Thursday, November 10, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3751: Barack Obama and Donald Trump Meet at the White House - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Today Barack Obama and Donald Trump met at the White House. It was the first ever meeting between the two men.

From a nonverbal perspective, there's a multitude of signals shown by the President and President-Elect. One moment (captured in the image below from a slightly different angle) is especially telling.

Note both men's legs - in particular the angle made by their thighs. I've analyzed hundreds of videos of Donald Trump and I've never (before) seen him sitting with his thighs splayed at a lesser angle than anyone else in the room. The angle made by the thighs is proportional to and indicative of a dominance display - and although Donald Trump's configuration here is by no means submissive - he is projecting a relatively beta emotional tone relative to President Obama's alpha. Moreover, this is the greatest seated thigh angle of dominance in which I've ever seen the President sit. Barack's body language very much saying, "I outrank you."

Another fascinating nonverbal signal in this video is the position of Donald Trump's hands. While his hands are very typically displaying in a hyper-alpha "Low Steeple" (more specifically a "Low Convention Steeple"), here his hands are configured in a significantly beta "Low Pseudo-Prayer" manner. Furthermore, in the video you'll notice his fingers repeatedly separating and coming back together again. This hand cluster-dynamic indicates a relatively high level of anxiety.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3750: Bill's Reaction to Hillary Clinton's Concession Speech

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3748: Donald Trump, Bill Belichick and Exaggerated Mouth Movements

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3746: Alicia Keys, Questlove, Krispy Kremes and Connecting the Dots

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3742: Evan McMullin, Donald Trump and Winning Utah

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3740: Donald Trump Thanks Anthony Weiner

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3676: Colin Kaepernick Says He Be Sitting Down During the National Anthem

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3736: Newt Gingrich and Megyn Kelly re: Donald Trump

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3708: Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump - Presidential Debates - Part IV - Hillary's Email Anxiety