specific plan/idea for doing so, wherein he feels a significant political victory. The tongue-in-cheek often thus has a clandestine-plan component. In effect, what he was really taking out of his back pocket (metaphorically) was an ace that he was waiting to deal.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3432: Leonardo DiCaprio reacts to Lady Gaga at Golden Globe Awards

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3329: Robert De Niro Hears Tom Hiddleston's Robert De Niro Impression - The Graham Norton Show 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2352: Mila Kunis' Tongue in Cheek - Graham Norton Part II 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2796: Olivia Wilde, Butter, Jon Stewart and the Tongue in Cheek 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2796: Olivia Wilde, Butter, Jon Stewart and the Tongue in Cheek

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3077: Barack Obama, The 2015 State of the Union Address Part II & What John Boehner Doesn't Believe

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3273: Marco Rubio, The Republican Debate, Monotonous Body Language and Anxiety

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3190: Taylor Swift's Body Language of Feigned Surprise