Friday, September 23, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3702: Hillary Clinton: "Why aren't I 50 points ahead (of Trump)?'' - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Hillary Clinton referenced Donald Trump yesterday during a video conference with the Laborers' International Union of North America. Among other things she said, "Why aren’t I 50 points ahead (of Trump)?"

The clip above is a portion of this video conference. When she said, "Nobody should be fooled!", the Democratic Presidential nominee pointed with both her index fingers toward the audience. Pointing with an index finger (forefinger) is universally negatively interpreted across all cultures, ethnicities and countries - and pointing with both index fingers is considerably more so. Politicians can get away with this nonverbal faux pas prior to the conventions - for in these settings they are relying on their hard-core political base (although it's still not recommended) who will largely jump off a cliff for their perceived leader.

However once the front runners are chosen and the candidates are chasing the swing voters, the double index finger point will server to alienate them. It's not at all a rapport builder - rather it's a rapport destroyer.

Note Mrs. Clinton's face - her eyebrows are vectored downward and drawn together - while her eyelids are opened significantly wider than baseline. Her lower lids are also more tense while Hillary's mid-face is tightened, her nostrils are flared and her jaw is jutting forward. Almost everyone will recognize this as a classic expression of considerable anger.

It's important to recognize the connection between facial tension and hand tension. When the face expresses anger - the hands are also virtually always negative gestured. And when the hands are configured with anxiety, anger or frustration - this also influences the face in a negative direction. Mrs. Clinton's facial expression in this moment is a clear example of this phenomenon.

Summary: The index finger point, particularly when performed with both hands will alienate all but the loyal voters. Mrs. Clinton is playing into Trump's hand here (pardon the metaphor). She should also stop using this gesture because it leads to an up-regulates of anger. And ... Hillary Clinton should absolutely not display this nonverbal signal during the Presidential Debates.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3701: Hillary Clinton, Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3426: Barack Obama, Executive Action, Gun Control and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3699: The Tulsa Police and the Shooting Death of Terence Crutcher

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3694: Donald Trump, Jimmy Fallon and Messing Up Hair

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3684: Barack Obama's and Vladimir Putin's "Stare-Down" at the G20

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3669: Jordan Spieth, Bill Murray and the Asymmetrical Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3533: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard - Australian Biosecurity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3636: Donald Trump, Hillary's Emails, Putin and Russia