Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3462: Donald Trump calls Ted Cruz a "Pussy" - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTO)

On Monday night, after mentioning that Sen. Ted Cruz had hesitated regarding a question on the use of waterboarding for prisoners of war,  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a “pussy”.

Trump used this highly derogatory and misogynist term while echoing a supporter who shouted the slang during a rally the night before the New Hampshire Primary. He immediately stopped his speech, pointed [index finger, palm down] toward the woman and said,

"She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out, because I don’t want to s- [woman in the audience again, yells 'Pussy!', Donald Trump laughs]... Okay. You're not allowed to say - I never expect to hear that from you again. She said - I never expect to hear that from you again! - That he's a pussy. That's terrible. Terrible!" 

He then turns away, rotating his whole body to his right, walks a few steps away from lectern, throw his hands up, displays a duplicitous smile and then walks back to lectern. Shaking his head with another duplicitous smile.

While almost everyone can see Trumps behavior is performed in a completely false and mocking disapproval, from a body language teaching point of view, the moment is worth dissecting - for at most other times, with Trump or with anyone else, this behavior is not so obvious.


At the moment he understands what the woman shouted, Trump displays a very subtle, suppressed sincere smile. This smiling out of context behavior can be thought of as a form of "Duping Delight".

Please watch the video to fully appreciate this subtle nonverbal signal. 


We see Mr. Trump display a classic form of a duplicitous smile. Note that the left corner of his mouth is "smiling" - up-turned (still suppressed though) while its left side is down-turned.


After turning away from the lectern, then returning, we see another example of Trump smiling out of the left side of his mouth while his right side is frowning.

Trump is trying to suppress his glee, yet he cannot. This is another variation on the phenomenon of Duping Delight.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3461: Cam Newton Walks Out of Super Bowl 50 Post Game Press Conference

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3454: Donald Trump - Buying the Farm after 2nd Place Finish in Iowa Caucuses

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3459: Miscues on the Introductions to New Hampshire Republican Debate 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1705: Fran├žois Hollande & the French Presidential Election The Pistol Steeple and Emotional Dissonance 

Negotiation Secret No. 140: Duping Delight Microexpression

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2855: Hillary Clinton, 2016 Presidential Race and Duping Delight

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication No. Analysis 1492: Ben Bernanke's Duping Delight & Partial Emblematic Slip