Saturday, October 29, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3738: Gary Johnson Loses His Temper - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

After a Guardian Reporter pressed him on his sagging poll numbers as well as his tax policy, Gary Johnson simultaneously switched the subject while losing his temper.

Included in the above video are earlier gaffes where he did not know about the Crisis in/Battle of Aleppo ("And what is Aleppo?") as well as not being able to name a single foreign leader whom he respects. Some have attributed these mistakes as being the cause for his drop in the polls since mid-September.

From a nonverbal perspective, during the time leading up to his outburst, there were two signals of Governor Johnson's which were particularly telling.

Throughout much of this interview (leading up to his loss of temper), Governor Johnson was standing in a fig leaf configuration (aka "Genital Guarding"). Much of the time we can't directly visualize this MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier), however we can discern it by the position of his upper arms. Although the presidential candidate does occasionally gesture (Illustrate) with his arms and hands - he repeatedly returned to this fig-leaf position.

In some settings a fig-leaf display infers respect, deference and/or reverence (e.g., in a religious service or ceremony, at a funeral, meeting a high-level religious figure, at the tomb of the unknown soldier, etc.) However during the vast majority of scenarios, standing (or sitting) in this manner is a signal of lower confidence, lower emotional comfort, a beta mindset and defensiveness.

In addition, the entire width of Governor Johnson's forehead was contracted and elevated during the majority of this interview.

When such prolonged forehead elevation is simultaneous with and/or overlapping in time with a fig-leaf display, you can be sure the person who's displaying this nonverbal cluster is experiencing a lower confidence/defensive emotional state.

Because Governor Johnson was emotionally primed from an earlier incident (note the HBO segment at the beginning of this video - as well as The Guardian reporter referencing, "I could hear some loud voices there"), the candidate should have taken greater time or perhaps changed his schedule before participating in this second interview. He also increased the odds of his outburst when he responded with, "Maybe you'll get it now too" - a script his psyche followed shortly thereafter.

A person with a higher level of emotional intelligence may have known (in real time) that by simply conducting the interview with each man standing a slightly greater distance apart, this would have decreased the likelihood of any confrontation. A seated conversation (using chairs with arm-rests) would have also helped to down-regulate Johnson's emotional volatility.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3737: Donald Trump Rips His Notes at End of 3rd Debate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3735: Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Mean Tweets

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3733: The 3rd Presidential Debate - Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton - Part IV - The Turning Point of the Debate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3711: Vin Scully calls Kirk Gibson's legendary walk-off homer during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3672: Jessica Alba, Swass, Body Language and Emotional Intelligence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3608: Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Meeting with Bill Clinton

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2469: Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin and the NYC Mayoral Race - Body Language & the Five Burroughs, Part I 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3673: Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin separate after Sexting Scandal